“Served with krecek (fried cow skin cooked in coconut milk and spices) and ayam opor(chicken cooked in coconut milk), the Gudeg struck the perfect balance between being sweet, savoury, and spicy.”
Rather than being primarily known as the City of Students, food enthusiasts recognise Yogyakarta as Gudeg City, after its most iconic of dishes. For those of you not in the know, Gudeg is a jackfruit stew with coconut milk and a signature dish of the city. There are scores of Gudeg peddlers stationed across Yogyakarta, offering different types of Gudeg, including dry, basah (with gravy), and mercon (very spicy).
Amongst the throng of Gudeg sellers in town, many have championed Gudeg Permata as the best out of the lot. Founded in 1951 by Ibu Pudjo, the stall frequently attracted punters from the cinema across the road, Bioskop Permata. Despite the movie house having closed down, Ibu Pudjo has managed to sustain her business and maintain its reputation as the cream of the Gudeg crop.
So far, I’ve made three stops to Gudeg Permata during my current sojourn in Yogyakarta. The first was when I just arrived in the city. Then I went again the next day at around 8pm, when the staff were still preparing the food. My third and final visit was about more than an hour later after my second social call at 9.15pm – the regular time for customers to start making their way to the place.
Nestling at a corner on Jalan Gajah Mada, there are three seating areas available: under the tent right in front of the cashier and food counter, lesehan (sitting on a mat), and inside the alley or the restaurant right next to the lesehan area. After I made my order, I was given a number and proceeded to take a seat inside the alleyway. Not a recommended place to sit, mind you, what with all the rats roaming around, but I had no choice.
After a 30-minute wait, my number was up. I raised my hand and was handed my meal. Served with krecek (fried cow skin cooked in coconut milk and spices) and ayam opor(chicken cooked in coconut milk), the Gudeg struck the perfect balance between being sweet, savoury, and spicy. It was clearly different from all the other Gudeg that I’ve tried before – they all tasted sweet – as it left a lingering spicy aftertaste on my palate. If you’re into dishes that are savoury and spicy, then this Gudeg is for you.
I would say that my overall experience at Gudeg Permata was enjoyable. Just take note that the place opens at 9pm sharp, so make sure you come early to secure a seat.
Jl. Gajah Mada No. 11 Pakualaman
T: 0274 553 853
Open Monday to Saturday from 9pm-2am
Rp.12,000/US$0.90 per portion