My visit to Bakmi Lokut in Pangkal Pinang gifted me with sweet memories that I’ll cherish forever. The chance to exchange words with Pak Lokut himself whilst making short work of his celebrated noodles was an amazing experience. The affable old geezer imparted a great deal of anecdotes and stories, including how the establishment was founded in the first place.
“These days, there are more local tourists – mostly from Jakarta – who come around for my noodles. Some have even come here straight off from the airport after their plane had just landed!” he laughingly exclaims. “Despite the many customers that I have, I still prepare the noodles with my own bare hands to maintain quality.”
Housed inside a small building on Jalan Tegal, Pak Lokut first started selling dry noodles in 1982 with his wife. “She’s in charge of the minced meat; I handle the rest! Before we moved to this very location, it used to be just me and a wooden cart moving around the neighbourhood,” he remarks.
It’s crystal clear that the key to this shop’s success – apart from hard work, that is – is its rich and chewy noodles. Now, it actually comprises noodles, minced pork meat, bean sprouts, leek slices, and fried shallots. The savoury minced pork lends a flavourful taste to the proceedings, and despite being a tad too oily for my palate, I still rate it as a must-try dish.
“My brother actually runs the other shop just a few metres down the road,” Pak Lokut informs me, after I asked whether he has or has not opened a branch. After settling my bill with his daughter at the counter, I thanked him for his hospitality and said my goodbyes. “Be sure to come again whenever you’re in town!” he shouts.
Open daily from 8am-4pm
Rp.20,000/US$1.50 per person