Jogjakarta is very cultural town. Every people uphold the traditions they inherited from their ancestors. Visiting Jogjakarta would not feel complete if you have not visited Keraton Ngayogyakarta yet. Keraton Yogyakarta is the royal palace of Jogjakarta. This wide area occupies many kingdom facilities, including houses for the royal family, a mosque, public parks, office, art gallery, and a royal cuisine restaurant called Bale Raos.
Bale Raos restaurant serve many kinds of traditional Yogyakarta cuisine. The restaurant was purposely made to preserve the ancient cuisines of Yogyakarta. Most of the menus are very unique that you could never find it on any other restaurant.
The restaurant is located on Kagungan Dalem Kemagangan area, nearby the Main Palace. It is the only restaurant inside Keraton Yogyakarta and the place is almost hidden. The first time I went there, I had to ask direction to some people before really found the restaurant.
Coming inside the building, you would see a very strong aura of Yogyakarta from its architecture; joglo roof, green wooden pillar, green-golden-red ornaments here and there, antique furniture, etc. The restaurant consists of two Joglos with capacity of 100 indoor seats and 100 outdoor seats. If you come here after dawn, the restaurant would feel romantic with the dim lights coming from antique hanging lamps. The place is beautifully perfect.
Besides the architecture, the Yogyakarta aura also comes from the background music you would always hear at there. The music is a lively played Gamelan.
Now let’s talk about the food! Here are some menus on Bale Raos restaurant;
- Bebek Suwar-Suwir. Sliced duck served with fried pineapple and ambarella’s grated sauce. It is authentic from Sultan Hamengkubuwono X. Sultan Hamengkubuwono is the King of Keraton Yogyakarta and X means that he was the tenth King.
- Semur Piyik. A pigeon stew in thick dark gravy. The taste is very unique. It is authentic from Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX.
- Urip-urip Gulung. A roasted catfish fillet rolls served with mangut sauce. Mangut is a Javanese sauce made from coconut milk, garlic, onion, turmeric, and chillis. Urip-urip gulung is authentic from Sultan Hamengkubuwono VII.
- Sanggar. Sliced beef clipped on to a bamboo strip, and then roasted with spices. This probably is my favorite food from Bale Resto. This is an authentic food from Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono VII.
- Sup Timlo. A classic Javanese soup combined with soy sauce and ginger, authentic from Sultan Hamengkubuwono X.
- Beer Jawa. Even though the name is beer, but this beverage contains no alcohol. The beverage can warm up your body by using many kinds of herbs, such as ginger, lime, clove, and several more secret ingredients. Beer Jawa is the best to drink on a cold night. It is authentic from Sultan Hamengkubuwono VIII.
- Kambing Panggang. Javanese classic lamb chop roasted with secret recipe.
- Bestik Lidah. Ever tried eating a cow’s tounge? Bestik lidah literally means steak of cow’s tounge. The food is served with thick sauce, potato, and some vegetables. Do not underestimate. It is one of best-selling food.
- Bestik Jawa. Beef in sweet gravy served with potato puree and sautéd vegetables. Bestik Jawa is one of the most exotic and popular food in Bale Raos. It is totally recommended. Some Sultan also favored this particular food the most.
Those were just some examples. You could still find many kinds of foods and drinks there. And as for the serving, there are several ways for to enjoy your meal. You can have a simple ala carte style.
You can get a full set serve by the waiters, a buffet, or even a gracious Ritztaffel regale. If you are on a romantic date, or serving an important guest, I recommend you take a full set service.
The package contains several kinds of royal family’s favorite foods such as Manuk Nom, Rondo Kepomo, Sindang Ayam, and more. Meanwhile, buffet would be very suitable for a large party and gathering events.
Bale Raos is a great place for a romantic dinner date. It is also a good choice for holding an event such as business party, family gathering, and private party. Or if you have a friend from out of town or out of country, it would be nice a nice place for you to introduce the real taste of Yogyakarta. I myself ever brought my friends to eat here and they liked it very much.
The restaurant opens every day at 09.00 and closes at 21.30, except in the morning where they close at 15.00. The price is not very cheap for a Yogyakarta standard. But I swear the taste worth every money you spent. The foods range up from around $1.5 to $4 while the drinks range up from $0.7 to $2. Cheap price, great place, nice taste; there is no reason for not having a fancy meal on Bale Raos.
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