“A classic light Betawi meal that consists of Chinese cabbage, cabbage, bean sprouts, tofu, and lettuce, the Asinan Sayur is a delightful dish to savour.”
First of all, it’s unusual that the best Asinan Betawi one could ever sample in Jakarta is sold from a warung in a residential area. Secondly, while others may possess an overwhelming rainbow of flavours, this one is precise in taste – the sour and spicy flavours do not overlap one another.
Asinan Kamboja H. Mansyur’s story began in the year 1970. At the time, Bang Mansyur – the affectionate moniker bestowed upon him by residents of the area – was juggling two jobs at once. During the day, he sold Asinan Sayur that was made by his mum. By night, he worked as a security guard in the neighbourhood. His hard work and diligence paid off in the end, as word regarding his mouth-watering Asinan Sayur started to spread. This led to him opening his one and only brick-and-mortar shop in 1980.
His warung – located on Jalan Taman Kamboja – initially only offered Asinan Sayur, yet due to popular demand, he added Asinan Buah into the menu in 1990. A classic light Betawi meal that consists of Chinese cabbage, cabbage, bean sprouts, tofu, and lettuce, the Asinan Sayur is a delightful dish to savour. The Asinan Buah, on the other hand, contains tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple, and jicama. Also known as Asinan Bogor, it is no less delicious as its vegetable-filled equivalent.
When Bang Mansyur shuffled off this mortal coil, his children continued his legacy by running the family business – but not before telling them to never expand the joint by opening another branch. “He wanted us to stay together. If we set up shop in other locations, we may not be able to see each other as frequently as we do now,” Bang Mansyur’s daughter-in-law Ayu says. All of his children are involved with the Asinan trade that he has left behind, “and all the profits are shared equally,” Ayu smiles.
If you love food, and especially Asinan, then we’d suggest you make plans to visit Asinan Betawi Kamboja. It’ll be worth the hassle you’ll get from finding the place.
Jl. Taman Kamboja No. 10
Rawamangun, East Jakarta
T: 021 470 7242
Open daily from 9.30am-9pm
Rp.12,000/US$1 per portion