We have already talked about the authentic Betawi culinary in Jakarta city, the capital of Indonesia. But the list was not finished yet as there are still lots of delicious foods and beverages waiting to be tasted. Therefore, here we are continuing our talk about Betawi culinary in Jakarta that you can hunt down in the capital city.
1. Nasi Uduk
Nasi Uduk is a dish of rice steamed with coconut milk and other spices such as pandan leaves, clove, lemongrass, and cassia bark. The coconut milk makes the rice to taste more savory and rich than the normal steamed rice. Nasi Uduk is usually topped with fried shallots and served with side dishes such as stir fried tempe, eggs, fried anchovies, fried chicken, fried beef, sambal (chili paste), and krupuk (crisp chips).
Nasi Uduk has already been popular amongst foreigners since the Dutch colonialism era in Indonesia when many Dutch officials like to ask locals to it for them. Nasi Uduk is usually consumed as breakfast menu. But now, it is not hard to find a restaurant or street stands that sell Nasi Uduk at the afternoon or night. Here are some recommendations of where to eat Nasi Uduk:
- Nasi Uduk “Sederhana” Babe H. Saman at Jalan Kebon Kacang 9, Pasar Gandaria (Pasar Pagi Kebon Kacang), Central Jakarta. Many elite politicians are known to be regular customers for this legendary stand that opened since 1963. Even so, the price is still affordable. It is only $0.2 per portion. Side dishes are available on ranging prices below $1.
- Nasi Uduk Bang Udin at Jalan Palmerah Barat IIA, nearby the crossroad of Rawa Belong. The stand opens at 18.00 and will close when they run out of Nasi Uduk to sell. The price is as affordable as Nasi Uduk “Sederhana” Babe H. Saman.
- Nasi Uduk Barokah at Jalan Supomo, Tebet, South Jakarta.
Ketoprak is a vegetarian dish which is slightly similar to Gado-Gado. Although it is a vegetarian dish, there is no much variant of vegetables used in this dish. A serving of ketoprak mainly consists of ketupat (bland rice cake), bihun (thin rice vermicelli), fried tahu (tofu), sliced raw cabbage, sliced raw cucumber, and beansprout. Peanut sauce is then poured on the serving as a dressing. Last, fried shallots and kerupuk (crisp chips) are added at the topping.
Peanut sauce used in Ketoprak is slightly different with the one used in Gado-Gado. On Ketoprak, the ingredients are less various and much simpler. If you want your ketoprak to be spicy, you need to inform the cook in advanced so he can add more chilies while cooking your peanut sauce. Ketoprak was originally a street food. But due to its popularity, now many restaurants put this dish on their menu as well. If you are interested in tasting a serving of Ketoprak, check out these legendary humble stands:
- Ketoprak Pak Muktar at Jalan Tanjng Duren Selatan (in front of supermarket Tomang Tol). This stand has been on this business since 1975.
- Warung Ciragil at Jalan Raya Panjang Green Garden (nearby Pizza Hut dan Happy Puppy Karaoke), West Jakarta. This stand has been on this business since 1960.
- Ketoprak Pak Edi at Jalan Ampera Raya, South Jakarta.
3. Soto Tangkar
Soto Tangkar is a beef rib stew with thick gravy made of coconut milk mixed with spices and herbs such as turmeric, pepper, lemongrass, and bay leaves. Soto Tangkar has a unique history of origin. During the Dutch colonialism era, village people were so poor they could not afford beef. The only thing they could afford is the rib which had a little bit of beef remains.
To make it more appealing, they use coconut gravy and spices to enrich the taste. The word “tangkar” itself means “rib” in native Betawi language. Beef innards are sometimes added for extra meat.
A serving of Soto Tangkar is usually served with condiments such as sambal (chili paste), lime, and emping (gnemon chips). Sometimes, Sate Sapi (beef satay) is also served as well as a side dish. It is very difficult to find Soto Tangkar outside Jakarta. But in Jakarta City, there are several stands which are famous for selling delicious Soto Tangkar, such as:
- Soto Tangkar dan Sate Sapi Tanah Tinggi at Jalan Tanah Tinggi III No. 54, Central Jakarta. The stand has been running since 1950.
- Kedai Soto Tangkar dan Kedai Sate Kuah Sapi Aneka Sari H. Diding at Pasar Pagi Lama Los T-28 B&C, Kota, West Jakarta. The stand has been running since 1960.
- Soto Tangkar Toasebio at Jalan Kemenangan III (in front of Vihara Toa Se Bio), Kota, Glodok, West Jakarta.
4. Nasi Ulam
Nasi Ulam is a rice dish steamed with kemangi (lemon basil) and spices such as chili, sliced cucumber, peanut granule, and kerisik or serundeng (grated and sautéed coconut). A serving of Nasi Ulam usually consists of nasi ulam itself with several side dishes such as dendeng (beef jerky), omelet, perkedel (savory potato cake), fried tofu or tempe, and kerupuk (crisp chips).
There are two common variants of Nasi Ulam; the wet one and the dry one. Wet Nasi Ulam is poured with brown gravy with savory and slightly sweet taste. Kerisik or serundeng is rarely added on this variant of Nasi Ulam.
Meanwhile, Dry Nasi Ulam is not poured with gravy, but only spinkled with kerisik or serundeng. Wet Nasi Ulam is commonly found in Central Jakarta and Dry Nasi Ulam is commonly found on South Jakarta.
To taste Nasi Ulam, please try visiting one of these stands:
- Nasi Ulam Misjaya at Jalan Kemenangan III (nearby the Vihara Toa Se Bio), Kota, Glodok, West Jakarta.
- Nasi Ulam Warung Pak Joko at Jalan H. Awaludin I No. 26, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta.
- Nasi Ulam Bu Yoyoh at Jalan Karet Pedurenan, South Jakarta.
5. Bir Pletok
Bir Pletok is a traditional beverage of Betawi made from herbs such as ginger, lemongrass, pandan leaves, and sliced secang wood. Although the name contained the word “bir” (beer), the beverage does not contain alcoholic ingredients.
The beverage was first made during the Dutch colonialism era. When they put the beverage in a bottle, shake it, and then pour it, there will be foams on top of the red brownish liquid. This looks very similar to beer usually consumed by the Dutch. The word “pletok” is taken from the sound it creates when they pour it to a glass.
Bir Pletok is best served both cold and hot. During a sunny afternoon, a glass of Bir Pletok with ice would clear out your thirst quickly. On a cloudy night, a glass of warm Bir Pletok would effectively warm up your body from the inside. It is all thanks to the ginger. There is no special stand who sells legendary Bir Pletok in Jakarta because they all taste similar. So you can just buy it from the street stands and stalls. It is mostly available at night.
Due to its popularity, many Betawi culinary have been spread throughout the country. But if you do not eat the food from its original place, the taste might have been slightly bent due to the adjustment with local taste. So when you visit Jakarta, do not miss the chance to taste all the traditional culinary of Betawi.