Back in the day, Serabi (rice flour pancake with coconut milk) was a mere traditional snack. In modern times, though – especially with warung Serabi now all the rage – this treat has climbed up the culinary social ladder. The toppings on offer these days consist of not just the obligatory liquid palm sugar, but also the likes of cheese, sausage, ice cream, vla (custard) and many more. One such joint that has earned itself a must-visit reputation is Surabi Bingung in Ciputat.
I only understood why it was given such an unusual name – “bingung” means “confused” in the English language – once I paid the shop a visit. The moment I stepped foot inside, I was directed straight to the cashier to order and pay for my Serabi. It is a system that I assume would be very useful during crowded times, as it would mean that my receipt will not be accidentally swapped with someone else’s.
As I had a look at its menu, only then I realised why this place was bestowed with the moniker Surabi Bingung – or at least I assumed it may be: the variety of toppings that are on offer here is countless, with one being able to order up to two to three topping. Its motto is “Kalau bisa murah, kenapa harus mahal?” – roughly translates as “If you can get it on the cheap, it does not have to be expensive” in English – which is reflected by the prices of its menu items. Besides Serabi, the joint also has other delights available, including French fries, a variety of beverages, and even Sate Daging Kuda (horse meat satay) for the curious and the adventurous.
Ever since it opened up for business at 5pm, there was not a single moment when the shop was void of customers. Its kitchen – complete with its 40-piece Serabi mould – is located at the forepart of the eatery where punters are able to witness these tantalising traditional delights in the making. The employees here are very affable, ready with a smile, a greeting, and even a joke or two.
I decided to try out four toppings at once: banana and cheese, cheese and durian vla, strawberry ice cream, and cheese, sausage and spicy mayonnaise. Its Serabi is quite thick, yet its centre leaves a velvety sensation with every bite. Each topping has its own unique flavour, especially the cheese and durian vla, which tasted as if I was eating a real durian. If you opt for the strawberry ice cream like I did – a masterpiece of a combination between the cold and sweet ice cream and the soft and savoury Serabi – make sure you eat quickly before it meltsdue to the heat from the warm Serabi.
Surabi Bingung is without doubt a must-visit place for an affordable round of modern Serabi.
You can also read this article on The Jakarta Post: A luscious portion of ‘serabi’ with a modern touch
Jl. RE Martadinata, Ciputat, Tangerang
T: 0877 432 9234
Open daily from 5pm-12am
Rp.30,000/US$2.30 per person