I believe there are restaurants out there that require you to go the extra mile just to sample its food. One fine example is Bakmi Karet Krekot Pasar Baru. The first hurdle that one must overcome to reach this place is its location. First-timers will find it tough to pinpoint the exact whereabouts of this shop, especially when the map that I was using did not accurately show its position. I ended up having to walk and ask around. It is not situated nearby Pasar Baru, rather closer to KCU BCA Pasar Baru. The second obstacle is its opening hours. Don’t be surprised to come here for lunch only to find that it has already closed for the day, because it is only open from 6am until 12pm.
My fear of losing out on its noodles meant that I made a move early in the morning in order to get a taste of its legendary signature dish. It was 7.30am when I got there, and the place was already packed with customers having their breakfast. Now, having noodles for breakfast may seem a rather odd choice, but the loyal devotees of Bakmi Karet Krekot would think otherwise.
Founded in 1970, don’t expect a big restaurant with a mob of waiters and waitresses akin to those celebrated noodle franchises though. Secluded and with only a signboard that displays itsname in a tiny font, anybody walking past it will probably be unaware of its existence. However, every morning, one would see a row of cars parked in front of it – an indicator of how crowded the place is even though it is morning time. Its interior could only hold around 40 people, with its kitchen built in the dining area so that you could witness the cooking process from A to Z. Despite having been around for quite a while, Bakmi Krekot has just the one branch over inKelapa Gading.
Its menu actually offers a variety of choices, but the waiting staff would only suggest a portion or half-portion of its Bakmi Karet (chewy noodles). Besides various noodle dishes, you can also order the likes of Cakwe – eaten here by dipping them into spicy peanut sauce or meatball soup – Kroket (croquette), Pangsit (wontons), and Swekiau (shrimp-and- pork dumplings). We would advise you to inquire of their prices prior to ordering because the damage here can be a bit steep.
I had its Bakmi Karet, along with portions of its Kroket and Pangsit to accompany my meal. The noodles here are thick, chewy and oily – they taste delicious, although some may consider them half-cooked. It is topped with chunky and savoury steamed chicken meat cuts. The Pangsit here is different from the norm as despite its rather flat appearance, it is savoury and stuffed with a tasty beef filling. The chicken-and- vegetable Kroket was beefy and delectable, even more so if dipped in the provided peanut sauce. My noodle breakfast was rounded off with a glass of hotsweet tea that relieved my flu-ridden throat. Delightful.
You can also read this article on The Jakarta Post:Breakfast at the legendary ‘bakmi karet’ eatery
Jalan KH Samanhudi,
Pasar Baru, Jakarta
Open daily from 6am-12pm
Rp.70,000/US$5.10 per person