Betawi literally means ‘native Jakarta’, and to have some of the most delicious and authentic Indonesian street food in a comfortable restaurant setting, you can make your way to Kafe Betawi – one of the most successful chains in Indonesia opened since 1992.
I feel I can literally spend an entire day at Plaza Indonesia where Kafe Betawi is located at, with a mixture of F&B establishments from international brands, indie cafes, to local delicacies.
Our table of 5 had quite a feast, considering each dish was less than IDR20,000 to 50,000, filling our tummies with Rujak Beubek (chopped fruit spicy salad), Mie Rebus, Ketoprak and a range of desserts and beverages. Oh, I am so raving for fresh thick Avocado juice right now.
Mie Rebus, Ketoprak
Here are 5 of the recommend dishes we had:
The simple fried rice dish has been called the national dish of Indonesia, once chosen as the 2nd most delicious food in the world by CNN International in 2011. While some may see this as similar to the Chinese style of fried rice, Nasi Goreng is generally sweeter due to a sweet soy sauce added, and crispier with keropok, fried shallots and onions. Usually I would include a meat dish on the side to spice up the taste, such as kambing (lamb), ayam (chicken) or sate (grilled skewers).
Jakarta is said to be the birthplace of Soto Betawai, a dish commonly found in side street stalls. Traditional Betawi style soup cooked in whitish coconut milk (or cow’s milk), and has ingredients such as thinly cut beef or shank, fried potato, tomato and keropok added. I admit it requires some getting used to because this is light yet cloudy, and somewhat has a sweetish after taste.
You get the most authentic Rangi cakes in Jakarta. If you haven’t seen or eaten before, Kue Rangi is grilled in a mould with a mixture of tapioca flour with grated coconut. When it is served piping hot, you pour brown melted sugar over, and it instantaneously becomes a pleasurable treat. Crunchy on the outside, and chewy on the inside.
Never leave Jakarta without trying one of its iced desserts, from Es Teler, Es Doger, Cendol, Es Kacang and Es Campur. Es Campur is literally ‘mixed iced’, usually added with fruits and syrups, tasting part sweet part sour at the same time.
One thing about Indonesian desserts is that you have to get used to savouries being added to sweet items. Case in point, the Sekoteng which is a ginger infused warm soup which can have bread, peanuts, green beans, barley and rice added. Having it feels rather comforting, and the roasted peanuts adds an interesting crunch. But of course, Indonesian peanuts are the best.
Which is your favourite food from Jakarta Indonesia?
Kue Rangi (Sago Cake) 21,000
Mie Rebus 40,000
Nasi Goreng Nasi 42,000
Rujak Beubek (Chopped Fruit Spicy Salad) 18,000
Soto Betawi 42,000
Es Campur (Shaved Ice Dessert) 25,000
Es Doger (Shaved Ice Dessert) 17,000
Es Teler (Shaved Ice Dessert) 24,000
Juice Alpukat (Avocado Juice) 20,000
Sekoteng (Warm Ginger Dessert) 21,000
Teh Manis Hangat (Hot Tea) 7,000
All Prices in Indonesian Rupiah. Exclude 10% tax.
We paid for our meals.
Kafe Betawi (Plaza Indonesia Outlet)
Address: Plaza Indonesia, Jalan M H Thamrin Kav 28-30, Thamrin, Jakarta 10350, Indonesia
Opening hours: 10.00am to 10.00pm