From London to Cibaduyut: Comedy Kopi Surabaya

Indonesians are friendly, but rarely humorous. To be comedian or a comic, it takes more than quick wit, but also courage to be laughed at or worse case scenario, cold stares from those who don't find our jokes funny at all. In Indonesia, stand up comedy places can be counted with fingers (or toes, if you prefer LOL), so when I visited Comedy Kopi in Surabaya, it was quite a new experience for me.

Comedy Kopi Surabaya
The welcome sign says 'guests are expected to be hungry 1x24 minutes' - This is a comical version of the signs found on people's house numbers, which states that visiting guests are obliged to report to the head of the area 1x24 hours
Since November 2011, Comedy Kopi, a (then) novel concept by Hasmoro Group, first opened in Surabaya's Grand City Mall. It received quite good response from the public in Surabaya and today has another branch opened in one of Surabaya's hottest weekend hangout spot: Surabaya Town Square or Sutos.

When I visited Surabaya the other time to attend the grand opening of Jimmy's, we were taken to Comedy Kopi in Sutos for lunch. I wasn't quite sure of what to expect, so here it goes! If you notice, the name sign mentions several cities such as London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Cilacap and Cibaduyut. The first few names are quite believable, well who knows this is a franchised concept from overseas, right? But then comes Cilacap and Cibaduyut, smaller towns in Java island, I started to question, if it is true. Turns out it was just a joke, just like everything else at this place.

The place itself is nothing short of quirky, exterior decor is covered with rusty wavy galvanized sheets, wooden furnitures inside and it extends a little to the outside part of the restaurant. Every inch of the wall is decorated with mismatching knick knacks and jokes painted on the ceiling. On top of that, there are kitchen tools used as decor hanging from the ceiling, quirky paintings, etc. If you are an interior designer, I suggest you don't come here, because the place blatantly disregards any rules of interior design or aesthetic.

Comedy Kopi Surabaya
This particular wall capture my attention as it actually has a personal meaning to the owner, Lucky Hasmoro's metaphor of keeping the family together despite the differences.
Comedy Kopi Surabaya
Left: a gents urinal as a hand wash basin and convex mirror usually used on the streets, try to primp using this mirror!
Right: When the bill comes to your table, this gigantic stamp will be punched on your table when you've settled the recepit
Comedy Kopi Surabaya
Feeling 'eew' and 'eh' already?
Comedy Kopi Surabaya
Colourful caricatures covering one side of the wall
Comedy Kopi Surabaya
Even the ceiling is not spared!
Left: The sign says 'if you can sit here, you're entitled to eat for free!' I guess only spiderman can enjoy this privilege huh
We've just landed from our 1 hour Jakarta-Surabaya flight, with no in-flight refreshment. So lunch was an affair we were all looking forward to. Flipping the menu, I saw that the food offered are mostly Indonesian comfort food with several (indonesianized) Western and Chinese menus. I spotted some dishes that I wanted to try, but apparently the team had prepared for us a set of dishes as follow:

Pagoda (Paru Goreng Pedas) - spicy fried beef lungs. I've never eaten beef lungs and I don't intend to break my record, so I steered clear of this dish. But from the feedback of the others, it tasted quite good.
Paru Goreng Pedas - spicy fried beef lungs
Pagoda (Paru Goreng Pedas) - spicy fried beef lungs
Soto - traditional Indonesian soup with tender beef chunks
Soto - traditional Indonesian soup with tender beef chunks 
Aneka Gorengan - a platter of tempeh and tofu fritters
Aneka Gorengan - a platter of tempeh and tofu fritters
Left: Tii Gimbrit (fruit tea punch bowl) | Right: Jasmine rice topped with shallots
Left: Tii Gimbrit (fruit tea punch bowl) IDR 40,500
Right: Jasmine rice topped with shallots

The most interesting thing about Comedy Kopi is that if you come one certain nights, there will be an open mic live stand up comedy, which means guests can both be entertained and also participate on stage and bask in the minutes of fame. Occasionally, the staff will dress up in drag costumes, like Nicki Minaj, etc and even sit on the customer's lap and 'tease'...Female customers are safe when eating here, but if you're a guy then you better be prepared LOL. When you eat or chill here, seriously, do not take anything and everything seriously (except for the price ya, what's stated on the menu is as what comes out in the bill). Oh, and do ask for their wifi password and see how the staff responds to your question hahaha...

So, are you comic enough to take the mic at Comedy Kopi?

Comedy Kopi
Surabaya Town Square (SUTOS), Ground level
www.comedykopi.com
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