The Colonial Tastes of Toko “OEN”

Toko “OEN” is one among of the oldest family-owned restaurants that is still being run and managed by the direct descendants of the founders. It was originally begun in around 1910 in Yogyakarta by mrs. Liem Gien Nio (Grandma Oen / (Dutch: “Oma Oen”), wife of mr. Oen Tjoen Hok (Grandpa Oen / Dutch: “Opa Oen”). The name has literal meaning of “Oen’s Cookies Store”.

In the history of the original Toko “OEN”, there were in total 4 (four) branches: Yogyakarta (1910-1937), Jakarta (1934-1973), Malang (1936-1990), and Semarang (1936-now)

In the year 1922 this cookies store has undergone a transformation from just merely selling cookies to an ice cream parlour and later on the restaurant. The kitchen was based on the Dutch, Indonesian, and Chinese tastes and cuisine.

Later on in 1934 branches were opened in Malang and Batavia (Now: Jakarta). In 1935, Grandpa Oen bought a building in Semarang from a Englishman who has had a grillroom in the venue. This building situated at 52nd Bodjong street (now: Jalan Pemuda). As from 1936 this building is transformed as Toko “OEN” Semarang. The original venue in Yogyakarta was then merged into one.

In 1973 the building of the Jakarta branch was bought by ABN Bank and it was broken down to be rebuilt as office facilities.

In 1990 was the downturn of the branch in Malang. The building was bought to be renovated as a car showroom. Due to the historical value of the building in Malang, the local government prohibited the building to be renovated in any way. The building needed to be intact as it always has been, including all the decorations at the front that actually was the corporate identity of Toko “OEN”. The new owner of the building then continues to make use of the identity and the trademarked Toko “OEN” as restaurant and ice cream parlour. This is actually an illegal activity / usage of the trademark Toko “OEN” since the new owner of the building did not have any agreements whatsoever with the patent holder of the trademark Toko “OEN”, who are residing, running and managing the Toko “OEN” in Semarang. The current management of Toko “OEN” Malang do not reflect any of the aspects nor the recipes that were “invented” by the late mrs. Liem Gien Nio & mr. Oen Tjoen Hok.

The dishes at Toko “OEN” Semarang are still prepared and done as if it is being prepared by Grandma Oen herself back then. The restaurant is also having the status from the menu which is a classic Dutch Colonial-style: the uitsmijter, huzarensalade, kaasstengels, and so on. For the nostalgic tutti-frutti, people are coming from near and far to Semarang. If we would have a Michelin Guide in Indonesia, they would quote this as “It is worth the detour!”.

We are eager to welcome you in our restaurant!

20 comments

  1. Jacqueline Broekhuizen on 9 September 2012 Reply

    My parents Jack Broekhuizen and Ellen Rietema met at Toko Oen in 1947!

    • wow that’s was awesome ! :)

    • Frits J. Bolt on 7 February 2015 Reply

      Leuk te lezen! Mijn grootvaders schoonouders woonden in de witte villa aan de overkant. Samen met mijn ouders hebben de jouwe daar gedineerd .
      We zijn onderweg om de as van mijn ouders op het terrein van de H. B. S semarang uit te strooien
      Groet
      Frits

  2. leo barata on 26 October 2012 Reply

    Apakah tidak ada niat untuk membeli kembali toko oen di Malang, soalnya tempatnya historis sekali, saya tinggal di Malang tahun 80an, kangen sekali sama toko oen lho, kalau pemiliknya udah beda, ya malas mau kesana lagi

  3. Jean-Pierre Moser on 28 April 2013 Reply

    Selamat Hari.
    Bonjour,
    Excusez-moi de ne pas pouvoir communiquer en anglais, mais il m’est trop peu accessible.
    Juste quelque mot sur votre local «Le Toko Oen» qui m’est resté très à cœurs durant le milieu des années 70 où j’ai passé l’un des plus beaux moments de ma vie.
    J’ai toujours très bien mangé et ai adoré vos succulent biscuit petit beurre.
    Amitié et succès aux successeurs
    Jean-Pierre
    Switzerland

    • admin on 11 May 2013 Reply

      cher monsieur,
      merci pour votre affection de Toko “OEN». A bientôt à nouveau à Semarang?

  4. Bahari on 7 May 2013 Reply

    sorry, i have a question, what’s toko oen is a restaurant or a shop?

    • admin on 11 May 2013 Reply

      Toko “OEN” is a restaurant, ice cream palace, and patisserie. We also attend to on-site catering needs.

