The number of Nasi Uduk (fragrant coconut rice with side dishes) sellers in Jakarta is close to countless, with a number of areas in the capital city of Indonesia renowned for being Nasi Uduk hubs. Veer over to the eastern side of town and you will come across a modestly sized popular eatery whose Nasi Uduk and Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) have become all the rage: Nasi Uduk dan Ayam Goreng Mat Lengket.
The joint was established in 1973 and is located on Jalan Raya Bekasi KM 18, which is not within the Bekasi area at all. Despite the name of road where it is sited, it is actually found in Jatinegara Kaum in East Jakarta right across Pasar Klender.
Punters are jam-packing Nasi Uduk dan Ayam Goreng Mat Lengket’s shop (Image: Good Indonesian Food)
Although I am a resident of East Jakarta – quite nearby the eatery, actually – my first visit only happened a few months ago, and it was definitely a memorable one. After being informed that it would only be open for business at 5pm every day, I tried to swing by at around that time with the hope that there would be scores of vacant tables. What I encountered instead was a huge crowd that had already surrounded the place.
There are two counters present: one to serve to-go customers, and the other assigned to cater to those who will be dining on-site. Incredibly, the staff members at both counters were visibly pushed to the limit by the sheer number of punters that they had. I have never witnessed such a chaotic scene at any Nasi Uduk shop in Jakarta, which played a small part in its slow service.
Also Read: Jakarta: Nasi Uduk & Ayam Goreng Gang Buni
However, I must state that both its Nasi Uduk and Ayam Goreng are simply extraordinary. Its Nasi Uduk may be more delicious than most, but the main attraction here is its sensational Ayam Goreng. Its slightly saturated texture, juicy meat and extreme savouriness has led to many culinary venators in Jakarta jostling against each other while drenched in sweat for a piece or two of its fried chicken. It seems you really do need to work hard in order to obtain the very best.
You can also read this article on The Jakarta Post: Mat Lengket: Much-loved fried chicken and ‘nasi uduk’ establishment
Jl. Raya Bekasi KM 18, Klender, East Jakarta
T: 021 4786 9747
Open daily from 5pm-9pm
Rp.25,000/US$1.90 per person