Communal dining is a cornerstone of many Asian cultures, taking on an even greater significance than the simple act of eating. It’s more than just a meal – it’s a social activity that allows families, friends, and even strangers to come together in a shared experience. I found this tradition much more meaningful, especially after the pandemic.
Sitting at a round table, sharing food, stories, and laughter is one of the fun parts of communal dining. And enjoying well-refined Chinese food is one way to go, and this time, I decided to try the newest Angke Restaurant in Kedoya.
Angke Restaurant is one of the legendary Chinese specialty restaurants in Jakarta. Started from a humble shop with no name, Angel Restaurant was established by Ko Po Hon and his wife, Tjung Sin Fa, in 1965. This restaurant started at a house in Kalijodo, West Jakarta. With only three tables and one menu – the infamous Salt Chicken, Angke Restaurant has become a legendary culinary destination.
In 1976, the restaurant moved to Tubagus Angke. There are eight tables to accommodate more people; this is where they acquired the name “Angke.” Two years in Tubagus Angke, this restaurant moved again to Mangga Besar and back to the Ketapang area, specifically Jl. K.H. Zainul Arifin. Now, this Chinese restaurant has more than 100 menu variations. Raw materials and cooking methods still follow family recipes from generation to generation.
The restaurant was bustling with people, and the smell of savory food hung in the air. There were many round tables in every corner of the restaurant, filled with people sharing stories and laughing. I could feel the warmth of the atmosphere, and I felt right at home.
As I took a seat, I noticed the intricate decorations on the walls and the intricate carvings adorning the tables. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, and I quickly felt at home. With a mix of modern and traditional elements on their interior, Angke Restaurant also provides plenty of private rooms that could cater to up to 10 people, perfect for an intimate gathering with the family.
Angke Restaurant offers Chinese Hakka cuisine derived from Moiran City. One of the significant differences between other cuisine is they use a lot of spices. It focuses on food texture, which is distinctive to Hakka cuisine. While preserved meats are a staple of Hakka delicacies, stewed, braised, and roast meats—which add “texture” to the Hakka palate—occupy a prominent position in their culinary repertoire. Preserved vegetables are frequently used for steamed and braised dishes, such as braised pork with salted vegetables and steamed minced pork with preserved vegetables. Hakka food is straightforward on the outside but delicious on the inside. Cooking meat thoroughly without causing it to harden and bringing out its naturally occurring umami flavor are critical techniques in Hakka cuisine.
One of the Hakka cuisines that are well known is the Dongjiang salt-baked chicken. Initially, this dish was baked in a mountain of hot salt, but in modern restaurants, it is often brined or covered in a salty mixture before being steamed or baked in an oven. The name comes from The Dong River in the Hakka region that flows through eastern Guangdong Province and is referred to as the “Dongjiang.”
And this dish is the dish that has started the long journey and tradition of Angke Restaurant. This menu takes 2-4 hours to prepare and cook. The chicken is served as a whole chicken, and it is best when you combine this with a bowl of steaming rice.
The famous Hakka braised pork belly (Babi Hong), which comes next, is a classic and iconic Hakka dish. It is also a dish frequently served for Chinese New Year or other festive events. The braised pork belly offers umami and savory flavor with a tempting fragrance. This dish’s braised sauce has a flavor that is just the right combination of sweet and savory. The Hakka braised pork belly is a classic mouthwatering dish with a texture that melts in your mouth.
Another selection of chicken dishes, including the Steamed chicken drizzled with ginger oil. The chicken is succulent and drizzled with plenty of savory ginger oil. But my favorite has to go to the Three flavored eggs and Chinese spinach soup. The warm bowl featuring various egg styles, including century eggs, provides a unique experience. Combining different egg styles creates a delightful fusion of taste and texture, making for a truly memorable meal.
I looked around the room and felt a sense of nostalgia wash over me. Surrounded by the lively chatter of the place and accompanied by heartwarming food, Angke Restaurant serves as one of the most memorable dining destinations. Not only does it provide a welcoming atmosphere, but it also offers a unique culinary experience that will leave lasting memories for all. This restaurant was a reminder of the beauty of communal eating and the joy it brought to all of us.
Angke Restaurant - Kedoya
Jl. Panjang Arteri No.77, Duri Kepa, Kec. Kb. Jeruk, Kota Jakarta Barat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 11510