  5. Ribkha Ayu Adiningtyas on 13 June 2013 Reply

    Perkenalkan nama saya Ribkha Ayu Adiningtyas mahasiswa Sejarah dari Universitas Negeri Malang. Saya mohon ijin untuk melakukan penelitian proposal skripsi saya yang berkaitan dengan Toko Oen yang ada di Semarang. Mohon informasinya untuk lebih lanjutnya saya bisa menghubungi kepada siapa? Apakah boleh saya meminta kontak yang bisa saya hubungi supaya saya bisa berkonsultasi langsung dengan bapak/ibu/suadara/i yang berwenang.

  6. berarti cabang yang berada di Malang dan masih berdiri sampai saat ini tidak memperoleh izin dari pemegang hak nama “OEN” dong? Kalau begitu kenapa nama “OEN” tetap di pakai di toko tersebut?

  7. Edward E. Frietman on 13 March 2014 Reply

    When we lived in Semarang at Jalan Saidan 15 a long time ago, I accompanied my grandmother once in a month to Toko Oen where I was treated to special dishes and cookies.

  8. Mary van Werd on 12 November 2014 Reply

    In de jaren vijftig van de vorige eeuw ging ik samen met mijn ouders en broer en vrienden van hen af en toe een taartje (zouden we nu een gebakje noemen) of ijs eten bij Toko Oen in Jakarta, als ik me goed herinner aan Noordwijk.

  9. Muhammad Reza A on 28 January 2015 Reply

    I just went there yesterday and I felt really excited about the building and the foods. I hope everything will stay the same further more. And I just figured out that toko ‘OEN’ in Malang wasn’t the same management with this one, but both of them have an equal cultural history. One of several great places to visit in Semarang. Thank you!

  10. M. Carter Karauwan on 9 February 2015 Reply

    My grandpa, his name is Lambertus, with my grandma. Were worked for toko Oen, the one in jakarta also in Jogjakarta.
    my dad is wondering to have so badly of somee photos or pictures of his parents, when his parents were working in both restaurant of toko Oen. Where were Jakarta also Jogjakarta.
    when my dad was about 6 years old, back in the year of 1957 approxiamitely. His parents always took him to their work place, which was toko Oen.
    I d like to give a suprise to my dad, with those photos or pictures.
    please, Sir or Madam. Send it to my email or this media.
    Respects.,
    Carter
    +6281908715617
    Jakarta
    Indonesia

    • admin on 22 May 2015 Reply

      dear sir,
      It has been months of searching now, but unfortunately it has come to no luck as of yet. Should such photo ever come up, we will definitely send you a copy.

  11. Tgl 27 desember 2014 lalu sy mampir ke toko oen mlang karna liburan suasananya ramai..dpt tempat kosong masih kotor minta waiter tuk bersihin table sampai 3 waiter diminta tolong..pd lempeng!!! Minta lap deh sy bersihin sendiri ga dikasih!!! order ke waiter aja ada 1jam br dilayani sebari bw lap ga ramah lg..sekitar 40 menit datang waiter kasih tau kl orderan habis disaranin ma dia..ok-lah biar cpt anak2 dah rewel..pas datang ice creamnya udah cair!!!! Kecewa berat dah mahal service parah rasa biasa cair pula..kapok!!!

    • admin on 22 May 2015 Reply

      yth.,
      Kami sayangkan pengalaman Anda, tetapi seperti yang dapat Anda baca di tautan Sejarah Toko Oen, Toko Oen Malang bukan lagi dibawah manajemen kami. Untuk itu kami tidak dapat menawarkan solusi untuk pengalaman Anda. Semoga Anda dapat mengunjungi kami di Semarang.

  12. endah sayekti on 2 March 2015 Reply

    Will definitely visit Toko Oen in my next trip to Semarang. I was on Jalan Pemuda last week with my BF but didn’t realise that this historical culinary restaurant is also on the same road. I’ll be there soon!

  13. Phoenix on 19 May 2015 Reply

    I have bad experience in Toko Oen, Malang. I ordered lime squash and the waiter placed the drink in front of me with 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream next to the glass. So I thought the drink come together, as I’ve been served with soda and ice cream thousands times before in other restaurant. And so I poured the ice cream into my soda. 2 minutes later the waiter came to me and said the vanilla is not for me and supposed to be erved to other guest. And since I’ve used ice cream, I am supposed to pay for it. WHAT THE @###*&&÷???!!!. When I refuse to pay for something that is not my mistake, the manager came to me and start to ask me in a very rude to pay for the ice cream. She was very rude!!!! As if accusing me for stealing ice cream. She was making a scene and I got mad because I was trying to feed my 3 years old daughter and she made everything so uncomfortable.
    I’LL NEVER COME TO TOKO OEN IN MALANG EVER AGAIN AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU! Now I know that they have different owner now, thus they’re not original. No wonder the manager acted so rude because those who’s been long in the business and respect their heritage won’t act that way. That’s a shame and lost for the original Toko Oen, I really wish you can get your patent back. Because these new owner really doesn’t respect the Oen brand and family heritage.

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