“When it was delivered to me, the first thing I noticed was the same smoky aroma that enchanted me in the first place. It felt like I was tasting heaven through my nostrils.“
Not too long ago, I ventured off to Jalan Suryakencana – Bogor’s very own culinary utopia. A file of carts and shops line up along the street, offering a smorgasbord of delights that would make a foodie giddy with excitement. Amongst them all was one that caught my attention: a green coloured cart placed right across the famous Ngo Hiang Asli Gang Aut selling Lumpia Basah (fresh unfried spring roll).
What drew me at first was the delicious smoky aroma that was coming from it. I approached the hawker cart and spoke to the man behind it, who introduced himself as Bapak Alen. I ordered a portion and went to Ngo Hiang to enjoy it as Bapak Alen doesn’t have a place for customers to sit and eat.
When it was delivered to me, the first thing I noticed was the same smoky aroma that enchanted me in the first place. It felt like I was tasting heaven through my nostrils. I then proceeded to have a nibble. Made from jicama, bean sprouts, and fried egg, its flavour strikes a good balance between salty and savoury, and was delicious right down to the last bite.
After I finished my meal, I went outside to ask Bapak Alen about the mystery behind its aroma. He explained that it comes from the charcoal stove that he uses to make the Lumpia. He then told me that he has been selling Lumpia Basah way before I was even born. He inherited both the cart and the recipe to the dish from his father, who created it back in 1938. After his father passed away in 1985, he took over the business together with his mum.
Jl. Suryakencana No. 309A (Right in front of Ngo Hiang Asli Gang Aut),
Bogor, West Java
Open daily from 9am to 10pm