Besides being a multicultural cauldron, Jakarta is also a culinary melting pot that is home to a variety of cuisines from across the archipelago and beyond – from Sumatra, Sunda, Sulawesi and East Indonesia to Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian, and even Pakistani. Its original cuisine, though, is those of the Betawi folks who are this city’s real natives. Hence, here are five eateries offering Betawi food that you could have a go at with your family.
1. RUMAH BABA
This Cipete-based eatery sports a unique 1970s Betawi-style interior. Its menu consists of dishes that all Betawi food enthusiasts will go ape over, such as Lontong Sayur (rice cakes with vegetables), Soto Betawi (Betawi beef soup), and Gado-Gado (vegetable salad and rice cakes in peanut sauce). The cosy ambience at Rumah Baba will make you feel at home as well. The only downside is the limited parking space, which could only fit up to three cars.
Jl. Cipete Raya No. 7A, Fatmawati,
T: 021 769 9205
Open daily from 11am-10pm
2. SOTO BETAWI H. MA’RUF
Its beef satay with savoury yellow-coloured sauce comes highly recommended for its authentic taste, while the Laksa Betawi (Betawi spicy noodle soup) is also worth a try. Your taste buds and tummy will be left satisfied after a meal here – mainly due to its age-old recipe that uses coconut oil as flavouring.
Jl.Gondangdia Lama No. 36A,
Open daily from 10am-9pm
3. NASI UDUK & AYAM GORENG GANG BUNI
It has to be said that this particular Betawi dish is one of the most popular of its kind. You can find a Nasi Uduk (rice cooked in coconut milk with side dishes) seller everywhere you go – from those that offer bare-bones side dishes to the complete package. Found in Mangga Besar, Nasi Uduk dan Ayam Goreng Gang Buni also offers various other Betawi delicacies, including Semur Jengkol (dogfruit stew), Sayur Asem (vegetables in tamarind soup), Sambal Tumis Udang Petai (stir-fried shrimp with sambal and bitter beans), Tempe Goreng (fried tempeh), Ketupat (rice wrapped in palm leaf), and Bacang (stuffed glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaf).
Jl. Mangga Besar I, No. 42C, RT 05/RW 05,
T: 0838 7575 7515
Open daily from 6am-10pm, except Monday from 4.30pm-9.30pm
4. SOTO KAKI SAPI MENCOS H. SARNADI
Having been in business for the last 30 years, Soto Kaki Sapi Mencos H. Sarnadi has gone from a pushcart to having its own building. Its namesake’s son has been inherited the shop that has been operating in the Percetakan Negara area since 1994. Despite its rather cramped dining space, the food here is simply quality – most notably its signature Soto Kaki Sapi (beef trotters soup) in coconut milk soup with a dash of lime. If you’re not into nibbling a cow’s foot, then you can substitute it with beef. Prepare yourself for a long queue if you come here during lunchtime.
Jl. Percetakan Negara No. 2C,
Open daily from 10am-10pm
5. WARUNG BETAWI H. MUHAYAR
It may have limited parking space and no air conditioning, yet Warung Betawi H. Muhayar’s menu will make your visit a worthwhile one. One to try is its Pecak Gurame (gourami in creamy sauce) sprayed with lime and topped with shallots and red chilli. Add a portion of its Sayur Asem for a perfect refreshing lunch, accompanied by a glass of sweet iced tea.
Jl. Margasatwa No. 8, Pasar Minggu,
T: 021 781 3945
Open daily from 9am-9pm
You also can read the article on The Jakarta Post: 5 Betawi Restaurants to Indulge Your Palate.