Jakarta: Sate H. Romli (RSPP)

“If you order yours with lontong (rice cake), then good for you as the lontong here is very smooth and enjoyably chewy.”

As far as street food go, it has to be said that Sate Ayam (chicken satay) is up there along with Nasi Goreng (fried rice) if one were to come up with a list of Jakarta’s most favourite roadside treat of all time.

For those who reside in the southern part of the city, Sate H. Romli (RSPP) has become the go-to place for a hearty serving of Sate Ayam. It has become local knowledge that the stall has been in operation even before Rumah Sakit Pusat Pertamina was opened in 1972. However, nobody knows exactly when it was founded. Some has assumed that H. Romli started grilling satay in 1960.

From afar, you could easily spot Sate H. Romli from the smoke that covers the stall and its surrounding area – obviously not the best place to go if you’ve just went to the hairdresser. But for a true kerbside Sate Ayam experience, there’s no better spot than Sate H. Romli. During lunchtime, a crowd would usually gather and encircle the stall.

As there are no tables provided, customers would have to stand and carry their plate with them as they eat. The place gets extremely busy almost all the time, so as soon you get there, place your order immediately because no staff will give you his/her time of day to cater to your wants. You will have two choices of Sate: Sate Ayam and Sate Kambing (lamb satay). Speaking from experience, I’d suggest the Sate Ayam. The chicken meat is a lot chunkier than your run-of-the-mill Sate Ayam, while the peanut sauce features a well-balanced sweet-and-savoury flavour. If you order yours with lontong (rice cake), then good for you as the lontong here is very smooth and enjoyably chewy.

Before you make your way there, there’s one thing that you should know: Sate H. Romli’s stall closes at 3pm every day, and then his brother H. Muri will take over the spot for his own brand of Sate. Both are managed separately, so I would assume that the ingredients and the cooking method used are different to his sibling. Now, I have yet to sample H. Muri’s Sate, but if you have, do share your take on it with us. We’d love to hear about it.

Jl. Kyai Maja No. 21,
Blok M, South Jakarta
T: 021 723 7533
Open daily from 7.30am to 3pm
Rp.30,000/US$2.20 per portion

Started her career as a food writer in 2012, Jessicha Valentina is the online editor of Good Indonesian Food. Jessicha has loved Sayur Asem since she was a wee kid and spends her free time trying to cook it.

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