|Immersed in the pleasure of a cup of coffee at Warkop Tomak, Tanjung Selor.
"Warkop," an abbreviation for "warung kopi" or coffee shop, presents a simple yet uniquely appealing concept in Tanjung Selor, the capital of North Kalimantan province.
This uniqueness is particularly evident in coffee shops operated by the Chinese community, adding a distinctive touch and diversity to the city's atmosphere.
Coffee shops operated by the Chinese community
China. Allow the writer to equate the term "Chinese," which is originally pronounced as Chung Hua – a country believed to be situated in the middle of the world.
For those familiar with Kuo Ue, or Mandarin, there is a nearly square-shaped circle, that is: the letter Chung. Meanwhile, "hua" represents a nation, or an ethnic group. When spelled out entirely, it resembles Tiong – hoa.
Three of a kind!
However, I do not intend to discuss etymology or the Mandarin language. I am intrigued by the title above. Not only Tomak in Tanjung Selor, but there are also many distinctive coffee shops, or "Warkop," owned and operated by the people of Chung Hua in North Kalimantan.
The culinary delights in this city along the Kayan River
While in Tanjung Selor, the capital of North Kalimantan province, I truly enjoyed the culinary delights in this city along the Kayan River.
Since my first step into the youngest provincial capital in Indonesia in July 2020, when I was writing the biography of Nurhayati Andris, I was impressed with Tanjung Selor.
At that time, I was invited to have lunch at a seemingly simple eatery, namely "Alhamdulillah". The boneless grilled mackerel served there was truly extraordinary.
I relished it immensely. Then, around October 2020, I was invited to a bone soup stall, Haji Husni, by Yansen TP.
Later in the evening, I was taken to Kulteka. It's a culinary spot along the Kayan River. Various dishes were served here, but my favorite was the sweet and sour crab.
However, it was truly amazing. One morning, I was invited to have breakfast and coffee by a literacy enthusiast friend in Tanjung Selor, Hendy Dermawan, at Warkop Tomak, Tanjung Selor.
It was truly delightful! Absolutely flavorful.
Together with the national literacy activist Pepih Nugraha, we immersed ourselves. Drinking coffee and eating chicken and green bean-filled steamed buns was truly delightful.
The simple concept
The simple concept embraced by Warkop creates a warm and unpretentious ambiance. Its proximity to customers fosters a friendly and familiar atmosphere.
The coffee shop becomes more than just a place for coffee; it becomes a space for sharing stories, ideas, and experiences among locals.
Managing a coffee shop with Chinese characteristics in Tanjung Selor requires specific skills and care.
Cleanliness and the quality of offerings take top priority. Each dish not only tantalizes the taste buds but also pleases the eye, creating a satisfying experience for visitors.
Another intriguing aspect of Warkop in Tanjung Selor is its competitive and affordable pricing policy.
Pocket-friendly prices make Warkop a favorite spot for people from various walks of life.
Thus, the coffee shop becomes not only a place to enjoy delicious coffee but also a space for everyone, regardless of social or economic status, to gather and relish a warm and friendly atmosphere.
(Masri Sareb Putra)