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Jakpost guide to Jl. Sabang

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Fri, April 14, 2017 | 10:03 am
Jakpost guide to Jl. Sabang

You can use Transjakarta buses to reach Jl. Sabang. (JP/Devina Heriyanto)

A continuation of Jl. H. Agus Salim, Jl. Sabang is located near one of the busiest streets in Central Jakarta, M.H. Thamrin, as well as popular department store Sarinah.

Although the street is shorter than Jl. Cikini Raya, it is known as one of the city's culinary havens. Some of the places on Jl. Sabang have existed for a long time.  

How to get there

Jl. Sabang is relatively easy to reach via Transjakarta bus as you can get off at the Sarinah bus stop and walk to the intersection between Jl. H. Agus Salim and Jl. K.H. Wahid Hasyim via the back area of the department store.

The Jakarta Post visited the area on Saturday during lunch time. Jl. Sabang itself provides sufficient space for pedestrians and a parking area; however, if you decide to pay a visit in the evening, especially on a Saturday night, it will be crowded with people and street vendors.

Those who want to purchase various products from cookie-and-biscuit giant Khong Guan can visit TWII Mart.(JP/Devina Heriyanto)

What to wear

Most of the stores and restaurants on Jl. Sabang are air conditioned, but if you want to explore the whole area, it would be wise to wear casual and comfortable clothes because it can get hot. You should also bring an umbrella as the weather can be unpredictable.

Read also: Jakpost guide to Kota Tua

What to shop for

Those who want to purchase products from the cookie-and-biscuit giant Khong Guan can visit TWII Mart as it sells snacks from the brand and its subsidiaries, which include Serena, Monde and Nissin. Aside from the iconic red Khong Guan assorted biscuits, the store also sells butter cookies, wafers and other savory treats.

Established in 1972, Bhavia Tailor maintains its originality by having only one store on Jl. Sabang.(JP/Devina Heriyanto)

The area also hosts Bhavia International Tailor that caters to those who want to customize their suits, blazers, trousers or uniforms. Established in 1972, the suit maker maintains its originality by having only one store on Jl. Sabang. The tailor is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and also sells ready-to-wear clothes. The price, depending on the fabrics and whether the customers bring their own, starts from Rp 700,000 (US$52).

Another interesting place on Jl. Sabang is Duta Suara Musik, one of the city's legendary music stores. As you enter, prepare to be greeted with questions like, “what title are you looking for?” or “what kind of music genre would you like to hear?” by its shopkeepers. Only available on Jl. Sabang, the music library is charming, especially for those who miss the good old days of purchasing cassettes and vinyl. Established in 1970, Duta Suara Musik also caters to online requests via e-mail.

Located only on Jl. Sabang, the music library Duta Suara Musik is very charming. (JP/Devina Heriyanto)

Sarinah itself has been a popular hangout spot due to its strategic location, as well as being home to fast food chains and cafes. Aside from that, the 5th floor of the department store also serves as a one-stop shopping spot for local souvenirs, from keychains to beauty products and furniture. The price for keychains, for instance, starts at Rp 35,000.

Read also: Five must-visit 'warungs' on Jl. Sabang

What to eat

Situated at the end of Jl. Sabang, Kopi Oey is richly decorated in red and designed to make patrons feel as if they were in a kopitiam (coffee stall) somewhere in the past. Since 2009, the place has served coffee as well as non-coffee beverages and foods. Try its Ijs Koffie Soesoe Indotjina and, if you are feeling adventurous, Koffie Taloea Boekittinggi, which combines coffee with eggs and lime juice. The average price for food and beverages starts from Rp 20,000.

Richly decorated in red, Kopi Oey offers a somewhat vintage vibe.(JP/Devina Heriyanto)

Jl. Sabang also has a legendary bakery named Modern Bakery Sakura Anpan. Located beside Bata shoes store, it was established back in 1978. Serving customers until 8 p.m., it sells traditional cakes, breads and birthday cakes, with the most popular products being bolu gulung (rolled cake) and lapis Surabaya.

Renowned for its diverse street vendors, the street is a haven for people seeking to enjoy local cuisines in one place, especially at night, from satay to fried rice and soto (aromatic soup). Some of the food sellers can be found at a spot named Kampung Kuliner Sabang (Sabang Culinary Village), which is usually packed with people in weekdays during lunch time.

Some of the cakes from Modern Bakery Sakura Anpan.(JP/Devina Heriyanto)

One of the most popular street food sellers in the area is Jamal Satay. Serving both chicken and mutton satay, the vendor has been particularly famous after the January terror incident on Jl. M.H. Thamrin last year, as the owner, Pak Jamal, was captured calmly fanning satay on his cart despite being located only 100 meters away from the bombing.


- Be careful when attempting to cross the street at the intersection between Jl. H. Agus Salim and Jl. K.H. Wahid Hasyim since there is no crossing light for pedestrians.

- Aside from sufficient parking space, Jl. Sabang also has parking meters.

- It is advised to ask for the price prior to eating at the street vendors.

- Duta Suara Musik closes on Monday. (kes)