Nasi Goreng: Quintessential Dish


Nasi Goreng, or fried rice is an ubiquitous meal when in Indonesia. Not only is it easy to order for a foreigner, but it seems that this is a very popular dish amongst locals as well.

In my recent visit to Jakarta courtesy of, I did indeed taste many nasi goreng … often with the moniker istimewa (special) tagged to it. Truth be told, all were excellent. But the following were rather outstanding for one reason or other.

Reputed to be one of the more famous stalls in Jakarta, with branches in Kemang and the city, this fried rice is special for the use of crab pincers. The crab must be pretty small, as the pincers themselves are very small, but the stall is generous, each plate having perhaps 8 to 10 pincers. They were fresh, sweet, and added a wonderful crustacean aroma to the fried rice. The rice itself was very nicely fried, with a good wok hei, and plenty of ingredients. Very nice. The stall is also famous for their kway teow, spelt kweitiau in Indonesia.


Kwetiau Akang’s Nasi Goreng Istimeiwa IDR33,000

Fried the same way, with crab pincers, prawns, roasted pork, egg and some vegetables. Very nice.

Other notable ones is the Nasi Goreng Istimewa at Cafe Batavia in the old city. Comes with two sticks of chicken satay, fried chicken and condiments. Also beautifully fried, and magnificently presented.


Cafe Batavia’s Nasi Goreng Batavia IDR65,000

I also need to mention the nasi goreng served by a small restaurant attached to the Bersih and Sehat spa (Resto Ngalam Khas Malang). Done with petai.


Resto Ngalam Khas Malang’s Nasi Goreng Petai IDR20,000

Absolutely wonderful. Simply fried, with excellent wok hei. The Indonesia petai is a bit less pungent and fragrant (some say smelly, but I love the bean, so I prefer fragrant) than the Malaysia cultivar. Slightly sweet, with a light tinge of bitterness on the after taste. The rice has great wok hei. Absolutely marvellous with the very spicy sambal.

So when in Jakarta, and wondering what to eat, nasi goreng is a safe bet, and a must eat when in Indonesia.


Kwetiau Akang
Address: Jl. Muara Karang Raya Jakarta 14450 Indonesia
Facebook: kwetiauakang

Cafe Batavia
Address: Jl. Pintu Besar Utara No.14 Taman Fatahilla North Jakarta 11110, Indonesia
Hours:  Mon- Thu 8.00am to 12.00 Midnight; Fri – Sun 8.00am to 2.00am
Tel: 021 6915531
Facebook: CafeBataviaJakarta

Resto Ngalam Khas Malang
Address: Jl. Pondok Indah, Plaza II Blok BA Kav. II No. 15, Jakarta Selatan 12310, Indonesia.
Tel: 021 7690434

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