Jakarta: Nasi Bebek Mak Isa

“I could instantly feel a burning sensation raging on my taste buds, which was followed by a stream of sweat trickling down my forehead – now this is what I call spicy.”

Indonesians love their spicy food. That is a fact that is commonly known throughout the globe. Heck, even I myself am a lover of all things spicy. Whenever I’m out and about in search for sustenance, my number one requirement for my next meal is that it has to be hot and spicy – just the way we all love it.

One dish that is both spicy and tasty at the same time is Nasi Bebek Mak Isa. Its name has been lingering in my mind for months, yet I didn’t get the chance to visit it up until now. Its shop is located in Cipinang and has been around since 1991. It currently has three branches in total, all scattered around Cipinang and Klender.

I arrived at Nasi Bebek Mak Isa at around lunchtime, and lo and behold, the place was packed to the rafters. Customers were queuing up in front of the counter, while half of the tables were already taken up. Considering that Mak Isa’s establishment is similar to your middle-of-the-road food stalls that could only hold fifteen people tops, you’re in for a fight if you get here late.

Once I got my serving of the hot and savoury duck breast with rice, I managed to secure a seat at one corner of the shop. Without a hint of hesitance, I straightaway scooped up a piece of the duck with some rice and swallowed them whole. I could instantly feel a burning sensation raging on my taste buds, which was followed by a stream of sweat trickling down my forehead – now this is what I call spicy. The aftertaste that lingers later on is simply sensational. It’s not often you could eat a well-cooked crispy fried duck without a hint of the stench that normally comes from the duck meat. After tearing the duck open, I found out why – it was marinated with a number of herbs before being thrown into the frying pan.

Fellow spicy food hunters, I urge you to visit Nasi Bebek Mak Isa and try out its Nasi Bebek. It’s so blissful, it feels like heaven on earth.

Jl. Raya Bekasi Timur No. 44
Cipinang, East Jakarta
Open daily from 5am-10pm
Rp. 20,000/US$1.60 per person


A die-hard fan of authentic Indonesian delights who loves the idea of travelling to the cradle of those enticing local treats. Yet, you might often find this young lad busy with his guitar – be it alone in his room or, sometimes, on stage.

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