Indonesian Cuisine – Spending your holiday in Indonesia without enjoying the delicacy of Indonesian cuisine is like eating pasta without any seasonings or sauces—it’s not complete. Indonesia is truly a heaven for food travelers because this country have many delicious traditional foods. If you want to travel to Indonesia, you should include, the tourism city, Jakarta into your plan because the city offers you many incredible Indonesian traditional foods. Indonesian traditional foods are foods made from locals traditional recipes. Because each region in Indonesia has different traditional foods, travelers will be indulged by the rich taste of Indonesian cuisine.
No need to worry if you have limited time and budget because you don’t need to travel to certain area to find the food you want to taste. You can find the best of Indonesian traditional foods in the country’s capital city, Jakarta. Since Jakarta is the melting pot of Indonesian culture, it’s easy to find Indonesian traditional foods in Jakarta.
Here are several guides to help you find the best Indonesian cuisine in Jakarta.
Surfing on the Internet
The first thing you have to do is surfing on the internet. Simply type keywords “Indonesian cuisine” and then Google it up! You will find many kind of Indonesian traditional foods in Jakarta and greater area. After that, you can search for specific Indonesian cuisine you want. Besides using Google, you can use your media social to search for food or restaurant recommendations. Many Indonesian are Instagram users and they love to foods photography. By utilizing hashtag feature, you can find many food and restaurant recommendations or you can directly access food blogs such as BestIndonesiaFoods.com.
Traveling through Jakarta Street
The easiest way to find traditional Indonesian cuisine is by traveling the streets of Jakarta. Food markets are usually found in bustling area in Jakarta, nearby commuter line station, and tourism destination. Here are several recommendations for you.
Gorengan is deep fried food you can found in many corner in Jakarta streets. You can find gorengan almost everywhere in Jakarta. There are many kinds of Gorengan. There are fried sweet potato, fried cassavas, fried tempe (soya cake), fried tofu, and fried bakwan (mixed vegetables). Gorengan is very popular because it is very cheap. It usually costs about 1.000-2000 rupiah per piece. Green chili is provided for the Gorengan, but you can choose whether you want to eat with the chili or not.
Just like Gorengan, you can find many Bubur Ayam in many corner of Jakarta streets. Bubur Ayam is rice porridge served with chicken meat and kerupuk (chips). Bubur Ayam tastes savory because of the seasonings. Bubur Ayam is cheap. It usually only costs 10.000 rupiah.
Otak – Otak Bakar
Otak literally means brain in Indonesian. But, this food is not made from animal’s brain at all. Otak-otak is a food made from flour and Tenggiri fish. It is wrapped in banana leaves and roasted over the fire. You can find cheap Otak-otak each for only about 2000 rupiah in Jakarta street. You can also visit Binatu AN in Jalan A.M Sangaji, Central Jakarta to taste premium Otak-otak. It is very affordable because it only costs 7500 rupiah.
Empek – Empek
Empek – empek or Pempek is traditional food from Palembang, South Sumatera. It is made from flour, sago, egg and fish. It is fried and served with traditional hot dark sauce. Now, Empek – empek has many variants, such as, Pempek mozzarella, Nutella, and Seaweed. You can find them in Pempek Belida Mason Garuda Street Number 34, Kemayoran, Jakarta.
Seblak is traditional food from Bandung, West java. It is made from Indonesian crackers known as kerupuk combined with vegetables, and egg. Seblak is now impoved by the addition of chicken meat, noodle, macaroni, sausages, meatballs, or seafood. The price of Seblak is usually no more than 15.000 rupiah. You can easily find it on Pejaten Raya Street, in Pasar Mingu, Jakarta.
Kue Pancong or Pancong Cake is food made from flour and the tastes are mainly sweet. Nowadays, Kue Pancong has many variants of tastes. You can find chocolate, blue berry, and strawberry Kue Pancong. You can also found some of shops serving Kue Pancong in bubble gum and green tea variants. In modern Kue Pancong shop, you usually can pick your own toppings, such as, marshmallow, cheese, Oreo, Kit-Kat, banana, and many more. It usually costs only 15.000 rupiah. You should visit Pancong Bro on Kebon Jeruk Raya Street Number 13, Kemanggisan Jakarta.
Kerak Telor is traditional food from Betawi, an ethnic group originated from Jakarta. It is like an omelette made from glutinous rice and egg. It is served with serundeng (fried shredded coconut), fried shallots and dried shrimp. The price starts from 15.000 rupiah. You can find it in many tourism attraction in Jakarta, such as, in Kota Tua Jakarta (Old City of Jakarta) and in Monas (National Monument).
Indonesian Traditional Restaurants
Besides traveling through Jakarta streets, you may also visit specific restaurants which provides certain traditional food from certain region in Indonesia. Visiting certain traditional restaurant allows you to taste many original tastes of traditional foods. It makes you feel like eating in the origin place of the foods.
Rumah Makan Padang
Rumah Makan Padang (Padang Restaurant is a place that provides foods originated from Padang, West Sumatera. Rumah Makan Padang serves the delicious Nasi Padang and the famous Rendang (spicy beef with traditional seasonings). Rendang is the most popular dish in this restaurant, but you can also found many Padangnese food in Rumah Makan Padang. Rumah Makan Padang Sederhana is a recommended place to enjoy Nasi Padang and Rendang. The restaurant has many branches in Jakarta. One of them is located on Mampang Prapatan Street Number 19, South Jakarta.
Soto Gebrak is Indonesian cuisine originated from Madura, West java. Soto Gebrak is a type of chicken or beef soup mixed with noodle and vegetables. The taste of Soto Gebrak savory because it uses many spices as the seasonings. A bowl of Soto Gebrak only costs 23.000 rupiah. Soto Gebrak is located KH Abdullah Syafei Street, Tebet, Jakarta.
Gubug Makan Mang Engking
Gubug Makan Mang Engking is a Sundanese restaurant located in Telaga Arwana Cibubur, Jambore Raya Street Number 8, Pondok Rangon, Cibubur, Jakarta. This restaurant provides Sundanese traditional food. You can find many popular Sundanese foods, such as Gado-gado (mixed boiled vegetables with nut sauce), Karedok (mix raw vegetables with nut sauce), Nasi Timbel (Rice with Chicken, tempe or soya cake, tofu, salty fish, and vegetables), and Sayur Asem (sour soup made from mixed vegetables).
Going to a mall (food court)
Going to a mall can be another brilliant alternatives. Unlike street food markets, a shopping mall provides a food court with more comfortable location. Many of traditional foods mentioned above are provided in food court. One of the best food court is located in Pasar Tanah Abang, Block A, Floor 8, Food Court, KH Mas Mansyur Street, Tanah Abang, Jakarta.