The Library Gives A Western Touch to Malang Culinary Trend
Culinary trend in Malang has never grown as rapid as it is nowadays. There are so many restaurants in town that offer various cuisine; from Indonesian food to Japanese and Italian, from the cheapest ‘warung’ to the most expensive bistro. Even famous chain restaurant/coffee shop with many franchise all over Indonesia like Starbucks or J.Co have opened their branches in Malang. Now, it’s the turn for The Library, a supreme western-style restaurant from Bali, to open its 5th branch in Malang. The Libray has already opened 4 restaurants, 3 of them are in Bali (2 restaurants in Seminyak and 1 restaurant in Legian) and 1 restaurant in Yogyakarta. Its brand new branch in Malang, located right in front of the city’s Merbabu Town Forest, was launched in March 12th, 2017.
The Library is a project of PT. Perpustakaan Kopi Indonesia (The Coffee Library), a company established in 2008 that focuses in expanding their variety of green beans throughout the archipelago of Indonesia. They work closely with farmers in several coffee plantation from Aceh to East Java, even Flores and Papua, and educate the farmers about good coffee processing. The company even support the farmers with advance machinery for producing the perfect green beans. All the company’s work was started in 1953, in the small village of Dampit, Malang. Now, The Coffee Library has sold packs of their freshly roasted ground coffee to many outlets and coffee shops from all over Indonesia. All of the coffee presented in all The Library restaurants are from The Coffee Library’s very own plantation.
The Library is designed with classic premium concept, with all Western food and beverages menu. The first impression we got after we arrived was the place looked expensive but comfy and friendly at the same time. It was also beautifully designed, with adorable furniture and shout out words painted on the wall. The restaurant has two areas, an outdoor smoking area located in front, and semi-outdoor non-smoking area inside. The place is quite spacious with a lot of table choices. The only flaw was it was freakingly hot inside! We saw some air conditioner in the wall but because the non-smoking area was semi-outdoor, the air conditioner doesn’t help in Malang’s crazy hot afternoon. This might cause some inconvenience in enjoying your meal.
All branches of The Library has one unique concept; that The Library is not a conventional restaurant, but it is also functioned as a real library. All The Library’s branches have their own bookshelf with various book collections, from the very old ones kept since President Soekarno era to the newly published pieces. Some of the book is fiction, some other are about history. The unique concept is also applied on The Library’s interior design. In the entrance way, we could see books ‘planted’ in the wall, and in one wall, there was a painting of a ballerina with her tutu skirts made of book papers. The concept is really out-of-the box and gives refreshing look to the restaurant interior. The bookshelf itself was located in a corner in the non smoking room. We thought it was a bad placement for something that supposed to be the center of attention; the bookshelf looked unnoticed, untouched, useless, and was nothing more than a decoration. We observed that there were no visitors that seemed interested in the books, some even took one book just for photographic property without even reading the book cover. Isn’t it a waste of such precious collections?
When we read the menu book, we got the impression that the price was slightly expensive compared to Malang’s restaurants standard. But judging by the interior design and the quality of the food the price was all worth it. The Library has a lot of choices of food in the menu, from soup, salad, pastry, burgers, pasta, pizza, to steak, and beverages from coffee, beer, healthy smoothies, to mocktails. We ordered The Library, an egg benedict served with a sourdough bread, guacamole, smoked beef, and potato wedges, topped with hollandaise sauce. The egg benedict was perfectly medium-cooked; the egg yolk melted smoothly to the smoked beef and sourdough beneath it. The guacamole gave fresh taste to the dish, and the potato wedges gave us enough carbohydrate fix. The Library is a more simple version of the restaurant’s signature dish The Mighty Library, which has more components such as grilled tomato, sausages, and stir fry mushroom.
The restaurant’s signature beverage was Panama Geisha, premium coffee which the beans could not be obtained by all coffee shops. The Library sell a glass of the exclusive coffee for IDR150k each. It was said to be much cheaper than some other coffee shops which sell it for IDR250k each. We were curious with the special coffee, but we decided to order the health smoothies instead, something that is not really popular in Malang. We chose the Strawberry Energizer, consisted of strawberry, pineapple, banana, yoghurt, and fresh milk. It was surprisingly refreshing and came in fair portion too. The food’s price range is between IDR18k – 135k, and the beverages’ price range is IDR18k-150k.
The Library Malang plan to add more food and beverages choices in the future. The manager who we interviewed, said that now they only launched 20% of the planned menu, and the rest of the 80% would be added in the following 3 months. We were a bit shocked because even now there already were numerous choices. They also plan to add Gelato in the menu and also provid a small private room for private occasions. The Library has succeeded in giving a real Western touch in Malang’s culinary trend, even though its unique concept of library-coffee shop fusion did not stand out that much.
Food Price Range : IDR18K – 135K
Beverage Price Range : IDR18K – 150K
Service : Wi-Fi – Smoking/Non-Smoking Spot – Indoor/Semi-Outdoor
Location: Jl. Guntur No.23 Malang
Operational Hour: 08.00 AM – 23.00 PM
Reservation: (0341) 355 487
Instagram : @thelibrary.malang
Writer: Jatrifia Ramadhani/Editor: Novita Widia