“I got a bit misty-eyed when I ate the Sayur Lombok Ijo together with the Wader, as it reminded me of the food that my mum used to make when she was too lazy to cook.“
Out of all the eateries that I visited during my excursion to Yogyakarta, the one that required the furthest distance to travel was RM Lesehan Pari Gogo. I had to go through an excruciating three-hour drive to reach its location, which is in the Gunung Kidul area. Taking into account its setting, I didn’t expect anything extravagant from the experience. And what I got were home-cooked food that I assume I could whip up in a jiffy at home.
Arriving just before lunchtime, the eatery was already teeming with customers. I sat down on a mat that was placed on the floor, and Tina, who is the great-granddaughter of the restaurant’s founder, came over to serve the food Padang-style. When I say Padang-style, I meant exactly like how one would be attended to in a Padang joint – a selection of dishes in small plates set out across one’s table. No Beef Rendang was in sight, though; only local traditional dishes including Wader (fried anchovies), Sayur Lombok Ijo (tempeh and green chilli cooked in coconut milk), Babat (tripe cooked in sweet soy sauce), Belalang Goreng (fried grasshopper), and red rice.
Just in case you think you misread that: yes, I did write “fried grasshopper”. I sampled each and every one of the dishes offered, except for, of course, the Belalang Goreng. My palate has a penchant for spicy food, so I was greatly impressed by the Sayur Lombok Ijo.Combining tempeh, green chilli, onion, garlic, and coconut milk, it resulted in a well-balanced flavourful concoction comprising savoury, salty, and spicy.
I got a bit misty-eyed when I ate it together with the Wader, as it reminded me of the food that my mum used to make when she was too lazy to cook. After fighting off my delicate emotion, I was given a slight jolt from the strong sweet taste of the Babat. After a few days of eating Gudeg, RM Lesehan Pari Gogo’s medley of creations was like a breath of fresh air for my taste buds.
A quick chat with Tina revealed that her mother is the third generation of the family who runs the business. However, she’s not exactly sure when her great-grandparents opened the restaurant. “All I know is that it’s before Indonesia achieved independence in 1945,” she assumes.
Jl. Wonosari – Semanu,
Semanu Gunung Kidul
T: 0817 944 3081
Open daily from 6am-4pm
Rp. 20,000/US$1.50 per person