Pempek (fishcake) is one of my most favourite delicacies ever since I was a kid. I’m addicted to its chewy texture, savoury taste, and the spicy vinegar sauce that you eat it with. It is a snack for any occasion and comes in different variations, ranging from Kapal Selam (submarine-shaped fishcake), Lenjer (long cylindrical fishcake), Kulit (skin fishcake), Adaan (ball-shaped fishcake) to Lenggang (omelette mixed with sliced fishcake).
A friend of mine who also loves Pempek recommended me a place called Kedai Pempek Pak Jenggot in Pasar Minggu not far from the police station in the area. According to the same friend, the place has been around for a while and its Pempek tastes delicious. Intrigued, I made my way there as soon as I had some free time on my hand.
Located nearby Ramayana Pasar Minggu, I was hesitant over entering the establishment as it looked so small from outside. Various Pempek ready to be cooked were displayed in the window of the shop. Only once I got inside did I discover that the eatery extends further to the back. The front end houses its kitchen and cashier, with the dining area situated at the back.
Unlike other Pempek joints, here we have to order and pay first before tucking in to its signature dish. Its menu resembles any other of its kind, with the likes of Kapal Selam, Lenjer, Adaan, Kulit, Tekwan (chopped fishcake soup), and Lenggang available. It also offers Es Kacang Merah (shaved ice with red bean), a variety of juices, and snacks including Kerupuk Kemplang (fish crackers) and Keripik Pisang (banana chips).
I ordered a Kapal Selam and a Lenjer, which came drenched in vinegar sauce and topped with cuts of cucumber. The size of the Lenjer was quite small – little wonder then that it was cheaper than the Kapal Selam. The aroma that emanated from them got me going real good and I dove straight in.
My friend’s recommendation turned out to be accurate. The Pempek here is savoury and delicious – its crispy exterior hiding a silky smooth centre. The egg inside the Kapal Selam combined immaculately with the meat of the Pempek. The only downside to my experience at Kedai Pempek Pak Jenggot is the rather weak and watery vinegar sauce. For those who prefer a spicier affair, you can add some sambal to your preference.
You also can read the article on The Jakarta Post: Tasty Roadside Pempek.
Jl. Raya Ragunan No.17, RT.1/RW.1
Ps. Minggu, Jakarta
(021) 780 2319
Open daily, 8am-9pm
Rp35.000/US$2,6 per orang