Tuesday, 7 April 2015

✈Jakarta +62 | Eating Local

1. Nasi Padang
Nasi Padang is truly an authentic way to experience Jakarta. Many that haven't been to this country would not be aware how unique a Nasi Padang experience can be. We were brought around by a local friend so it was literally a car ride-reach destination-sit down-eat kinda routine. On our first meal there, we sat down and were only given a drinks menu while the dishes started piling up our table, literally piling. Initially I thought the boys went overboard ordering until our friend said, "Eat only whatever you want to, leave the rest alone." Still unable to adapt to the culture shock, we were like, "Excuse me? Unhygienic leh!" But we were hungry and amazed at the same time, so we ate anyway haha.

In Nasi Padang's Hidang culture, you'd be served an array of 15-20 dishes once seated. Customers would only pay for what they've dug their spoons into at the end of the meal. It is literally Jakarta's version of an omakase meal. I almost dug my spoon into certain dishes with the impression that we ordered it so it was actually very funny pondering if you should eat that dish. I usually try to put hygiene and cleanliness concerns aside when travelling so it didn't intimidate me too much. Albeit that uncertainty, Garuda Padang restaurant is actually a very clean option to experience!

2. Iga Bakar (Pork spare ribs)
We had one of our lunches done at Warung Tekko. Known for their Iga (ribs), I was looking forward to a ribs feast. It definitely wasn't amazing of any sort but it was pretty decent with their sauces. The food critic boys didn't thought so and felt that their standard dropped. Who am I to judge? It was my first time there so hello yummy ribs, it was nice meeting you!

Asked for a seafood dinner, granted a seafood feast. Saturday night was spent at a stilt restaurant by the river. Despite the large capacity of seats available, It was relatively crowded so we had to wait in line for a table. The catch was to pick out your desired live seafood and the restaurant would whip up a good meal for you. Probably they were too busy that night so the food presentation was quite off but the taste was good! The cheese baked lobsters were the best that night!

4. Sop Buntut (Oxtail soup)
Dapur Solo is known for quality Indonesian cuisine. Oxtail soup is not their signature dish, but it was what I enjoyed most. I wasn't too used to the taste of their cuisine which came as a surprise because I loved everything I ate in Bali. The only difference I know is that Balinese takes pork whereas in Jakarta, almost everything is pork-less. Probably the reason why I wasn't too keen on having dry chicken breast meat in most of my meals.

5. Martabak Manis
You wouldn't be too impressed to know that I'd be raving this local delight in Jakarta. Very similar to the mee jiang kueh we have in Singapore, Jakarta has their rendition of Martabak Manis. Among all that I ate on this trip, THIS HAS TO BE MY FAVOURITE! I was equally skeptical about this "dessert" too because it was just a pancake to me? Also, I thought it was for breakfast initially but turned out to be supper food sold only at night. We were bunking under our friend's roof so his maid was tasked to get us some for supper. 

Just when we started digging into our supposedly "supper" in the late night, our friend revealed the secret behind this yummy delight. A block of butter and half a block of cheese were used on ONE PANCAKE itself. We could have died of the guilt on binging this very sinful supper. It is also no wonder why we were so addicted to the very normal pancake after realizing the amount of ingredients they pile. Nonetheless, sinfully yummy! 

It was honestly worth a try to find out what kind of food the Indonesians take pride in. Till next time Jakarta, till we meet again Martabak Manis.

love, bella