By the roadside of Jalan Minangkabau in Manggarai, rows of cars would be parked right in front of one shop. A number of wooden tables and benches that it provides tend to be occupied by customers waiting for their order. And then there’s the enticing aroma that travels through the air from within the joint, all the way up into my nostrils. I was intrigued; what is this madness?
For The Martabak!
I discovered that this was the location of the famous Martabak AA. Established in 1982, the moniker Martabak AA was derived from the names of the two owners: A Siang (Surya) and A Kiu (Sulaiman). Although not as popular in the past, it has seen a steady rise in the number of customers visiting the place. Now, Martabak AA can sell around 500-600 boxes of Martabak (stuffed pancake) and finish up six to seven crates of eggs in a day.
Customers are able to witness the making of each Martabak with their own eyes – from the crafting of its stuffing and its dough to its cooking process, all the way until it is placed inside a box. This unique aspect was devised so that punters can see for themselves the ingredients used and be convinced of the quality of its Martabak. Unfortunately, although there are tables and benches present, customers are not advised to dine in. Besides lacking in the cutlery department, the seating area is generally used by its army of customers to wait for their Martabak. However, you could have a go at the Mie Yamin (sweet noodles) and Siomay (dumplings) joints to the left and right of Martabak AA respectively as you bide your time until your Martabak is ready.
Despite the multitude of Martabak places around, Martabak AA is still held closely to its loyal punters’ hearts. For the youth of today, its menu may not be as colourful as its more modern equivalents and their all-the-rage selection of Martabak choices, such as Oreo, Nutella, Toblerone, red velvet or mozzarella, but it does not mean so much to its long-standing customers who have grown accustomed to its Martabak.
Also Read: Delightful Sensation of The Legendary Martabak Kubang
The long queue that I encountered when I went there did not dampen my spirits. I opted for its Martabak Telur Daging Sapi (fried flatbread stuffed with egg and beef). It is quite pricey compared to your common Martabak Telur, which piqued my curiosity even further. Once it was ready, I opened the box and in an instant, my mouth was watering. So thick and stuffed to the brim, its savouriness shone once I took a bite; the crunchy onion and the large chunky beef were a delight to chew. It became a new experience in eating Martabak for me.
You can also read this article at The Jakarta Post: Introducing Martabak AA, a much-celebrated ‘martabak’ joint in South Jakarta
Jl. Minangkabau No. 29, Pasar Manggis,
Setiabudi, South Jakarta
T: 0856 194 6364
Open daily from 2pm-12am
Rp.60,000/$4.50 per person