Preserve and Promote Indonesian Cuisine
Nasi uduk (steamed coconut rice) with side dishes is seen at Nasi Uduk Kota Intan in Kebon Kacang, Jakarta. (Good Indonesian Food/File)
Kebon Kacang is without doubt the talk of the town when it comes to the best nasi uduk (steamed coconut rice) with side dishes in Jakarta. Many may unconsciously link the ideal nasi uduk with that offered in the area, which is understandable as Kebon Kacang has been renowned for the dish for decades.
Not long ago, my culinary adventures took me to Pasar Baru, which is home to one of the most popular nasi uduk places in town: Nasi Uduk Kota Intan. Although it has been around for quite a while, it is not a fancy restaurant; only a few tents welcomed me when I set foot in the warung on Jl. Samanhudi.
Located on the pavement right in front of GKI Samanhudi, it was 5:30 p.m. and the place was beginning to see a lot of devotees. Not all the tables were occupied, but the queue that had formed at the counter was quite long. The place offers a different concept compared to other purveyors in Kebon Kacang, which involves customers choosing their side dishes at the counter and waiting for them to be served with the nasi uduk.
The side dishes are displayed on a long wooden counter and are ready to be cooked according to customers’ preferences. Besides the usual chicken, tempeh and tofu, you can also have duck and fish, along with a few vegetable choices including water spinach and bean sprouts. I opted to order a couple of pieces of chicken along with freshly fried tofu. To lend a healthy touch to my meal, I also went for the water spinach. It may sound a bit odd to eat nasi uduk with sautéed water spinach, but hey, it’s never wrong to try something new, right?
My first spoonful took me straight to heaven. The delicacy and savouriness of the nasi uduk was a treat for my taste buds, so much so that I could have just eaten it with some peanut sauce and it would have been more than enough. The fried chicken was tender with a hint of sweetness. The combination of water spinach with nasi uduk, though, was not really to my liking.
If the location is a tad too far from where you live, then you could visit its branch in Kelapa Gading instead. Just one piece of advice: never ever try mixing nasi uduk with water spinach. (kes)
Jl. Samanhudi (in front of GKI Samanhudi), Pasar Baru, Central Jakarta
Open daily from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Rp 40,000 (US$3) per person
Explore more Indonesian cuisine here.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.