Thursday, 9 January 2014
Indonesian Street Food in Jakarta - Johor Kaki Travels
Thanks to sponsorship by Jakarta Tourism Office and arrangements by Russell Cheong of Winsemius Consulting, I spent three days exploring the Jakarta food scene.
I am writing a series of blog posts to share the wide range of interesting dining experiences available in Jakarta from exclusive restaurants to street food, from international cuisine to Indonesian heritage food.
Here are some of my street food encounters during my (too) brief visit.
We ate at this mie ayam bakso stall which seemed rather popular. The wooden stall looked like a small hut with two wheels. It's amazing that this tiny wooden stall is a self contained, independent kitchen with everything it needs to serve delicious meals to many customers everyday.
The push cart stall kept it's mie (mee) in wooden drawers. This will keep the noodles moist and soft.
The mie is cooked in a pot of boiling water.
The hawker putting the finishing touches, adding chicken to bowls of mie ayam as the morning sun peel into his tiny push cart stall.
Business was brisk. The cheerful hawker was sending three bowls mie ayam to waiting customers.
Our mie ayam bakso. The curly noodles were quite similar to cooked instant noodles. Quite thick, soft with a very slight spring. The diced chicken, chicken meat balls and wanton, all handmade, felt and tasted homely. Not exquisite but satisfying and pleasing.
Tried this teh botol from the drinks stall. This might actually be the most popular bottled drink in Indonesia, surpassing coca cola. It is easy to like - sweet, pleasant black tea flavour with very subtle bitter note. I could drink two or three of them in one sitting.
Soto ayam stalls are ubiquitous.
Tried this quintessentially Indonesian dish to see how similar it is to those in Johor and Singapore. Eaten with steamed white rice and keropok - already different from their Johor and Singapore counterparts.
The savoury heavy bodied broth was like a lighter version of sup kambing (Indian mutton soup) but with lots of chicken pieces. Coconut milk is added to the broth unlike the Johor and Singapore variety which is clear. This Jakarta version is generously garnished with fried shallot. Also. it doesn't come with that "power" extra spicy kicap pedas (soy sauce and chili blend) which is the signature of Johor and Singapore soto that we are familiar with.
Try this soto for the interesting experience.
Bubur ayam stalls are quite common too. Shall try this next time, if I have the opportunity to be in Indonesia again.
We were strolling in Fatahillah Square when I turned around and caught sight of this hawker with two colourful wicker baskets across his shoulders hurrying to the market. I couldn't find out what he was selling as he disappeared from sight quickly. I am quite pleased with myself for catching this quick snap shot.
Indonesia street food is something I hope to explore more in the future.
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