In Indonesia, we found a most unusual cafe when Ingrid and I were travelling. It was a cafe that was built around an enormously large banyan tree. Now, I can’t tell you where it is, as the proprietor prefers that it not show up in even the more unconventional travel guides such as those done by the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide folk. Let’s just say that you’ll love it if you ever find it.
There’s at least six or seven levels of cafe which are accessed by a staircase that winds around the tree like a large snake hugging its trunk. The seating areas look out over the jungle. A jungle complete with elephants, monkeys and such. Quite a view would be an understatement!
The entire structure is made out of various bamboos. Did you know that bamboo is stronger than steel? Well it is. It’s quite a sight — all glowing wood lacquered with coat after coat to keep it from rotting it away in the humid weather. Humid being an understatement when a monsoon storm can drop a foot in ten minutes. We got caught in one of them. Definitely not fun.
There a dumbwaiter running up alongside the tree that brings food and drink up to the customers, and dishes back down to be cleaned of course. The food is mostly vegetarian with just seafood from the nearby coast for protein. Ingrid and I shared a very large shrimp and veggie biriyani after some superb bakwan, deep fried veggies in batter and pastel, a fried dumpling filled with veggies. We finished off with an odd-sounding dessert, green tea crepes with shredded coconut filling, which was quite delicious.
It was a great meal in a stunning location. I hope you find it someday while in Indonesia.