As soon as the sun touches the skyline, a different face to Jakarta presents itself. As the city lights begin to gleam from the darkness, roadside hawkers start to come out and set up their trade. It’s the city that never sleeps, some say – South-East Asia’s very own New York City – and when night falls, common folks like you and I would either find something good to eat or a cosy spot to hang out with family and friends. Here are five treats that make for a delightful supper one can find in Jakarta.
Abundant in supply, nearly every nook and cranny of this city has a warung or a pushcart that sells Nasi Goreng (fried rice). It can be quite hearty for a late-night meal, but it’s easy to come by and is regarded by many as the perfect comfort food.
I’m willing to bet my bottom dollar that almost every single person in Jakarta has a penchant for this treat – be it in the form of Martabak Manis (sweet pancake) or its savoury counterpart Martabak Telur (stuffed fried pancake). Most Martabak joints come alive during night-time, hence why it tends to become the nibble of choice for supper.
To sample the finest Nasi Uduk in town, one should just simply make a detour to Kebon Kacang – or Nasi Uduk heaven, as I like to call it. Best out of the lot here is RM Ayam Goreng Dan Nasi Uduk Sederhana H. Saman.
Considered lighter than a serving of Nasi Goreng or Nasi Uduk, some people may opt for Bubur Ayam (chicken porridge) to calm their rumbling tummy in the dead of night. My personal favourite Bubur Ayam place in Jakarta would be Bubur Ayam Barito.
Roti Bakar (toast) were all the rage back in the 1990s, with stalls specialising in the treat opening up left and right and becoming the preferred hangout for the young folks of Jakarta after midnight. Amazingly, some of them have managed to withstand the test of time and still flourish to this day.