Indonesia is always interesting to explore, each city has its own unique charm, a while ago AnakJajan visited Balikpapan for a quick getaway and it was totally beyond our expectations, the city is very well organized, the people and food are nice as well. When it comes to place to stay, Blue Sky Hotel has been leading choice in Balikpapan since 1973.
Blue Sky Hotel Balikpapan is located in the west side of Balikpapan, just twenty five minutes drive from Sepinggan International Airport. Even though the hotel has been around for 4 decades, we’re totally impressed by how well they maintain the hotel in great condition. The hotel is fully equipped with Swimming Pool, Fitness Center & Aerobic, Tennis and Squash Court, Health Club & Spa, Treatment & Beauty Salon.
Surrounded by lush green plants, the pool area is certainly our most favorite spot, it has a nice relaxing holiday vibes it feels like we’re not in Balikpapan.
Lucky us we got the room with nice pool view. The room we stayed was nice and neat with comfy bed, large bathtub, working desk, and many other facilities, it was totally pleasant.
The breakfast is held in Garden Restaurant where great range of Indonesian and western dishes are provided on the buffet.
There are 2 unique sections that caught our eyes, first is Nasi Kuning corner, yesss you read it right, they serve local Balikpapan-style Nasi Kuning and it tasted awesome, then the second unique section is steamed fresh seafood, a kind of yummy delicacy that you cannot find easily at hotel breakfast buffet.
Inside the hotel, there are 4 thematic restaurants that are well known for locals; Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant, Island Seafood Terrace Restaurant, Kaizeki Japanese Restaurant, and Garden Coffee Shop. It makes the hotel a great one stop destination.
ISLAND SEAFOOD TERRACE RESTAURANT
One of the popular food in Balikpapan is the great quality of live and fresh seafood. It’s one of the main reason why people visit Balikpapan. Island Seafood Terrace Restaurant is a total complete package with reasonable and competitive price, cozy decor, nice pool view, and amazing live & fresh seafood dishes.
Ikan Bakar Rica – Rica
The taste of live seafood is unbeatable. This grilled fish with spicy rica-rica seasoning is seriously good stuff, nice meaty fish texture with amazing grilled aroma complemented perfectly by addictive spicy taste, sooo spicy yet sooooo delicious!!
Udang Goreng Gandum
The deep fried prawns with cereal butter look like a work of art, just look how pretty the prawn tails are. It was deep fried nicely, crunchy, savory yet buttery.
To calm the tastebud after spicy dish, Golden Squash is our favorite. It’s refreshing icy soda drink with sweet and fun tangy taste thanks to the use of Pontianak’s lime.
Ikan Gurame Salju Mas
This deep fried fish dish has a unique distinctive aroma with the use of deep fried curry leaves, it’s crunchy ang it smells soooo good.
Here it is the signature and must have dish in Island Seafood Terrace Restaurant, their unique crab dish with lots of shallot and garlic. Both the taste and the smell are super nice. The crab itself was full of meat and super satisfying, and the seasoning itself was also incredibly delicious, both cooked shallot and garlic played a major part in making it delicious without over powering the taste of crab. A MUST TRY INDEED!
Garden restaurant open 24 hours daily, so it’s suitable for any occasion, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even late night supper. The restaurant serves great mix of Indonesian and Western cuisine, if you are familiar with the famous Sop Buntut in Jakarta, well they have it here!
During our visit to Garden Restaurant, AnakJajan tried a few of their new dishes, here it is:
A delicious combination that simply cannot go wrong, fresh cherry tomatoes with lettuce, cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Perfect refreshing dish for starter.
Chicken Curry // Beef Red Curry
One of the strong point of their head chef is Indian cuisine, that explains the legit flavor of their curry dishes. Both Chicken and Beef Red Curry we tried were delightful with just the perfect use of spices and seasoning, it was bold but not overpowering. For chicken curry they serve it with naan bread, then beef red curry with steamed rice.
Soto or Indonesian yellow broth is also available here in Garden Restaurant. Their version of soto has a clean taste of yellow chicken broth with shredded chicken, boiled egg, chopped cabbage and tomato.
One word, HUGE!! The lobster dish was such a great indulgence. Fresh and sweet lobster cooked in creamy cheesy seasoning, it was savory and cheesy but just in the right level, enjoyable indeed!
There’s always a room for dessert. The strawberry tart was nicely executed, great buttery crust, nice creamy custard in the middle, fresh sweet strawberry with great crunchy texture from almond flakes.
KAIZEKI JAPANESE RESTAURANT
If you talk about Japanese food, the only place to get legit Japanese food with great fresh ingredients is Kaizeki restaurant that happens to be in Blue Sky Hotel Balikpapan as well, that explains why so many of you recommended us to try Kaizeki during our visit to Balikpapan.
The restaurant serves great range of Japanese dishes such as Teppanyaki, Yakiniku, Shabu-shabu, Sashimi, Sushi, etc with nice Japanese decor complete with Tatami rooms available. For dinner AnakJajan tried several fusion sushi rolls and also their Seafood Teppanyaki.
