Jakarta is the city in Indonesia where everything is provided. That includes delicious foods and beverages to satisfy your appetite. Either it is Indonesian traditional food or modern food from around the world; everything can be found in Jakarta City. But mostly, foreign tourists always want the traditional one, something classic and famous. So here I am giving you several legendary culinary in Jakarta that are highly recommended:
1. Soto Betawi Haji Ma’ruf
Soto Betawi is a little bit different than any other kind of Soto from another region in Indonesia. The gravy was made of coconut milk mixed with several spices. There are several Soto Betawi restaurants in Jakarta. But if you want to taste the original taste, I recommend you to visit Soto Betawi Haji Ma’ruf.
The restaurant is located in Cikini Raya Road, around Taman Ismail Marzuki. The building is very simple and looks old; or if may I say, “Classic”. It is because they keep using this same building since the restaurant is firstly opened in 1940. The recipe also never changed as well. Even after Haji Ma’ruf himself passed away, the taste is still the same.
Soto Betawi Haji Ma’ruf is much favored by a lot of people. Even some famous people in Indonesia like Ex-President Abudurrahmad Wahid favored this Soto, too. A bowl of Soto Betawi Haji Ma’ruf is sold for $2. A little bit expensive indeed, but it is worth the taste.
2. Sop Sumsum Pak Tardja
Sumsum means bone marrow. Sop Sumsum Pak Tardja is a soup with cow’s bone marrow as the main ingredients. Bone marrow is high in Calcium, which is good for your health. Sop Sumsum is a very unique cuisine.
The soup is served with a huge slice of cow’s rib and a straw. To eat the marrow, you need to slurp it with the straw. The taste is very rich and delicious as the spices were well-absorbed to the deepest bone. This is because each rib was cooked within 2,5 hours.
Sop Sumsum Pak Tardja restaurant is located on Leuser Road, Kebayoran Baru. Each serving of sop sumsum costs you $1.5. The restaurant is usually crowded during luch break time. So I would recommend you to come here before that. Avoid coming here after lunch break hour because mostly the soup would be already sold out.
3. Warung Tinggi Coffee
Warung Tinggi Coffee is the oldest coffee shop in Jakarta. The coffee provides about 200 kinds of coffee from any region in Indonesia, including Kopi Luwak. Kopi Luwak is known to be the most delicious and most expensive coffee in the world. Besides the ready-to-drink coffee, the shop also sells coffee beans which you can prepare it at home yourself. Due to its high quality, the company even does some coffee export business.
They started their business in 1878. It was originally a food tavern which sold rice, side dished, and some beverages including coffee. The tavern became popular so it then was upgraded to be a restaurant.
But then the owner realized that people were coming for the coffee. So he started to focus on coffee only. The business was sky-rocketing since then. This business has been run by five generations already. But it shows no sign of cooling down at all. This is because the owner is very creative with innovation but is very strict about keeping the quality.
Warung Tinggi Coffee is located in small alley in Hayam Wuruk Road, around the Chinatown area. The price of raw coffee bean ranges up about $6 to $34 per kilogram.
4. Gado-Gado Bon Bin
Gado-gado is a kind of Salad in traditional Javanese style. It consists of cucumbers, cabbage, spinach, potato, sprout, and boiled egg. The sauce is mainly made of nuts and brown sugar. The food is originally from Betawi (Jakarta), so it would be easy to find a place which sells this kind of food. But the most legendary one is Gado-Gado Bon Bin.
Gado-Gado Bon Bin restaurant was just a small building constructed with bamboo when they started their business in 1970. But now it is much bigger, well-constructed with brick and concrete, and even have air conditioning system to keep the customers comfortable. The restaurant is a family business, and they do not have any intention to open up some branches or even change their location.
What makes Gado-Gado Bon Bin different from any other Gado-Gado is the sauce. The texture is very soft, but the taste is quite exquisite; it is a little bit sweet but is still savory. If you like spicy foods, you can add some extra chilli sambal that they provide.
You can also ask for extra “lontong” or rice if you think the portion would not be enough to fill out your stomach. “Lontong” is a kind of rice that is wrapped with coconut leaf and steamed. Gado-Gado Bon Bin can be found in Cikini Road, Central Java. One portion of gado-gado is sold for $2.
5. Pecenongan Night Culinary Market
Night time is the best time for culinary hunting. Forget about diet and fat-scare when you are in Jakarta. Put on your shoes and drive away to Pecenongan Night Culinary Market; a heaven of culinary in Jakarta.
There are a lot of food taverns lined up on the side of the road which you likely never find it during day time. Most of the taverns start opening up after sunset, around 18.00. And they will close their taverns around 2.00 in the morning, or earlier, if they got sold out.
This night market was never intentionally organized. It just happened naturally since 1970. People who come to this place are not just the locals, but also people from another town. Even some foreigner tourists like to come here as well.
Although there are many kinds of food available here, most of them are seafoods and porks. Pecenongan Night Culinary Market is located in Pecenongan Road, Central Jakarta. It is not far from Juanda Busway. There is a huge gate on the entrance of the market. “Wisata Kuliner Pecenongan” is massively written on that gate so it must be very easy to find.