Preserve and Promote Indonesian Cuisine
A plate of 'gudeg' at Gudeg Pak Atmo. (Good Indonesian Food/File)
Who knew that the best gudeg (unripe jackfruit stew) joint in Jakarta can be found in Gandaria?
It all began when I was browsing the Internet to find a good place to have some gudeg. Then the name Gudeg Pak Atmo popped up.
Despite my initial reservations, I decided to give it a shot. With the help of Google Maps, it was not too difficult a task to locate the venue. It is tucked between a grilled fish restaurant and a European eatery, sports a green exterior and has limited parking that can only fit up to three small cars.
It was pretty empty that afternoon, with just a couple of fellow customers inside who looked like they were waiting for their food. The front of the establishment features a window where you can see a large basin filled with various side dishes, including gudeg, ayam panggang (roast chicken), sambal krecek (spicy cattle skin stew) and telur pindang (hard-boiled spiced eggs). From a quick confab with one of the employees, I learned that the gudeg there is prepared in small portions and made to order in an effort to maintain its freshness and authenticity.
To my amazement, Yosef Atmorahardjo – more popularly known as Pak Atmo – is actually the head chef of the Mangkunegaran and has regularly presented his cooking at royal feasts. He moved to Gandaria in 1963 and opened this very shop. The venue is currently run by his sixth grandchild, Cosmas Aprilianto, with the helping hands of his mum and three aunts to maintain the quality of the food.
I ordered the gudeg komplet (unripe jackfruit stew and all its accoutrements). Besides its pride and joy, the eatery also offers other delicacies, such as nasi timbel (banana leaf-wrapped steamed rice), nasi urap (steamed rice with mixed steamed vegetables in grated coconut), nasi asem-asem daging (steamed rice with sour beef) and nasi ayam panggang (steamed rice with roast chicken). Gudeg Pak Atmo also provides a takeaway service and catering for special occasions.
My first spoonful of the nasi gudeg immediately transported me to olden-day Solo. The composition of the seasoning was perfect – not too concentrated, but also not sweet enough to make one feel full afterwards. I could taste the savoriness of the telur pindang to its core, while the roast chicken was tender, immaculately cooked and delicious inside and out. Another aspect of the meal that left me flabbergasted was the sweet jackfruit that seamlessly combined with the side dishes. The sambal krecek was adequately spicy and quite savory as well. (kes)
Explore more Indonesian cuisine here.
Jl. Gandaria 1 Persil 2, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta
Contact: 021 725 1882
Open daily from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Rp 50,000 (US$3.70) per person
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.