From retro Italian confects to groovy-glam Peranakan nomnoms, we next found our stomachs at a popular food street (Jalan Pecenongan) for that bona fide Indonesian dining experience.
The roadside was lined seam-to-seam with makeshift shelters and huge PVC banners and as simple as that, one ‘restaurant’ distinguishes itself from the next.
We decided to try the Indonesian version of Chinese zi-char at this stall called Garden.
Street peddlers go from table to table to sell anything from batteries to souvenirs to books. There were even street performers doing the ondel-ondel (an Indonesian folk performance with huge puppets that originate from Betawi), lion dance to the Chinese oldie ‘甜蜜蜜’, and even a transvestite who sang and danced at our table until we gave her some money! The whole experience was kinda bizarre yet exhilarating at the same time. Prepare lots of small notes when eating at the streetside to give to these unsolicited ‘performances’.
We ordered sweet and sour fish, seafood fried rice, fried noodles, deep-fried frog legs and stir-fried kailan. Prices weren’t expensive and the dishes were palatable but suited to local taste.
Our exploration of street food continued after Garden Chinese Seafood with Sate Babi (pork satay). As pork is usually not eaten in Muslim countries, eating pork satay in Jakarta was something like tasting the forbidden fruit.
As I was quite filled from dinner, I didn’t try the pork satays. But my friends who had them told me that the meat was rather tough.
Address: Jalan Pecenongan, North Jakarta.