Njonja Redaktur’s High Tea at Dabur Babah

Dapur Babah’s Njonja Redaktur’s High Tea pays tribute to the Peranakan women journalists in the early 20th century.

Njonja Redaktur’s was the Editor in Chief of the first newspaper dedicated to the Peranakan women in the early 20th century, “Istri”. She launched Istri on 31 August 1935, on the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina, from an old building at the Prinsenlaan no 69 in Batavia (now Jalan Mangga Besar Raya). As the first woman ever leading a newspaper in an industry that was 100% dominated by men those days, she was often sneered at only due to the fact that she was a woman. This was commonly experienced by several other Peranakan women worked in journalism during those times.

Istri was published in Melayu-Tionghoa and not in Dutch, as she wanted many women who are not as highly educated to be able to read them. The publication was aimed to educate the Peranakan women in the Dutch East Indies, whom until then were seen as mostly indifferent to help others in need.

Other than that, Njonja Redaktur’s aimed to much inspire a sense of women emancipation in that first half of the 20th century. For the mid-upper class, an emancipation to receive the same education, career, financial independence, and equal interaction with the opposite gender, whereas for the rest, freedom from discrimination and poverty.

Many discussions happened during these frequent afternoon teas of Njonja Redaktur’s and the other Peranakan women in the circle. With the other journalists of that time, they discussed their views on relevant topics from political, philosophical to arts & culture, over delicious homemade Peranakan delicacies made in rotation by the members of the circle and fragrant Javanese teas. These tea sessions were often attended by few renowned male editors of that time as well such as Kwee Hing Tjiat (known as the Malay-Tionghoa Journalistic Dragon) and the famous Dr Loe Ping Kian who then became the director of Sin Ming Hui Hospital.

Njonja Redaktur’s worked in several publishing companies before the launch of Istri, including  Moestika Romans, Moestika Dharma, Sin Tit Po, Mata Hari and Keng Po. What she and the other women did as women pioneers in the journalism world in the Dutch East Indies during this time was very progressive, and while they played an important role in the history of the country, it is now an almost forgotten history that we wish to celebrate and keep alive.

Experience an afternoon of indulgence with our High Tea package, available for just 178.000++ per person. Savor the flavors of both sweet and savory traditional snacks, carefully crafted by our talented patisserie. Our traditional cakes include a variety of delicious treats such as kue tok, kue lumpur, onde-onde, lapis jongkong, kue putri mandi, lumpia Semarang, and many more. These time-honored delicacies are beloved for their unique flavors and textures, passed down through generations, and hold a special place in our culinary heritage.

Delight in the charming ambience of Dapur Babah Elite as you enjoy a pot of freshly brewed tea, served alongside the delectable treats. Book now and treat yourself to a delightful afternoon with our High Tea package.