Before my Yogyakarta ("Jogja") trip, I had a vague idea of Javanese / Jogjanese food. I pored over loads of Youtube food review videos, blogs, internet articles & reviews and came up with this Eat List of Jogja street food:
Gudeg, Nasi Kucing, Kopi Jos, Kopi Luwak, Bakpia / Hopia, Oseng oseng Mercon, Lumpia, Sate Klathak, Lenjongan, Serabi, Es Dawet, Klepon, Lemper, Arem Arem, Semar Mendham, Sate Kere, Pecel, Bakwan
I am sure I left out many other Jogjanese food. But at the end of my 5 day trip there, I managed to sample only a third from the list.
Jogjanese love to snack, as seen from their street food scene. The place to go to is the main shopping street - Jalan Malioboro. It comes alive in the evening when the street is lined with food stalls.
Majority of the stalls sells Pecel, which is a salad of boiled vegetables, fried chicken spare parts, bakwan (vegetable fritters), fried toufu, fried tempe (fermented soya beans) in peanut sauce served with rice. Pecel is like Gado-Gado, which we can easily get in Singapore, but uses more humble and simpler set of ingredients. Food is served in an environment-friendly way, on banana leaf in a conical shaped bamboo basket.
Being a coffee drinker, I was curious to try Kopi Jos and Kopi Luwak.
Kopi Jos is black coffee served with a piece of burning charcoal. There are numerous roadside stalls/carts selling these concoction, but I went for the sanitized version at Kopi Arang Malioboro Cafe, located in Grand Inna Malioboro Hotel at (yes) Jalan Malioboro.
Kopi Luwak is touted as one of the the world's most expensive coffee. It is coffee brewed with coffee beans that was excreted from the Civet Cat (Luwak). A short distance from the historical Borobudur site, is the Pawon Luwak Coffee. There, we shared a cup of freshly brewed coffee and was not disappointed. It was said that the fermentation that happens in the wild Cat's stomach & intestines helped in enriching the taste (and aroma) of the coffee. The cafe owner brought us through the process of cleaning (multiple times), sun drying and roasting of the beans before the beans are ready for consumption. I brought back a 100g bag of ground Luwak processed Arabica coffee, which set me back by IDR400,000 (estd. USD28).
(Pawon Luwak Coffee address: 16, Jalan Balaputradewa, Dusun 1, Wanurejo, Kec. Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah 56553, Indonesia)
Other than local food, we did sample Jogja's Cafe scene and randomly picked the 'Move On' Cafe which served decent BBQ beef ribs (Igar Bakar).
There are fairly decent shopping malls in Jogja and we visited several, including Hartono Mall (which we were told is the largest in Jogja). We tried Japanese table BBQ restaurant, Shabu Ghin Hartono Mall Restaurant, and opted for Wagyu beef with free flow of hotpot ingredients, sides and desserts. It turned out to be an IDR 1,240,000 meal, expensive but fairly satisfied with the meal.
And, if you are curious what is Nasi Kucing (Cat Rice); there are no cat meat in the rice. It is a popular takeaway food which consists of a very small portion of rice (like what you would feed a cat :-)) with simple dishes like vegetables, tempe and toufu.
Its a Sunday and we feel like having authentic Malay Kampung (Village) dishes for lunch. So we drove 100 km to a Kampung in Johor (Teluk Sengat in Kota Tinggi district). We came across this restaurant at the junction of road J92 (enroute to Desaru) and J222 (Jalan Teluk Sengat) - Masakan Kampung Ibrahim (Ibrahim Kampung Dishes).
We had rice with Gong-Gong (Conch/ Sea Snails)...
which, we can get in Singapore...and Asam Pedas Ikan Sembilang (Cat-fish in Chili Tamarind Broth)...
which, we can get in Singapore....but mostly at my my Mom's place....and Horseshoe Crab (Belangkas)...
which I have not eaten in yonks: Oh wait...as of 2 weeks ago: I had the same dish in another restaurant in Kota Tinggi 2 weeks ago when I had a craving for this Living-Fossil-of-an-animal which looks like something out of an Alien movie. (Small piece of wiki information: Its blood is blue in colour and used for the detection of bacterial endotoxins in medical applications).
I believe, to the Kota Tinggians, Belangkas is not as exotic as what we urbanites think. It is available in abundance in Kota Tinggi, especially during the spawning season. This dish must be properly prepared, as some parts of the animal can be toxic. The eggs are prized while the flesh are normally sparse. The flesh tastes like chicken+mud-crab and the eggs tastes like little beads of egg yolk. Locals cook it in Asam Pedas (Chili Tamarind) or Lemak Chili Padi (Coconut and birds eye chili) broth.
After the most satisfying lunch, we traveled further down Jalan Teluk Sengat to the scenic and breezy village and bay area.
Location of Kedai Masakan Kampung Ibrahim
Location of Medan Selera Teluk Sengat
Here, we share some of our Halal eatery finds.