Reviews

Source quoted from The SUN newspaper for informational purpose only.

Kindly check out ( http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=49714 ) for the actual write out.


TIME OUT :: where2eat
A taste of Jakarta
By S. Indra Sathiabalan

STREET food is often the embodiment of a country’s culture. In Jakarta, the variety of street food available there celebrates the culinary culture of the entire country which consists of many islands, each with its own unique culinary traditions.

Remus Chong, who has many Indonesian friends from his college days and was based in Jakarta when he worked in an investment firm there, decided to open a restaurant which only serves street food from Jakarta.

Aptly named Little Jakarta, this simple-looking outlet is tucked among a row of shops in Taman Danau Desa in Kuala Lumpur. Opened early this month, the restaurant is currently one of Taman Danau Desa’s little-known secrets, frequent mainly by those who work in the vicinity and those living nearby.

Chong has gone to great lengths to ensure that the dishes he serves remain as authentic as possible with some concessions made to suit the local palate. The dishes are reasonably priced, with each dish under RM9.

Chong used to manage another Indonesian restaurant before opening Little Jakarta.

"More and more Indonesians are sending their children to study in Malaysia and there are many Indonesian expatriates working in the corporate sector," he said.

Hence, there is always a good demand for food familiar to them at affordable prices. Some items like soto ayam and gado-gado, are already familiar to Malaysians.

For starters, you can enjoy the pastel which is the Indonesian version of our curry puff. Filled with vegetables such as carrots, and hard-boiled eggs, it has a mild but wholesome flavour.

Another popular starter is the lemper ayam which is glutinous rice stuffed with mildly spicy chicken.

For mains, there is the nasi udok set (top). Cooked with coconut milk and spices like tumeric, it is not as ‘lemak’ as our nasi lemak but has a lovely aroma and a good bite to it.

The nasi udok is served with fried chicken, kremes (a spicy fried batter), balado (skewered quail eggs covered with spicy sauce), sambal and tempe ikan bilis.

On its own, it’s a hearty meal and the chicken, which is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, is the star item.

Chong said the chicken is pressure-cooked first and then deep-fried. Served with the sambal terasi, it is a delicious combo.

The red sambal terasi is spicy but the restaurant also has the daunting sambal ijo. This green sambal which looks like mashed-up spinach actually packs quite a punch and is not for the faint-hearted.

Next is the familiar soto ayam with rice noodles, pieces of chicken and vegetables. The soup is delightful and the flavours mild but still distinctive.

Sayur asem is a popular vegetable (cabbage, carrots and corn) dish in Jakarta and though it looks like fiery hot tom yam, it is in fact sweet and sour.

A very popular item served at the restaurant is the pepes tenggiri dish (above) consisting of slices of fish covered in spices, wrapped in banana leaves and then grilled.

The flesh absorbs all the lovely flavours of the spices and the dish goes very well with rice.

Meehoon goreng ibu Wawa (rice noodles cooked with prawns, fish cake and vegetables) is another surprise. The combination of textures and flavours makes this a dish you will order time and again.

For dessert, there is the Java cendol and cincau ijo. The cendol is served with gula java (a Javanese palm syrup), coconut milk, red beans, and topped with sliced jack fruit.

The cincau ijo is an extremely popular dessert in Jakarta. This green jelly made of herbs is served with ice and coconut milk.


Updated: 10:13AM Thu, 22 Jul 2010