“Despite its near-invisible whereabouts, Martha Cake Shop still welcomes customers by the dozen on a daily basis.”
Martha Tampi – who is more popularly known as Oma Martha – founded her namesake cake shop almost 40 years ago in 1976. It is hidden inside a private house without a signboard to notify potential customers of its location, while patrons are required to enter the shop via a small door right next to the security post.
Despite its near-invisible whereabouts, Martha Cake Shop still welcomes customers by the dozen on a daily basis. This fact baffled me until the moment I paid a visit to the joint.
Nothing stood out at first glance once I entered the tiny shop, with only limited choices of cakes displayed for people to see. I struck up a conversation with Kasni, a friendly lady who works there, after which she suggested I try the Mocha Nougat and Chocolate Cake. I duly agreed to her advice, and it was a decision that I will never regret in my entire life.
Regardless of their unexceptional appearance, the two cakes tasted better than the overly decorated ones that are sold in shopping malls. The Mocha Nougat comprises two layers of sponge cakes lathered with cream and covered in peanuts. The sponge cakes tasted a bit rough on my palate but in a good way, while the cream was not too sweet. The peanuts added a much-needed crunchiness to the proceedings. Meanwhile, the Chocolate Cake gives off a pleasantly bittersweet tang that left an aftertaste that suggested a dessert that does not leave you feeling guilty after scoffing one up.
At the age of 74, Oma Martha still personally supervises the baking process, and she developed all the recipes by herself. As an added bonus, they forego preservatives to keep things a bit healthy. Who could resist a cake shop that sells guilt-free sweet treats?
Jl. Jambu No. 33
Gondangdia, Menteng, Central Jakarta
T: 021 315 2572
Open daily from 10am-5pm
Rp.35,000/US$2.60 for one Mocha Nougat