Be it for lunch or to be eaten in places with chilly conditions, the Sundanese cuisine suits any occasion or location – including in the heart of the city, which I experienced at Lembur Kuring nu BiBet.
Located strategically by the side of Jalan Ampera Raya, the joint features an ambience akin to a shop in the villages of West Java. Its front room is fashioned like a warung complete with traditional jars and a long bench, which reminds me of Sundanese youngsters who like a spot of hanging out whilst sipping on coffee, nibbling on fritters, and chatting away without a care in the world.
One can either choose to sit in the air conditioned room or al fresco on wooden chairs accompanied by the sound of water splashing in the pond. It is uniquely decorated with many chicken-shaped money boxes, clay jars, and paper umbrellas.
Pak Janah, who is the deputy manager and the longest serving employee at Lembur Kuring nu BiBet, explained to me that Ibu Beti Sukmara first founded the restaurant in 1996 in Kemang. She decided to relocate it to Ampera in 2001, which led to the expansion of its menu to include seafood choices.
After an enlightening conversation with Pak Janah, I proceeded to have a go at its Nasi Timbel Panas (steamed rice wrapped in banana leaf), Pepes Peda (half-dried salted fish wrapped in banana leaf), and Tahu Petis (fried tofu with shrimp sauce). The Pepes Peda was delicious, although blemished by its paper-thin fish that meant it ended up being polished off way too soon. Its Tahu Petis, which was topped off with bean sprouts and shrimp sauce, proved to be quite a tantalising dish, but its shrimp sauce was a bit too salty for my liking.
Jl. Ampera Raya No. 120, Cilandak, Jakarta
T: 021 7884 0255/7884 0615
Open daily from 9am-10pm
Rp.60,000 /$4,47 per person