” To find a place that serves Cap Cay Goreng with the whole shebang like this can be a near-impossible task these days.“
Located right in the epicentre of vibrant Yogyakarta is RM Lie Djiong, an establishment that has existed since the 1970s and one that has carved out a reputation as the best place for Chinese cuisine in the city.
Its interior – clean and well maintained despite its antiquated appearance – is decorated with furnishings that invoke a classic Chinese-meets-Javanese style, while the colourful glass signboard that is placed right at the entrance of the restaurant conjures memories from the good ole days for its most loyal of patrons.
I arrived for my visit to RM Lie Djiong a few moments before the lunchtime madness ensued, which explained the absence of a crowd of customers. A waitress approached me as soon as I sat down, and she handed me the menu. Comprising a wide array of Chinese dishes, there were a few familiar ones that caught my eye, such as Kamar Bola,Cap Cay, Bistik Ayam, and Ayam Goreng Mentega. However, since I was on my own, I had to place a limit on the amount of food that I order. After a brief period of rumination, I settled on the Ayam Goreng Tulang and the Cap Cay Goreng.
Not long after I ordered, the waitress came back with both dishes in hand. I was slightly taken aback by the sight of theAyam Goreng Tulang, which came in the form of a whole fried chicken served with salt and pepper on the side. I immediately told myself that I definitely will be asking the waitress to pack half of it for to go. The Cap Cay Goreng, on the other hand, brought back memories of my childhood. This mixed-vegetable dish– topped with battered shrimp, kekkian (fish nuggets), chicken liver, and sliced pork meat – was a staple on the dining table at home back when I was just a wee lassie, and to find a place that serves Cap Cay Goreng with the whole shebang like this can be a near-impossible task these days. Served hot, both dishes feature a blend of garlicky, salty, and peppery flavours – all three combining to represent the soul of Chinese cuisine.
After my most satisfying meal, I wanted to have a quick chat with Anton, the son of the establishment’s owner. Alas, by that time, the lunch mob had already descended upon the restaurant, and Anton had his hands full with cooking up their food.
Overall, RM Lie Djiong is the perfect eatery if you’re craving for Chinese food in Yogyakarta. It may be a bit pricey for the locals, but I believe that it’s quite affordable for the wallets of my fellow Jakartans.
Jl. Brigjen Katamso No. 21,
Yogyakarta, Central Java
T: 0274 374 429
Open daily from 11am-2pm and 5pm-11pm
Rp.30,000/US$2.20 per person