Who knew that the best Gudeg (unripe jackfruit stew) joint in Jakarta can be found in Gandaria? It all began when I was browsing through the Internet to find a good place to have some Gudeg. And then the name Gudeg Pak Atmo popped up. Despite my initial reservations, I decided to give it a shot. With the help of Google Maps, it was not too difficult a task to locate the place. It is tucked between a grilled fish restaurant and a European eatery, sports a green-coloured exterior and a limited parking space that could only fit up to three small cars.
Preserving the authenticity
It was pretty empty during that afternoon, with just a couple of fellow customers inside that looked like they were waiting for their food to come out. The forepart of the establishment features a window where one could see a large basin filled with various side dishes including Gudeg, Ayam Panggang (roasted chicken), Sambal Krecek (spicy cattle skin stew), and Telur Pindang (hard-boiled eggs mixed with spices). From a quick confab with one of the employees there, I learned that the Gudeg here are prepared in small portions and are made to order in an effort to maintain its freshness and authenticity.
From Solo to Jakarta
To my amazement, Yosef Atmorahardjo – or more popularly known as Pak Atmo – is actually the head chef of the Mangkunegaran and has regularly presented his cooking for royal feasts. He moved to Gandaria in 1963 and opened this very shop. The place is currently run by his sixth grandchild Cosmas Aprilianto, with the helping hand of his mum and three aunts to keep up the quality of their food.
I ordered the Gudeg Komplet (a complete set of its unripe jackfruit stew). Besides its pride and joy, it also offers other delicacies, such as Nasi Timbel (banana leaf-wrapped steamed rice), Nasi Urap (steamed rice with mixed steamed vegetables and grated coconut), Nasi Asem-Asem Daging (steamed rice with sour beef), and Nasi Ayam Panggang (steamed rice with roasted chicken). Gudeg Pak Atmo also provides a takeaway service and catering for special occasions.
My first spoonful of its Nasi Gudeg immediately transported me to olden-day Solo. The composition of its seasoning is perfect – not too concentrated, but also not sweet enough to make one feel full afterwards. I could taste the savouriness of the Telur Pindang until its core, while the roasted chicken was tender, immaculately cooked, and delicious inside out. Another aspect of the meal that left me flabbergasted was the sweet jackfruit that seamlessly combined with the other side dishes. The Sambal Krecek was adequately spicy and quite savoury as well.
You can also read this article on The Jakarta Post: Royal ‘gudeg’ recipe attracts many in South Jakarta
Jl. Gandaria 1 Persil 2, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta
T: 021 725 1882
Open daily from 8am-4.30pm
Rp.50,000/US$3.70 per person