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Indonesian Street Food Tour of Glodok (Chinatown) in Jakarta

 

Indonesian Street Food Tour of Glodok (Chinatown) in Jakarta

 

– It is truly a genius of a creation. I’m going to take my first bite. Wow, that rice, it’slike a combination of a rice and omelet. What’s up everyone, it’s Mark Wiens with migrationology.com in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is mid morning and Yingand I are walking over to Glodok, which is Jakarta’s Chinatown. And actually, we don’treally have any plans of what we’re gonna do there, not really, but we’re just gonna walk around, explore, probably find

some street food. There’s a lot of traffic,as usual, on this road, so that’s why we are walking. We’re going to beat the traffic and we’re gonna explore Jakarta’s Chinatown. We took the back way to get to Chinatown, through the back streets, but we are definitely in Chinatown now. The whole, it’s still Jakarta, but you can definitely feel that it’s Chinatown. We passed a couple ofChinese temples already, and you can see some ofthe old Chinese buildings that are evidence thatwe are in Chinatown, as well as, I thinkwe’re gonna walk through a market soon, I’ve seen somepeople carrying lots of bags. And also, in Chinatown, theyalso have bicycle rickshaws which are available for transportation. We have gotten to themarket section of Glodok. There is a lot of beautifullooking fruits and vegetables. And actually, this Chinatownkinda reminds me of Bangkok’s Chinatown, Yaowarat,very, a lot of similarities. And it’s a very tight, and busy place. A lot of business and commerce and markets everywhere you look. We just took a turn down a side alley, this is just a walking alley, and we are in route toa famous coffee shop. I think it’s somewhere downhere and maybe to the right. The market street is areally great atmosphere, but then when you get downon these even side alleys, it’s really quiet backhere and really nice. A lot of people are very friendly, and there are lots ofrandom things for sale. Just look at this quantity of avocados. We’re just walking through the alley, we haven’t made it to the coffee shop yet, but I saw a guy sellingsiomay from his motorbike. He had a variety of differentthings in his steamer, and we kind of just chose anumber of different things. I think these are the actualsiomay and then there’s some tofu and then he alsohad one with bitter melon. I think pork stuffed into bitter melon so I got one of those. And then this is definitelya Chinese style of a dish, but what really makes itIndonesian is that they serve it with peanut sauce. So, after he finished slicing them all up, he put a big scoop ofpeanut sauce and then he squeezed on some kecapmanis which is sweet soy sauce. And I think that’s kind of achili sauce on the side there. So, I’m gonna try one of these first. Dip it into the peanut sauce. Wow, that has a verysquishy kind of texture. Almost like mochi glutinousrice texture to it. And then at the tail end of my bite, then I can taste some sesame oil and maybe a little bit of minced pork. That’s just a straightup piece of tofu with the sweet peanut sauce and a little bit of chili in there as well. I really love bitter melon, it has such a wonderful bitter flavor. And then it’s juicy and has a, like a cucumber crispness to it. (inaudible) As I was eating that plate of siomay I was standing right across the street from a vegetarian restaurant andthe owner here is really nice and he invited us to try some of his all vegetarian Indonesian food. And what I really want to taste, I think I’m just goingto get a small taste, because we might have a lot of, So, he has a whole spread ofdifferent Indonesian dishes all vegetarian and the onethat I really want to taste is rendang which is one ofthe most famous Indonesian dishes and it happens tobe a favorite of mine, as well, but I have never hada vegetarian version of it. I didn’t want to order awhole plate of food with rice because I think westill have a lot to eat, so I just got some ofthe rendang to taste it. This is the rendang vegetarian. What is in the rendang? – Mushroom, we make it outof mushroom, black mushroom. – I could have a mistaken it for chunks of meat definitely. Even on the inside itlooks kind of like meat. That looks like a big meatball. That’s really good, oh wow. It’s like meat but it’s more tender. It almost tastes like pulled beef, but that is all mushroom. That rendang is delicious actually. It’s a little bit spicy,you can taste the coconut, and these are some kindof spring roll types of things and he said it might taste a little bit like shrimp. I think that’s bean curd. That’s awesome. That is my kind ofvegetarian bite right there, just solid mushrooms, it’slike compressed mushrooms. That was impressively good,especially that rendang. And, so, if you’re lookingfor all vegetarian food in Jakarta in Chinatown,it’s right in this lane. And I’m not sure the name of this lane, but that was really good vegetarian food. We finally made it to thefamous, legendary coffee shop. This place is called Kopi Es Tak Kie. It is an old school ChineseIndonesian coffee shop. And it has a lot of history to it, if you look around youcan see a lot of photos on the wall and a lot offamous people, I believe, have come here for coffee. It’s really humid and Idecided it would be a good idea to order a hot coffee. Oh, that is a good black cup of coffee. The coffee is so smooth. And I get it sugarless, so it’s just straight up black coffee,but really smooth. It doesn’t have much acid,and just a good, clean chocolatey flavor. And this an indoor coffeeshop and they have a number of different streetfood stalls that set up right outside the door of this shop, and so you can order street food and then they will deliver it inside so you can sit down at the table as longas you’re ordering drinks and eat the street food from outside. And one of the optionsright outside the door is Nasi campur and Nasi campur is actually just means rice and mixed everything. There’s some crispy porkbelly, I think that’s gizzard. This is like boiled chicken. There’s a tiny sliver of an egg. I think this is the charsiu, the roast pork, the roasted barbecue pork. That’s a lot moreflavorful than it looked. That rice is really good. And then that pork is very lean and it’s actually quite tender. But I think it would beimproved with some of this chili sauce, let me add that over here. And that’s a little piece of pork belly. And I think that isgizzard, looks like gizzard.

