Jakarta: Gado-Gado Boplo

“What makes its Gado-Gado even better is its half-boiled vegetables, resulting in the preservation of the vegetables’ fibrous texture.”

I had actually been aware of the existence of Gado-Gado Boplo for quite sometime now – to the point that I’d often drive past its outlets in Panglima Polim and Kelapa Gading. However, to actually pay a visit and give its Gado-Gado (Indonesian mixed vegetable salad) a go had never crossed my mind. The thing was, I hadn’t quite grasped the concept of eating Gado-Gado at a restaurant, especially when scores of hawkers in every nook and cranny of the city plied their trade in serving very tasty Gado-Gado.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that Gado-Gado Boplo was included in my list of joints to write about. Knowing full well that there was always a first time for everything, I decided to give it a go. After a bit of research, I found out that the first Gado-Gado Boplo shops – which I presumed to be its centre of operations – was located somewhere on Jalan Barito. After an hour of exploring the area, I still couldn’t manage to find it. Was I duped?

Without wanting to waste anymore of my time, I went straight to its two-storey Panglima Polim branch on Jalan Panglima Polim IX. Slightly frustrated and in dire need of filling up my tummy, I directly placed my order right after I got a seat. After grilling one of the waiters there, I was informed that their headquarters is actually the outlet over at Jalan Theresia in Menteng not in Jalan Barito.

The Gado-Gado here is renowned for its mouth-watering peanut sauce, which is made from cashew nuts instead of ordinary peanuts – one of its USPs, apparently. My curiosity piqued, I didn’t think twice and hastily ordered a portion. Comprising potato, long beans, lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, tofu, and cashew nut sauce. What makes its Gado-Gado even better is its half-boiled vegetables, resulting in the preservation of the vegetables’ fibrous texture. There’s a slightly salty aftertaste that comes from the rich cashew nut sauce, which differentiates this joint from the regular sweet-flavoured peanut sauce that one would expect.

Having been first established using a small stall in Kebon Sirih in 1970, Gado-Gado Boplo has risen to become one of the most successful local restaurant chains around. Thanks to financial backing from investors, they have been able to expand its business and now have 15 branches across Jakarta.

Jl. Panglima Polim IX, No. 124,
South Jakarta
T: 021 724 8334
Open daily from 8am to 10pm
Rp.20,000/US$1.50 per person

A die-hard fan of authentic Indonesian delights who loves the idea of travelling to the cradle of those enticing local treats. Yet, you might often find this young lad busy with his guitar – be it alone in his room or, sometimes, on stage.

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