When discussing the abundance and rich heritage of Indonesian cuisine, the topic is vast and could easily consume our entire day. Each province in Indonesia boasts its own unique culture, spices, and culinary traditions, resulting in many diverse flavors and experiences across the country.
Indonesian dishes are renowned for their rich and distinctive flavors, often characterized as savory, spicy, and hot. Additionally, they encompass a harmonious blend of fundamental tastes, including sweetness, saltiness, sourness, and even bitterness.
The myriad of cultures within Indonesia contributes to the remarkable array of flavors, textures, and stories that make up its culinary tapestry. Personally, I find myself constantly fascinated by the sheer abundance of flavors our country has to offer. It feels akin to embarking on a journey to unexplored destinations, with each bite presenting a captivating experience. Therefore, when I discovered a newly opened Indonesian restaurant near my workplace, my excitement was palpable.
Situated in One Satrio Kuningan, Noesaka is an authentic Indonesian restaurant dedicated to showcasing Nusantara dishes. Their primary objective is to embrace the diversity and capture the signature flavors of Nusantara’s vibrant cuisine.
The name Noesaka derives inspiration from two Sanskrit words: “Nusa,” meaning island, and “Saka,” signifying a structural foundation. This choice reflects their intention to highlight Indonesia’s unity in diversity by offering special dishes from every corner of the archipelago, spanning from Sabang to Merauke.
With an extensive menu offering over 100 different dishes, I found myself facing a delightful yet challenging decision. Noesaka presents a wide range of cuisines from various regions, along with their own unique creations. One of their captivating appetizers is the Jagung Putren Bakar Balado, a signature dish with a twist. Originating from Manado, this grilled baby corn is generously coated with balado powder, providing a delightful kick in every bite. The corn remains tender while offering a satisfying crunch, making it a merry welcome for our appetizer.
Moving on to the Tumis Bunga Pepaya, a distinctive stir-fried papaya flower dish hailing from Manado, Noesaka has truly mastered its preparation, delivering a well-executed creation.
The main dishes that follow are equally impressive. The Assorted Chicken Satay is a grand ensemble that showcases the diverse flavors found across different regions. Featuring Sate Ayam Khas Madura, Sate Ayam Klopo, Sate Ayam Kuning, Sate Ayam Bumbu Rujak, and Sate Kulit Ayam, this generous portion of succulent chicken satay is expertly seasoned, allowing the flavors to permeate each bite, resulting in a savory bliss.
“Makan tengah” or a shared meal is a cherished part of our culture, often enjoyed with family and friends. If you wish to impress your loved ones, the Ayam Ingkung Masak Bambu from Surakarta is a perfect choice. This special dish features half-portion chicken cooked inside bamboo, served with water spinach or cassava leaves. When the server opens the bamboo at your table, the aroma of the chicken enveloped in banana leaves instantly ignites the appetite. Made with free-range chicken, the meat is tender, succulent, and easily falls off the bone. The savory herbs blend harmoniously with the flavorful broth, making this dish truly impressive.
For those who prefer a solo dining experience, the Nasi Goreng Babat dan Paru Khas Semarang is an excellent option. This fragrant beef tripe fried rice is accompanied by plentiful crispy beef offal bites. Its savory profile, complemented by a touch of sweetness commonly found in Semarang’s signature dishes, guarantees a satisfying and flavorful meal.
If you have a penchant for spicy dishes, there are a few options at Noesaka that are not to be missed. The Lidah Bakar Cabe Hijau, a signature dish from Padang, is presented beautifully with a generous slice of beef tongue. Served alongside the Padangese green chili and satay sauce, it offers a spicy kick with a hint of savory notes.
For those who aren’t fans of beef tongue, the Ikan Bawal Bintang Bakar, or grilled pomfret fish, is an excellent alternative. The fish is tender and perfectly charred, accompanied by a selection of sambal sauces, including the classic Jimbaran sauce, Makassar special sambal, and the spicy sambal rica-rica, originating from Manado.
However, our culinary journey doesn’t end here. The desserts at Noesaka are truly worth discussing. They take a bold approach with modern presentations. One standout option is the Tape dan Jelly Kopi dengan saus Vanilla Lengkuas, a crepe cake filled with fermented cassava custard and coffee jelly, served with a delightful vanilla-infused galangal sauce. This dessert offers a harmonious blend of flavors, with the soft crepe cake bursting with the richness of the cassava custard, while the coffee jelly and vanilla-infused galangal sauce provide sweet and citrusy notes.
If you’re in the mood for a more traditional dessert, the Jongkong Jawa served with coffee ice cream is an excellent choice. This traditional Javanese dessert is a treat for those with a sweet tooth. The plump jongkong, paired with creamy coffee ice cream, is guaranteed to uplift your mood. The dish is elevated with boba pearls and assorted fruits, adding a touch of modernity.
The extensive menu offerings at Noesaka truly make the taste buds dance. It is evident that they embrace a wide array of herbs and spices in their dishes. The Artisan Kuliner Group, known for their unique and creative culinary creations, has once again excelled in delivering an authentic Nusantara dining experience through Noesaka.
One Satrio, CBD, Jl. Mega Kuningan Barat, Kuningan, East Kuningan, Setiabudi, South Jakarta City, Jakarta 12950