That’s like a sour, salty chili sauce. And then that’s definitely gizzard, it has a very crisp texture to it. And then actually I don’tthink that was pork belly, I think it might have been chicken, maybe with a roasted skin. Chase that with some of this soup, and there’s a vegetable in it as well. It’s a very plain, but very salty soup. And that vegetable is alittle bit sour, vinegary, so I think it’s a pickled mustard green or something like that. Dip it into the sauce, that’s like sausage wrapped around the skewer. Okay, it’s pretty sweet. That was a good coffee break stop and another plate of food andnow we are just walking back down the alley. There are so many differentchoices of foods to eat within this alley. We took a little walk down the road and they have a lot of street food carts and so I spotted a snackthat I wanted to try. It is, there are a lotof different variations of this that I’ve seenall over Southeast Asia. It’s very similar incooking style method to a Sri Lankan hopper, butit’s cooked in a little personalized roundedskillet and what he does, the batter is green. What he does is, he scoops in some batter, kinda sloshes it around and then it cooks. He puts the lid on andthen it cooks so that the edges are crispyand then in the center it’s kind of fluffy andkind of like waffle-like. The edges are crispy all the way. And then the inside iskind of sticky, gooey. It’s sweet and I’m notsure but I think the fragrance might be pandanbecause of that greeness. And it sort of has a verylight, vanilla-y essence. That’s a very simple, but kindof tasty sweet pancake snack. One of the most commontypes of street food that you’ll find in Jakartaare deep fried items. And, so, all over the streetyou’ll find carts with a big wok full of oil deep frying, an assortment of differentthings and so for our next street food snack Ijust ordered a couple of deep fried items. The first thing I got isa pisang goreng which is a deep fried banana. He took the banana andhe kind of sliced it, but then kept the bananaall together and kind of made it into a finger/hand shape. It’s almost like a little glove mitt. How he cut it like this,in strips but keeping the whole thing together, itgives it more surface area for more crunchy batter and I think it’s a pretty cool way to cut abanana for deep frying it. That is quite a lot of batter. And it’s very crispyand then there’s kind of a lot of batter to banana ratio, but then on the inside is the very sweet and kinda custard-y banana. It’s like a little banana sandwich. For many of my growing upyears, I lived in Africa, in central Africa. And when my family wasliving in the Democratic Republic of Congo, I used toeat breadfruit all the time. But then, since I wasa child I haven’t had breadfruit very oftenand even where I live in Thailand, in Bangkok, breadfruit is not very common at all, actually. You can see sometimeson the tree, but it’s very rarely eaten. So, I was happy to see hehas deep fried breadfruit. This is just a big sliceof breadfruit deep fried. That brings back some great memories. Breadfruit is awesome. This is just a naturalphenomena of a fruit. It is really like a verystarchy, starchy bread. Kinda like a crossbetween bread and potato. Actually kinda like cassava. It has that really dry starchiness to it and then this one is justreally nicely salted, as well. So, it’s like a salty,silky, bread-y, potato. And then it does have a littlebit of a fruity taste to it. But that’s really heavy. I think partly why I likethis so much is because I grew up, when I was a kid, eating this and I have so many memories of breadfruit. That is such a starchy,it’s delicious actually. I really like it. It’s very heavy and dry. Chinatown’s around theworld in different cities are one of my favorite places to explore. And Chinatown here inJakarta has been great. There’s a lot of food and alot of cool places to explore. If you