Being a capital city and the busiest city of Indonesia, Jakarta is very complete when it comes to foods and beverages. Almost every culinary from every place can be found in Jakarta City. From the cheap street stands to fancy five-star restaurants, from any village in Indonesia or European countries, everything is available in this city. But Jakarta itself also has their own authentic culinary.

Betawi, the local tribe of Jakarta, has several unique foods and beverages that are still favored by many people. For non-Betawi people, it might be a little bit difficult to find the original Betawi culinary in the middle of various culinary in Jakarta. To that problem, we would like to guide you to find the original taste of Betawi culinary in Jakarta.

1. Gado-Gado

Gado-Gado is a salad-like dish originally from Betawi. The serving consists of potatoes, string beans, raw cucumber, fried tahu (tofu) or tempe (fermented soy cake), and boiled eggs. The vegetables are then dressed with brown peanut sauce. Krupuk (crisp chips) and fried sliced shallots are also added as topping.

A Plate of Gado-Gado (Source: Flickr. Credit: Chandra Marsono)
A Plate of Gado-Gado
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Chandra Marsono)

Gado-gado is much favored not only by locals, but even tourists from other countries as well. This dish is fresh and healthy. If you like spicy foods, you can add some extra chili paste on it. The best places to eat Gado-Gado in Jakarta are:

  • Gado-Gado Bon Bin at Jalan Cikini IV No. 5 Jakarta. This legendary gado-gado stand opened since 1960.
  • Gado-Gado Cemara at Jalan Tanah Abang V No. 36 Jakarta. This stand is also legendary and also opened since 1960.
  • Gado-Gado Direksi at alan Pintu Besar Selatan 2, Taman Sari, Jakarta Barat. Opened since 1967, this humble stand is very popular amongst elite politicians and businessmen.


2. Soto Betawi

Soto Betawi is a stew of beef and cow innards with gravy made from coconut milk, cow milk, and various spices. Soto Betawi has a savory and rich taste because of the various ingredients used in it. While serving a portion of Soto Betawi, chili paste, soy sauce, and

Warm Soto Betawi in A Bowl (Source: Flickr. Credit: winda manis)
Warm Soto Betawi in A Bowl
(Source: Flickr. Credit: winda manis)

If you wish to eat the legendary Soto Betawi in Jakarta, you can go to one of these places:

  • Soto Roxy H. Darwasa at Jalan Tidore 3, Roxy, Central Jakarta. The stand does not open on Sunday.
  • Soto Betawi Haji Husein at Jalan Padang Panjang 6C, Manggarai, Jakarta Selatan. The stand does not open on Friday.
  • Soto Betawi Haji Ma’ruf at Ismail Marzuki Park, Jalan Cikini Raya 73 Jakarta Pusat. This stand opens everyday.


3. Ketupat Sayur Betawi

Ketupat Sayur Betawi is a dish consists of ketupat (bland rice cake), long beans, and thick gravy made from coconut milk and spices. The gravy has a sweet savory and spicy taste. This dish is best served with extra condiments such as eggs, tahu, tempe, beef, or chicken.

Ketupat Sayur Betawi was originally a breakfast menu. But after years, the dish is normally enjoyed for any kinds of meal. During Ied Fitri or Ied Adha (Islamic Holy Day), Betawi people will cook this dish as their main menu.

The Spicy and Savory Ketupat Sayur Betawi (Source: Flickr. Credit: milcheus)
The Spicy and Savory Ketupat Sayur Betawi
(Source: Flickr. Credit: milcheus)

Ketupat Sayur Betawi is not to be confused with Ketupat Sayur Sumatra. Although the looks may a little bit similar, but the ingredients are different. Thus, the taste is different as well. Best places to eat Ketupat Sayur Betawi are:

  • Rumah Makan Ketupat Sayur Haji Mahmud at Jalan Kebayoran Lama Pal 7 No. 6, Palmerah, Jakarta. This is the most legendary Ketupat Sayur Betawi in Jakarta. This stand does not open on Monday.
  • Rumah Makan Bang Muri at Jalan Raya Rawa Belong, Palmerah, West Jakarta. This stand opens everyday.


4. Kerak Telor

Kerak Telor is a like an omelet or frittata. The food is made from glutinous rice, egg, dried shrimp, fried shredded coconut, and some spices. The eggs used for Kerak Telor is usually duck eggs or chicken eggs.

Duck egg is considered to be more delicious but it has higher calories so duck eggs are sometimes avoided by some people on diet. Kerak Telor is cooked on a traditional clay stove with charcoal fire. This food tastes savory and a little bit spicy. But if you do not like spicy food, you may tell the vendor to cut the chili off of your Kerak Telor.

A Vendor is Cooking Kerak Telor (Source: Flickr. Credit: Jamil_Arrahman)
A Vendor is Cooking Kerak Telor
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Jamil_Arrahman)

It is not difficult to find Kerak Telor in Jakarta. You can find a vendor on the street, at almost any crowded place, or on every tourism area. The original Kerak Telor vendor usually had a traditional stall with two containers connected with a long bamboo stick. While walking, the vendor will carry his stall by putting this bamboo stick on his shoulder. The price for one Kerak Telor is around $0.3. Kerak Telor with duck egg is usually slightly more expensive than the one with chicken egg.


5. Es Selendang Mayang

Es Selendang Mayang is an ice beverage traditional from Betawi. This fresh beverage consists of chewy sago cake called “selendang mayang” and sweet cold syrup made from coconut milk and brown sugar. Selendang Mayang (the sago cake) made from sago flour and colored with several food colorants to make it looks more refreshing and appealing.

It is not now easy to find Es Selendang Mayang in Jakarta because the beverage is considered very old. But during special Betawi events, this beverage will be very easy to find everywhere. If you wish to enjoy this sweet and tasty beverage, you can go to some tourism area such as Kota Tua Jakarta or Situ Babakan. On those places, you can find some humble vendors selling Es Selendang Mayang on a simple stall.

The Fresh Es Selendang Mayang (Source: Flickr. Credit: loflife)
The Fresh Es Selendang Mayang
(Source: Flickr. Credit: loflife)

6. Dodol Betawi

Dodol is a sweet chewy snack made of coconut milk, flour, sugar, and a pinch of salt. There are many kinds of Dodol from several places if origins in Indonesia. Betawi, as well, also has its own traditional dodol. The difference of Dodol Betawi with other kinds of Dodol from Indonesia is that Dodol Betawi used brown sugar and glutinous rice as the additional of main ingredients. The color is also darker.

Cooking Dodol Betawi must be using large traditional rock stove with charcoal fire and clay pan because the smoke it creates may enhance the flavor of the snacks. The ingredients must be put on a stove and keep being stirred. This process might take up to 12 hours to make sure the batter thickens perfectly.

Two Ladies are Cooking Dodol Betawi (Source: Flickr. Credit: Galih Satria)
Two Ladies are Cooking Dodol Betawi
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Galih Satria)

Dodol Betawi is very popular during Ied Fitri as people like to enjoy it as casual snack. It is also perfect for gift when you visit your family or relative at other cities. This snack can be bought on traditional snack shop in Jakarta.


Not enough menus to fill your craving stomach? That is okay. We still have more list of Betawi culinary that you must try in Jakarta. To check those out, please read our next article.

Hunting for Traditional Culinary of Betawi in Jakarta – Part 2 (END)