Surabaya is Indonesia’s second largest city with the fastest economic growth in the country. When you happen to be here, you will be surprised to find that some malls may actually be larger than any of the malls that you’ve been to! There are now more than 10 big shopping malls in the city, and among them is Tunjungan Plaza (TP); the first, the largest, and the most iconic mall in Surabaya.
Still the largest mall in Surabaya city
Tunjungan Plaza, built in 1986, was the largest mall in Surabaya city after some other malls were opened sporadically in the city a few years later. Even now, with the existence of many other newer malls, Tunjungan Plaza is still the largest mall in terms of the building’s size. Supermall, in West Surabaya (it’s under the same management with TP), may cover a larger land area, but the building is only 4 storeys tall, which is different from Tunjungan Plaza.
Tunjungan Plaza consists of 5 interconnected buildings: TP 1 (also known as Plaza East), TP 2 (Lifestyle Center), TP 3 (Plaza Central), TP 4 (Plaza West), and TP 5 (The Gallery). Each of these structures has 7 to 8 storeys with many types of shops, restaurants, and even a business and entertainment center. There will soon be a TP 6, as it is scheduled to open in year 2018! The mall is also adjacent to the Sheraton Hotel and some apartment complexes (e.g.: Condominium Regency and Peak Condominium). You will not be able to complete exploring all of the TPs in a day!
For Surabayan food, go to Linkafe!
Feeling hungry? There are plenty of food choices, and if you go to one of the food court areas located on the highest floor in Plaza East, Plaza Central, and Plaza West, you may find it difficult to choose what to eat because there are so many food counters selling both local and international cuisines.
However, since you are in Surabaya, why not eat Indonesian food? Well, Indonesian food sounds too general. ‘Eat Surabayan food’ is the better term, and Linkafe is the Indonesian restaurant in the mall that sells many types of local foods that are specialties of Surabaya! If you have been in Central Java for quite a while, you must be familiar with foods like ‘nasi gudeg’ (rice, chicken, egg, spicy beef skin, and jackfruit stew) or ‘nasi liwet’ (sweet marinated rice with chicken and egg). Those are Javanese dishes that can hardly be found in East Java since East Java has its own delicacies.
To find where most of them are served, head to one of the Linkafe restaurants located on the 5th floor of TP 2. Among the Surabayan foods served in Linkafe, I would recommend trying their ‘tahu tek’ (deep-fried tofu and egg with peanut prawn sauce) and ‘rujak cingur’ (raw salad with beef lips and a spicy dark sauce), as these are my favorite Surabayan foods. Many people also like their ‘tempe penyet’, where deep-fried fermented tofu is eaten with spicy chili sauce.
Go to the IMAX Theater for a 3D cinema experience
Are you a cinema goer and familiar with IMAX (Image Maximum) theaters? As you may know, IMAX theaters have the technology that enable you to watch movies with 3D images and better ‘surround sound’ effects compared to those played in conventional theaters. To view these images you will need to wear a pair of 3D glasses during the show. Surprisingly, there is an IMAX theater in this mall (TP 5), and in fact it is the only place to go in Surabaya for a movie with IMAX quality. It costs 80,000 IDR (6 USD) during the weekends, so it’s really worth trying if you haven’t been to an IMAX theater in Indonesia!
Shop At SOGO
Looking for high quality products? Go to SOGO Department Store, located in Plaza West. The SOGO at Tunjungan Plaza is the only one in Surabaya, and it is one of their international chains which sells product items like fashion apparel, books, stationeries, cosmetics, toys, and housewares. It’s different from many other supermarkets, all of the items sold here are top-quality products, which are worth the money spent. This department store occupies a 6-floor area (from the LG level to the 4th floor, connected with escalators), so you may spend some time here before you find the items you want to buy. Also, this store often gives big discounts on some selected items, especially during the holiday seasons when discounts can be as high as 70%. .
Spacious and busy mall with plenty to do
Tunjungan Plaza is located in the Central Surabaya district, on the iconic Tunjungan Street, which has long been a very popular place for the Surabayans to hang out. There is even a very famous folk song about this street titled ‘Rek Ayo Rek, Mlaku Mlaku Nyang Tunjungan’, which means ‘Come on guys! Let’s go to Tunjungan and hang out’! Traffic jams are common here, especially on weekends and public holidays. So if you want to go to Tunjungan Plaza on weekends, it’s better if you can stay in a hotel within a convenient walking distance. It’s one of the most visited malls in the city, where there’s never a lack of visitors during the weekend. However, no matter how busy the mall is, due to the large shopping area, you can still conveniently walk, dine, shop, play, and do other activities within the buildings. Be it on weekdays or weekends, it’s always good to enjoy Tunjungan Plaza!