Yogyakarta: Jamu Ginggang

“Mixed with a decent amount of brown sugar, the Temulawak tasted sweet and had a slightly herby aftertaste. It worked wonders for my fatigue.

This country’s fertile ground has given birth to a wide variety of herbs and spices, which people use for medicinal purposes or as food flavouring. One of the many products from these exotic plants is Jamu, an herbal drink originating from the island of Java made from local herbs. It can be found almost anywhere in the country, and is often taken as a supplement to jack up health and vitality. And it was when I went to Yogyakarta recently that I managed to visit one of the oldest Jamu shops in the region: Jamu Ginggang.

Located in the Pakualaman area, the long-standing establishment can be found on Jalan Masjid at the western side of Pura Pakualaman Yogyakarta. First opened in 1930, its founder was an Abdi Dalem at the temple, as well as a traditional healer often employed by royals. Today, it markets Jamu not only as a traditional panacea, but also as a refreshing healthy beverage which has an appeal that extends even to visitors from outside Yogyakarta.

There wasn’t a single soul inside the place when I got there at around 2pm, apart from its staff. I approached the counter and was promptly greeted warmly by a middle-aged lady who then offered me a selection of Jamu made from Beras Kencur (aromatic ginger rice). Since my body was aching from running around the city in an effort to catch up with my hectic schedule, I was looking for something rather more reinvigorating. I turned down her offer and went with a glass of warm Temulawak (Javanese ginger) instead. Mixed with a decent amount of brown sugar, the concoction tasted sweet and had a slightly herby aftertaste. It worked wonders for my fatigue, and it’ll do you a world of good if you’re in need of an energy boost.

Jl. Masjid No. 32, Pakualaman,
T: 0274 510 466
Open daily from 9am-10.30pm
Price: Rp.6,000/US$0.45 per person

A die-hard fan of authentic Indonesian delights who loves the idea of travelling to the cradle of those enticing local treats. Yet, you might often find this young lad busy with his guitar – be it alone in his room or, sometimes, on stage.


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