“If you love food, then you must travel to Indonesia once in your lifetime”, one of my Indonesian friends said this to me a few years ago. Since then, I was hoping to treat my taste buds with Southeast Asian cuisines. Visiting new places and tasting local foods is, to me, out of the world experience. So there I was, in Jakarta, Indonesia, to taste the best Indonesian cuisines.
Jakarta, naturally, was the first city to land. It’s the capital and the largest city in Indonesia. Betawi is the local cuisine of Jakarta. And in next five day, I was about to explore all of Betawi flavors and other Indonesian dishes.
I was looking for a restaurant where I could try Soto Betawi dish, which was recommended by every friend of mine who visited Jakarta.
Soto Betawi is a curry-like soup. Due to its use of coconut milk, it has a more curry-like flavor. I must say Soto Betawi is an exceptional taste, even if you don’t like curry or soup type of cuisines. I find this dish very aromatic and delicious, although some of you might find it spicy.
That evening, I spent trying different Indonesian foods in the buffet at famous restaurant Satoo. Closer to Shangri-La Hotel, it was a nice restaurant with a variety of foods. One cannot be hungry at this type of restaurants as they offer almost everything; Chinese, Japanese, Indian, International, Sushi, Asian, Indonesian, Halal, you name it. What I like the most there and ate (till my throat choked J ) was Beef Radang. This dish is originated from Padang, Smatra (another city of Indonesia; Indonesia has 17,000 islands in total).
Padang is famous for its spicy foods and richness in flavor. You gotta try Beef Rendang once in your lifetime. It is somewhat similar to Beef Curry but without the broth. It takes hours to cook it to make the beef that tender. Try this Padang goodness and your taste buds will thank you for years to come!
Fried Rice/ Nasi Goreng
If you visited Indonesia and have not tried Fried Rice (Nasi Goreng), I have no words to curse you then. Its reputation has taken the world by storm. Had you tried this? Don’t you agree? This dish can be mixed with any other dish without even thinking, and it will make a new taste. Mix it with veggies, beef, chicken, seafood, or any other dish you can think of.
Indonesian Fried Rice tastes different because they use keycap, a sweet, thick soy sauce. Then it is garnished with cucumber, carrots, acar, and pickled. Nasi Goreng is considered Indonesia’s national dish.
Many Other dishes
In short, I stayed there for five days, and I could not repeat the same dish again. Tens (if not hundreds) of different dishes of Indonesian cuisines were still left untouched. But I could manage to try Nasi Rawon (beef stew from Java), Sop Buntut (Oxtail Soup), Siomay (steamed fish dumplings) and Indomie (Indonesian Instant Noodles). Now, I am back and say this to everyone, “If you love food, then you must travel to Indonesia once in your lifetime”