To the left of the street right after the Tanjung Barat flyover from Lenteng Agung is a restaurant that is always packed from morning to midnight. Jambo Kupi specialises in true-blue Acehnese cuisine and its peak hours are during lunchtime, in the afternoon, and before dinner time. It is a stopover for people to sip on a cup of coffee and tuck in to some Martabak (stuffed or pan-fried pancake) as they chat and smoke away.
The first thing that I saw when I entered the premises was its kitchen that is placed in the anterior of the shop. Piles of Roti Canai are displayed and ready to be served according to the customer’s preferences, while wooden chairs and tables are lined up waiting to be occupied by punters. At one corner, a staff member is brewing coffee by pulling it from a height from one pot to another. An interesting spectacle to witness, a waiter informed me that the process is not just for show; it’s also to dissolve the coffee’s bitter taste. The water used has to be very hot to ensure no alteration to its flavour.
Jambo Kupi’s owner is Aceh-native Cut Inong Alba, who established the restaurant in 2010. Besides noodles and Roti Canai, the place also offers various authentic Acehnese treats such as Dadar Gula Aren (palm sugar omelette), Roti Jala Srikaya (sugar apple net bread), Adea Ubi (cassava cake), Pulut Bakar (roasted sticky rice), and Timpan Srikaya (sugar apple sticky rice cake). For its main entrees, there are the likes of Nasi Gurih (coconut milk rice), Nasi Goreng Aceh (Aceh fried rice), Lontong Sayur (rice cakes with vegetables), and Martabak ready to be savoured.
I came around right after lunchtime, so I didn’t have to wait in line. However, there was still a constant influx of customers coming in and out of the joint – a sure-fire sign that Jambo Kupi is indeed unrivalled when it comes to Acehnese cuisine.
As I already had lunch beforehand, I opted to have its Roti Canai Kari Kambing (roti canai with mutton curry). Its rather expensive price compared to Jambo Kupi’s cheese or milk Roti Canai had me worried that its portion might be a little too big for me to finish. Thankfully it wasn’t as huge as I expected when it was delivered to my table.
Velvety but not too savoury, the way to eat it is to either pour the mutton curry on top of the Roti Canai or dip it into the curry. Unfortunately, the mutton curry was a bit bland – with only the taste of the clove leaving a slightly spicy sensation in my throat. The mutton meat, however, was supple and easy to chew.
Komplek Batan, Jl. Raya Rawa Bambu No. A4,
Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta
T: 021 7884 8549
Open daily from 7am-12am
Rp.65,000/US$4.90 per person