In general, Martabak Telur (stuffed deep-fried pancake) is consumed with a watery dark- coloured vinegar sauce that is mixed with slices of cucumber and bird’s eye chilli. However, I chanced upon a rather different variation to this delicacy when I popped by Martabak Kari H. Abdoel Razak in Cideng on Jalan Biak.
I deliberately arrived at the establishment just after lunchtime to avoid having to wait in a long queue and a packed uncomfortable warung. Located right opposite Nite & Day Hotel Roxy, its whereabouts is slightly hidden from plain sight, but you can spot its kitchen at the exterior area of the joint, complete with stacks of Martabak boxes and neatly organised duck eggs on show. With only yours truly and a couple of other customers present during that particular afternoon, the waiting staff seemed to be taking a breather before the dinner crowd descended upon the place.
This warung has been around for around 34 years since 1983. The business started out in the form of a tent that stood right across its current building. Due to overcrowding, it finally made the move to a permanent shop five years ago. One of the employees there explained to me that Martabak Kari H. Abdoel Razak once had branches in Kelapa Gading and Bintaro. Both were eventually shut down in order to focus more on developing their flagship shop on Jalan Biak.
It may not have a varied menu, yet they all looked enticing. I chose to order its Martabak Telur Kuah Kari (stuffed deep-fried pancake with curry) and Mie Celor Palembang (noodles in coconut milk soup and shrimp stock). I was intrigued by the latter as it is reputedly known as the eatery’s signature dish. My decision to drop by at 2.30pm worked a treat as my food was prepared swiftly without the need to wait for too long. Up first was the Martabak, followed by its hot Mie Celor.
Although similar in appearance to the Martabak Telur that are sold by cart-pushing roadside sellers, not a shred of onion or minced beef were found in the mix – only eggs. It was bland in taste, but became a tasty and savoury thing of wonder once I dipped it into the steaming bowl of curry sauce provided. The curry sauce itself was not too concentrated and was yellowish in colour with bits of potatoes, which reminded me of Indian curry but with less spices. I then moved on to its Mie Celor. Consisting of noodles, bean sprouts, and cuts of hard-boiled egg, the concoction is then splashed with coconut milk that had already been mixed with shrimp stock.
It tasted quite unique for my palate because of the shrimp-infused savouriness. For those who prefer their meal spicy, don’t forget to ask for additional sambal. It’d be best to check the prices first before you order, as the food here is a tad on the expensive side. You wouldn’t want to leave with a full tummy and an empty wallet.
You can also read this article on The Jakarta Post: A unique take on ‘martabak telur’ in Central Jakarta
Jl. Biak No. 29 C, Roxy, Jakarta
T: 0818 80 133
Open daily from 11am-12am
Rp.70,000/US$5.10 per person