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Reminiscing Jakarta’s Favorites

Reminiscing Jakarta’s Favorites

Nisya Kunto
08 September 2021

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With limitless dining experience to choose from daily, from time to time we'll feel the need to revisit what is familiar and nostalgic. To reminisce through food, here is our pick for Jakarta’s long-loved foods.

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Nusa Indah

Nusa Indah is South Jakarta’s premiere destination for all things old school. The family run-store has been in operation for thirty-three years, offering not only packed ‘oleh-oleh khas kampung halaman’ goods, but also fresh-made Indonesian classic dishes. Their classic Lumpia Semarang is one not to miss, and guests can enjoy the delicacy in store, or packed to be fried and enjoyed at home. The dish consists of eggs, chopped chicken filling, and pungent sautéd bamboo shoots — making it a snack for those with an acquired taste. To complete the serving, each portion of Lumpia is served with a thick sauce and a side of cucumber and cabe rawit. 

For a heavier dish, guests can opt for Nusa Indah’s Selat Solo as a main course. The Javanese dish is heavily influenced by the European steak, resulting in a combination of bistik, salad, and soup. At Nusa Indah, their Selat Solo is served with four thickly-sliced chicken galantine, crisp-cut savory potato chips, with sides of fresh boiled carrots, green bean, tomatoes, and lettuce. To conclude your dining experience, top off your meal with the refreshing bowl of Es Nusa Indah. This is the perfect combination of shaved ice, sugary syrup, kolang-kaling, vanilla & chocolate pudding, and a topping of  fruit cocktails.

NUSA INDAH, open daily, 10AM-8PM

Jl. KH. Ahmad Dahlan no.33, Kramat Pela, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan.

Bakwan Pabean

Bakwan Pabean serves the taste of Indo-Chinese comfort food in the busy neighborhood of Panglima Polim. Their favorite dish is their bakwan kuah — an East Javanese style dish of meatballs that resembles bakso Malang. Their generous serving consists of the steamy clear soup with a hint of broth, and several pieces of deep-fried bakwan, tofu, meatballs, and siomay. The bakwan is not complete without the sprinkle of onion leaves, and a dash of sambal to taste. If you’re after a more filling dish, their Nasi Goreng can be the carbo of your choice. The umami dish of nasi goreng seafood comes in a plate of glisten, charred fried rice, with pieces of scrambled eggs, and cuts of shrimp, meatballs, squid, and chicken — complete with the distinct toasty smell of a well-used wok. 

Bakwan Pabean’s store has been in operation for more than thirty years, with loyal returning customers. During weekdays, nearby office workers would flock in during lunchtime, while families congregate over the weekends.

BAKWAN PABEAN, open daily, 9AM to 8PM

Jl. Panglima Polim No.75B, Melawai, Jakarta Selatan (next to Ace Hardware)

Bopet Mini

Bopet Mini is a longstanding Padang restaurant nestled in the hustle and bustle of Bendungan Hilir. The institution was once located in the heart of Pasar Benhil, and now occupies a two-storey space with a small dining area on the ground floor and a bigger dining hall with a prasmanan area on the second floor. Operating since 1982, diners still flood Bopet Mini daily, so it is advised to come earlier than lunchtime to experience their complete offering of Padang food.

Their prasmanan offers an array of Padang dishes from ayam bakar, gulai ayam, gulai kepala kakap, and various vegetable dishes to choose from. Vegetarians can opt for the Ketupat Sayur. For smaller bowls, Bopet Mini’s Soto Padang is a small-but-mighty dish with a spice-rich soup, served with small cuts of beef and rice noodle. For sweet threats, do not miss out in their lupis — a dessert of glutinous rice with a coat of coconut shaving and sweet sauce. Their Bubur Kampiun is highly sought after — the colourful bowl consists of decadent srikaya, pacar Cina, biji salak, and scoops of bubur sumsum, kolak pisang, bubur kacang hijau, and ketan. This dish is decadent, sweet and creamy with hints of palm sugar and coconut milk.

BOPET MINI, open from Sunday to Friday, 7AM – 9.30PM, Saturday 7AM – 7PM

Jl. Bendungan Hilir No.Kav. 1A, Tanah Abang, Jakarta Pusat.

Gudeg Kandjeng

Gudeg Kandjeng is a humble Javanese eatery that has been around since 1987 and is currently run by a third-generation family. Gudeg Kandjeng occupies an open-air space in the quieter part of Hang Lekir, with a relaxed interior dominated by wooden furniture, vintage furnishings, and documentation of the olden Javanese days. Offering a spicier version of the Javanese dishes, Gudeg Kandjeng’s champion dishes are the Gudeg Spesial, Bubur Krecek, and Mangut Lele. 

All of their dishes are served in a clay tableware, maintaining an authentic feel in each serving. Their Gudeg Special features a young unripe jackfruit as the main ingredient. Served with steamed rice and ayam opor, the mandatory side dishes include sambel goreng krecek, opor ayam telur pindang, and tempe/tahu bacem. The Bubur Krecek is a similar dish to the gudeg, only serving porridge instead of rice, and without the portion of ayam opor. Another favored dish is the Mangut Lele, a whole portion of smoked catfish cooked in coconut milk with spices. 

Gudeg Kandjeng, open daily, 8AM – 9PM

Jl. Hangtuah X #10, Bulungan, Jakarta Selatan.

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