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Updated by Joanna James on Nov 23, 2021
Headline for Food of Jakarta - Top 6 Dishes that must be on the Foodie's List- A persistent flavour potpourri
Joanna James Joanna James
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Food of Jakarta - Top 6 Dishes that must be on the Foodie's List- A persistent flavour potpourri

While many beauty-hungry travellers flock straight to Bali, overlooking the loud commercial hub of Jakarta, this city hosts plenty of sensory surprises for the ardent traveller. Here are some of the must-try delicacies the Capital serves best.


A non-stop cosmopolis

Affectionately dubbed as the 'Big Durian', the spiky pungent fruit with a creamily sweet interior, Jakarta is a metropolis that visitors either love wholeheartedly or can barely stand! From intriguing glimpses of culture and heritage like the Jakarta History Museum and architectural marvels like the Istiqal Mosque to the picturesque Merdeka Square and vintage shopping districts like Menteng, this noisy and crowded cityscape may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's certainly not tedious! In a vibrant melting pot of diverse cultures, Jakarta's culinary scene is mouth-wateringly extensive, where contemporary twists on traditional favourites are in vogue. Here are 6 gastronomic delights that you can't leave without sampling.


Nasi Goreng for rustic authenticity

A sure-fire cult favourite, no place concocts this homemade fried rice staple quite like the booming Indonesian Capital. Whether you like it simple and traditional or with luscious accoutrements such as salty anchovies, succulent mutton, turmeric-soaked rice, or special spice-infused sauces, this is a filling and colourful meal fit for royalty on a budget!


Serabi for colourful versatility

A deceptively simple yet immensely satisfying dessert-slash-snack, this rice flour and coconut milk batter cake can be topped with anything from cheese and durian to jackfruit, ice cream, and caramelized bananas. Some irresistible savoury combinations involve a generous helping of mayonnaise or spicy sauce with diced meat or sausage.


Satays for obsessive snacking

This piquant Indonesian 'kebab' consists of juicy meat grilled to a turn, crusted with garlic flakes, and glazed with the sweet and salty tons of soybean and peanut sauce. If you have a more ambitious palate, you can try more unconventional variations like tender mutton sprinkled with green chillies or crispy fish and vegetable 'sausages' with plenty of seasoning.


Martabak for shameless indulgence

Picture an immensely fluffy pancake soaked through with rich condensed milk and decadently stuffed with anything your sweet tooth desires, from chopped peanuts, pandan, and cheese to chocolate sprinkles, Nutella, and fresh fruit. More variations include red velvet, coffee and gelato- sandwiched Martabak, and if you're more of a savoury fiend, you can't go wrong with spicy savoury egg or cheesy salmon versions of this epic pan-friend cake. If you're hunting for apartments in Golden Triangle Jakarta proffering prime access to the city's foremost eateries, look no further than Somerset Grand Citra Jakarta.


Nasi Pandang for flavour explosions

This culinary feat features over sixteen delicious dishes from beef Rendang with its richly spiced gravy and black squid with the tang of tamarind and lemongrass to well-seasoned eggplant and creamy fish head curry. The best part about this popular rice-based banquet is that you only pay for the dishes you pick from the enormous assortment, and it's best to go for a balanced helping of meat, veg, and side dishes if the variety gets too overwhelming!


Ketoprak for guilt-free decadence

A true feast for the senses, this brunch-perfect salad is a rich medley of tastes and textures, from the crunch of crispy crackers and seared tofu to the vibrant colours of red chillies and bean sprouts. As with all Indonesian dishes, the star of the show is the tangy, zesty, sweet, and spicy sauces slathered over the fluffy rice balls with a boiled or fried egg for extra protein.

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    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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