Imah Nini literally translates to “Grandmother’s House” in Sundanese, and it all makes sense once you take in the sight of antique items delicately placed all over the room from flower pots to a handsome radio. The tables and chairs they acquired entirely reflect the same ones placed in the terrace of houses back in the day.
So I ordered what I always do in a coffeeshop, a comforting cup of café latte and took the time to observe their working station. Clean, organized, you will find an array of coffee-making “gear” such as a classic Aeropress, Pourover, French press, and even the one closely appearing like science lab equipment, the Siphon coffee pot.
A particular snack to render you helpless is the Bitterballen; a set of mini-Dutch croquettes. Now, there have been quite the amount of Bitterballen that I have savored in my lifetime. But no bitterballen has left me going “hmm” on every bite. The bitterballen is filled with smoked beef, minced carrots along with the main contender, velvety mashed potatoes and it felt like a cupid’s culinary freak cousin shot me an arrow because of how deeply seasoned it is. Dipped in tartar sauce, it takes an effort to not grab some more.
A traditional snack became an unexpected accompaniment to a creamy cup of latte. Cireng, is a popular street-snack, made of tapioca starch with various fillings. It is then deep fried until it gets crunchy on the outside, while maintaining a soft, chewy interior. They are usually eaten with a peanut paste. Yet nowadays, people are experimenting with different type of fillings such as spicy chicken, meatballs, and many more. They are usually priced a t a cheap IDR. 1000 or even 500 a piece in some areas. However in Imah Nini, you will taste them in their true, honest form, without any fillings, paired with a tasty chilli sauce.
Service also deserves some bonus points because as you close the glass doors, you will be pleasantly greeted by the staff and they take your orders with ease. The barista who made my mother’s aeropress-ed Papua Wamena beans chatted a little bit with her and simple interactions like that does make a difference to your visits. The barista and servers were young men, probably not far from my age, dressed neatly yet casually. After watching them, rest assured that they will not be sitting in the corner throughout your visit as you eat and drink. Some of them spent time meticulously wiping the glass windows and sweeping the floor that will make you smile at the fact that some people still take the time in making an effort no matter how small or simple. That, is to be saluted.
Overall, Imah Nini has left a pleasing impression and the need to return is profound. Considering we were quite in a rush, it would be nothing short of heavenly in lingering for a little while, with a riveting book in hand at the next visit.
Jl. Bangbarung Raya, Bogor Utara, Bogor
Café Latte: 27 k
Granny’s Bitterballen: 18 k