“Made from real tape, the first sip left a sour taste on my palate that was peppered with a bit of sweetness.“
In the year 1960, a man who prefers to be called Kode (a term within the Chinese community in Tangerang meaning “big brother”) opened a stall in Pasar Lama that offers fresh fruit juices. It didn’t have detox juices or low-fat smoothies on its menu, but it became popular over time, so much so that it became the go-to place for those looking for the ultimate thirst quencher.
The stall, which later on would be known under the name that we’re now very familiar with, moved to a shoplot on Jalan Soleh Ali in 1990. Although it now features a more spacious area, Es Kode’s menu has remained the same. At the old age of 78, Kode is surprisingly still running the joint, albeit with the help of his daughter.
It was a hot sunny day when I went to Tangerang for a round of culinary hunting, so my decision to include Es Kode in my itinerary was spot on. I got there just in time before the shop was about to close for the day. I hurriedly flipped through the menu, which consisted of dozens of juice choices, from guava, melon and strawberry to avocado and dragon fruit. Everything looked familiar so far, until I spotted tape (fermented cassava) on the list. It aroused my curiosity, so without hesitation I decided to order myself a tapejuice.
Served cold, my olfactory receptors immediately detected a unique sharp aroma wafting from the glass. I began to have second thoughts, but I quickly buried them in the back of my mind and had a sip. Made from real tape, the first sip left a sour taste on my palate that was peppered with a bit of sweetness. As soon as I gulped it down, a refreshing flavour coated my taste buds, leaving me feeling revitalised. It was at that moment that I realised why the residents of Tangerang hold Es Kode in such high regard.
Jl. K.H. Soleh Ali,
T: 0812 952 6809
Open daily from 8am to 5pm
Rp.10,000/US$0.70 per glass