It is undeniable that Nasi Goreng (fried rice) is pretty much up there amongst the most popular Indonesian dishes of all time alongside the likes of Bakso (meatballs), Mie Ayam (chicken noodles), and Sate (satay). On this edition of Food Wars, we’re pitting two fried rice joints that are coincidentally located not far from another on Jalan Panglima Polim: Nasi Goreng Kebuli Apjay and Nasi Goreng Warna-Warni Thole. Which of them will come out on top?
NASI GORENG WARNA-WARNI THOLE
The affable seller left a newcomer like me feeling like I’ve been a loyal customer for the longest of time. Ever since it relocated, the warung has seen its customers dwindle in number – a godsend for punters as they now have no need to wait in line for an hour to get their hands on its fried rice. Easy on the eye because of its colourful appearance, the savoury and not too oily Nasi Goreng here is also a hit on the palate.
Some may say that its portion is a bit too small for its price. I, on the other hand, would say that it is ideal – not too much to leave you feeling full and with an upset stomach, but just enough to save some space in your tummy for dessert. The lack of a tent can be troublesome, especially during the rainy season. Also, as with every other cart-pushing fried rice seller, it doesn’t offer much variety on its menu.
Jl. Panglima Polim Raya Blok C, No. 5,
T: 0813 1017 8915
Open daily from 6pm-1am
NASI GORENG KEBULI APJAY
A crowd will usually gather under its tent from the moment it opens up shop at 5pm, which shows just how popular its fried rice is. There is diversity in its menu, which also offers the likes of Bakmi Goreng (fried noodles), Bakmi Godog (boiled noodles) and Martabak (deep-fried stuffed pancake) along with its signature Nasi Goreng. Cooked with an assortment of spices and condiments, the fried rice here provides a new flavour outside the norm. To complete the experience, it is also topped with large cuts of chicken or mutton meat.
Although quite savoury, its fried rice can be a tad too strong on one’s palate – definitely not one to eat on a daily basis. A waiting time of at least 20 minutes is required to get your hands on its Nasi Goreng Kebuli Ayam (spicy chicken fried rice cooked in goat broth) because of the joint’s crowded nature. It is impossible to hold a conversation with the cooks to gain any insight into the secrets behind its Nasi Goreng as their hands are always full.
Jl. Panglima Polim IX,
Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta
T: 0812 835 9996
Open daily from 5pm-2am
With all its significances and simplicity – along with the presence of the affable Pak Thole – Nasi Goreng Warna-Warni Thole is the clear winner of this round of Food Wars. To enjoy a plate of multicoloured fried rice under the night sky is an altogether pleasurable experience for yours truly. Well, as long as it’s not raining, that is.
You can read more in The Jakarta Post: The fried rice battle royal in South Jakarta