There are 5 fushion sushi rolls that AnakJajan tried, each was pleasant and AnakJajan gotta say that it totally lives up to its reputation for best Japanese/ sushi place in Balikpapan.
Dragon Roll Sushi // Tuna Sushi
The sushi rice was nicely seasoned, then the ingredients were fresh with great composition between sushi rice and generous toppings & fillings.
Salmon Prawn Tempura Sushi
Our most favorite one would be the Salmon Prawn Tempura Sushi, you’ll get nice crunchy texture from the deep fried prawn tempura, then popping sensation from tobikko or fish roe, then creamy taste from mayonnaise, and also fresh cut of salmon.
The sushi were nice but our most favorite part would be the teppanyaki, no wonder so many of Sahabat Jajan said that the teppanyaki is their favorite, AnakJajan had one set of Seafood Teppanyaki and it was DAYUM!!
One set of seafood teppanyaki is perfect for two people. The chef will cook and serve the dishes right in front of you that’s why Teppanyaki is always fun to eat and watch, the chef is very skillful in preparing and cooking the ingredients, not to mention it smells soooo good.
The seafood teppanyaki set consists of soup, salmon, prawn, squid, scallop, veggie, fried rice and sweet banana flambe for ending. The ingredients were fresh, each dish was cooked perfectly and let me tell you the seasoning was incredibly delicious, savory, garlicky and peppery altogether. We can totally understand why we received so many recommendations about Kaizeki restaurat.
GOLDEN PALACE CHINESE RESTAURANT
In Jakarta, you must be familiar with Itasuki restaurant right? Well it’s still in the same group, Golden Palace is the origin of the place where the Suki/Steamboat was created.
Golden Palace Suki & Oriental Restaurant is renowned to be the great spot for Szehuan, dimsum, and other oriental dishes in town.
For suki/steamboat, there are tons of interesting ingredients to choose from meat, meatballs, noodle, vegetables, etc. Our most favorite ingredient has gotta be their fresh homemade meatballs, there are so many types with unique catchy presentation such as bird-shaped meatballs, etc.
The suki soup is available in comforting original broth and then spicy tomyum broth, both are equally yummy, gotta remember to dip the meatballs with their signature homemade “suki” sauce for extra flavor kick.
Every Sunday, they have Sunday Dimsum session, where they serve great variety of both deep fried and steamed dimsum. The way they serve steamed dimsum is very old school, that is with unique dimsum cart.
Besides Suki & Dimsum, Golden Palace serves great range of Chinese dishes as well and we gotta say that all of the dishes are satisfyingly delicious!
Selada Empat Musim
For the appetizer, this could be a great option since we can get a lil bit of everything. The appetizer platter consists of 4 types of delicacies, Grilled Chicken, Grilled Duck, Lumpia Shanghai, and cold Jellyfish Salad.
The deep fried crab claw dish is full of crab meat, deep fried to perfection till crunchy on the outside, one is not enough cause it’s addictive.
Sapi Iris Ala Scezhuan
This deep fried beef seriously got us hooked, it’s stir-fried nicely with amazing wok-fry aroma and savory sweet taste, but the best part would be the crunchy texture, it goes really well with rice or steamed bun.
Silky smooth coconut pudding served in cute coconut-shaped container. It’s a perfect dish to end the meal with the jiggly silky smooth texture and light coconut and subtle sweet taste. Yum!
When it comes to Balikpapan’s signature food souvenir, it has gotta be Blue Sky Mantau, AnakJajan received soooo many recommendations from Sahabat Jajan about it, everyone says that we have to try Blue Sky Mantau. Blue Sky Mantau is available to purchase in Blue Sky Hotel for dine in or and Balikpapan Sepinggan Airport.
During our lunch in Golden Palace, we had Blue Sky Mantau as well served with their signature Sapi Cabai Kering or beef with dried chili. The Mantau or steamed bun is available in steamed or deep fried version, it has its own distinctive or unique taste with more dense texture and it goes really well with tender savory chili. After trying the mantau or steamed bun, AnakJajan can totally understand why people say that a visit to Balikpapan won’t be complete without getting Blue Sky Mantau. Loved it!!
Overall, double thumbs up for Blue Sky Hotel Balikpapan for offering complete experience, great place to stay, nice location, amazing legit food selection complete with great food souvenir all in one place!
[UPDATE: Now you can also find the signature Blue Sky Mantau at Surabaya Juanda International Airport, check following link for full review https://anakjajan.com/2017/09/15/blue-sky-mantau/
Blue Sky Hotel Balikpapan
Jl. Letjend Suprapto No. 1
Balikpapan, Indonesia 76131
Hotel Blue Sky @hotelbluesky
Golden Palace Restaurant @goldenpalace.hbs
Island Seafood Restaurant @islandbpp
Kaizeki restaurant @kaizekirestaurant
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