“Ideal for a treat during night-time or a cold rainy day, the combination between the sweet-and-herby ginger tea and the chewy Ronde is a match made in heaven.“
Open-air piazza Alun-Alun Kidul, which is found at the south-end of Keraton Yogyakarta (the residential palace of the Sultan of Yogyakarta), has become a tourist magnet in the city. Local and international holidaymakers come here not only for the sightseeing, but also for the array of delectable street food available in the area. Amongst the lot is Ronde Mania Ibu Suhartini and its Wedang Ronde (glutinous balls in ginger water).
Loads of people were gathered around the stall during my visit – it was the most crowded out of all the Wedang Ronde sellers in the vicinity. Wedang Ronde itself consists of Ronde (flour-based glutinous balls with peanut filling), palm sugar fruit, white bread slices, roasted peanut, and Wedang Jahe (ginger tea). Ideal for a treat during night-time or a cold rainy day, the combination between the sweet-and-herby ginger tea and the chewy Ronde is a match made in heaven.
I got talking with the owner, Ibu Suhartini, who told me that she has been selling Wedang Ronde in the area since 1986. Initially, she set up her wooden cart at the north side of the square along with a string of other travelling hawkers. However, things took turn for the worse. In early 2001, she was diagnosed with a breast lump that forced her to shut up shop while she focussed on finding a cure for her illness. With her usual spot taken over temporarily by her best friend, she underwent a series of treatments for months until she finally got rid of the life-threatening disease completely. Upon her full recovery, she returned to doing what she loves the most: making and selling Wedang Ronde. But as she was too timid and reticent to ask for her spot back from her friend, she instead sent a proposal to the Sultan’s brother Gusti Prabu to give her the go-ahead to dock her cart in a vacant location in front of Sasono Hinggil. As fortune favours the brave, she was given the green light to occupy the site and is now the only huckster to be allowed to sell in that particular place.
Alun Alun Kidul, in front of Sasono Hinggil,
Open daily from 4pm-11pm
Price: Rp.10,000/US$0.80 per person