just kind of wanderaround these alleys. But Ying and I are gonnastart heading a little ways North to some of the other historical buildings not too far away from here. Crossing the street inthis area is definitely not the easiest situation,but we gotta cross now. We are in the old historicalheritage area of Jakarta now. And there is a lot oftraffic in every direction. We made it to the old areaof Jakarta which is called Fatahillah which is theold Dutch colonial area. There are a lot of heritageDutch buildings in this area. We’re now in the big square,so we’re just going to walk around here for alittle bit and just enjoy the scenery. Within this square, alot of people are renting very colorful neon bikesand just riding around. And then there a lot of students, and we met up with a group of students, and they wanted to asksome questions about why we are traveling to Indonesia and what we like abouttraveling to Indonesia. And then one of the questionsthey asked me was why did you guys come to Indonesia? And when I told them thatwe came to Indonesia to eat, they all thought that was pretty funny. I wasn’t sure if we weregonna be able to find this one street foodsnack that I really wanted to try called kerak telor. And we happened to find it so we got lucky and he is making it right now. It was really genius watching him make it. What he does is, hefirst takes some raw rice and then puts it intothe bottom of the wok. And then he really heats up the wok, heats up that fire, fans the flames. And then he added a bunchof different seasonings including, I know there’s some coconut and probably some salt,I’m not sure what else. And then after that hecracked in egg and then mixed it all up until it waslike a slushy omelet rice mixture. And the true genius ofwhat he does after that is, he actually flips the wok over, so, you would think gravity would make the entire rice omelet mixturejust fall out of the wok, but somehow it stays onthe bottom of the wok even thought it’s flipped upside down. And that’s when he reallyfans the flames strong so it’s a big fire thatcomes up to the bottom of the wok there and justkind of scorches that rice and egg mixture. And then once it’s ready,he flips it back over, he scoops it out with aspatula, adds on some more seasoning, including ahandful of crispy shallots, sticks it onto a pieceof paper and it’s ready. This is a street food snackthat definitely has some history in Indonesia andI know that it was very popular since the colonial Dutch times. And it is truly a genius of a creation. I’m going to take my first bite. Wow, that rice, it’s like a combination of a rice and omelet. And then there is definitelysome coconut in there. But it’s not sweet, justnatural coconut, I think. Like dried coconut,it’s a little bit crisp. But that basically justtastes like a roasted rice egg omelet. It tastes like thebottom of clay pot rice. The crunchy, kind ofslightly burnt bottom. So, it has that crispiness,but then with egg mixed in and dried coconut. I’m really happy that wehad a chance to try that final Jakarta street food. It’s kind of a simple combination, but I love the way he makes it. And part of street food and eating snacks is just enjoying theatmosphere and watching them cook the food right before you.

And that is just an absolutegenius of a street food snack. I think I enjoyed itmore watching the process of it being made than even eating it. I think that is gonna bethe end for today’s video about Jakarta street food. It’s been wonderful walking around. I am just drenched and hotand sweaty to the core, so I think we’re gonnajump in a taxi and head back to our hotel now. Thank you all very muchfor watching this video. Please remember to giveit a thumbs up if you enjoyed it and also makesure you click subscribe for lots more food videos. And I’ll see you on the next food video.

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