Preserve and Promote Indonesian Cuisine
Martabak telur daging sapi (fried flatbread stuffed with egg and beef) at Martabak AA. (Good Indonesian Food/File)
On Jl. Minangkabau in Manggarai, South Jakarta, rows of cars are parked right in front of a shop. A number of wooden tables and benches provided by the shop are occupied by customers waiting for their order. And then there’s the enticing aroma that travels through the air from within the joint all the way up into my nostrils.
I was intrigued.
I discovered that this was the location of the famous Martabak AA. Established in 1982, the moniker Martabak AA is derived from the names of the two owners: A Siang (Surya) and A Kiu (Sulaiman).
Although not as popular as it was in the past, it has seen a steady rise of late in its number of customers. Now, Martabak AA can sell around 500-600 boxes of martabak (stuffed pancake) and finish up to six to seven crates of eggs in a day.
Customers can witness the making of each martabak with their own eyes – from the crafting of its stuffing and dough to the cooking process, all the way until it is placed inside a box. This unique aspect was devised so that punters could see for themselves the ingredients used and be convinced of the quality of the martabak.
Although there are tables and benches present, customers are not advised to dine in. In addition to lacking in cutlery, the seating area is generally used by the shop’s army of customers waiting for their martabak. However, you could have a go at the mie yamin (sweet noodles) and siomay (dumplings) joints to the left and right of Martabak AA while you wait for your martabak.
Despite the multitude of martabak places around, Martabak AA is still popular with its loyal customers.
For the youth of today, the shop’s menu may not be as colorful as its more modern equivalents and their all-the-rage selection of martabak choices such as Oreo, Nutella, Toblerone, red velvet or mozzarella, but this does not mean so much to its long-standing customers who have grown accustomed to Martabak AA’s cooking.
The long queue I encountered when I went there did not dampen my spirits. I opted for its martabak telur daging sapi (fried flatbread stuffed with egg and beef). It was quite pricey compared to your common martabak telur, which piqued my curiosity even further.
Once it was ready, I opened the box and in an instant, my mouth was watering. So thick and stuffed to the brim, its deliciousness exploded once I took a bite. It became a new martabak experience for me.
Explore more Indonesian cuisines here. (kes)
Jl. Minangkabau No. 29, Pasar Manggis, Setiabudi, South Jakarta
Contact: 0856 194 6364
Open daily from 2 p.m. - 12 a.m.
Rp 60,000 (US$4.50) 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.