The Jakarta Post
'I like cassava and you like cheese,' reads a lyric from the 1980s song, 'Singkong dan Keju' (Cassava and Cheese), which tells a story of a conservative boy who falls in love with an uptown girl. Today, cassava and cheese are being brought together in the culinary adventures of creative food vendors in the capital city.
Here are five popular 'East-meets-West' street foods favored by Jakarta residents.
Cheese cassava will soothe your hunger pangs. To create the crispy texture, the cassava is fried and then marinated with garlic and salt before being fried again. Then, it is sprinkled with a generous portion of grated cheese. Condensed milk can be added for sweetness.
The snack is widely available across the capital city. The price for a box of cheese cassava ranges between Rp 7,000 (54 US Cent) and Rp 15,000.
Surabi is an Indonesian pancake made from rice flour, with coconut milk or shredded coconut used as an emulsifier. In general, modern surabi is either sweet or savory. Savory surabi is normally mixed with sausage, mayonnaise, eggs and cheese, while sweet surabi is mixed with jelly, vanilla or chocolate.
Food trucks selling surabi can be found on Jl. Wahid Hasyim in Central Jakarta in the evening. One serving is priced at around Rp 15,000.
Ketan susu (glutinous rice with condensed milk), often abbreviated as tansu, is a traditional snack usually enjoyed with fried tempe, banana or cassava. Some vendors also add toppings like durian and sweetsop (sugar apple).
With its popularity on the rise, new varieties have begun to emerge in Jakarta. A tansu vendor in Ciputat, East Jakarta, for example, mixes tansu with chocolate, cheese, Oreo cookies, Milo, Nutella and peanut butter.
Just like tansu, richer varieties of martabak (pancake) have also cropped up. It was a martabak vendor on Jl. Pecenongan, Central Jakarta, who started the trend of adding the popular chocolate and hazelnut spread Nutella. Several popular martabak vendors have since followed suit, making martabak with Toblerone chocolate bars.
Kue cubit green tea
Kue cubit (small traditional pancake), literally translated as 'pinch cake', is usually sold by snack vendors near schools or campuses.
The cake, which some people prefer half-baked, created a buzz on social media like Instagram and Twitter when one vendor added a Japanese touch; green tea. Some famous kue cubit vendors in the capital are Bitten By You in Tebet and Kantin SD at the Pasar Santa market, both in South Jakarta, and Suntiang restaurant at the Grand Indonesia shopping mall in Central Jakarta.
Besides using green tea, some vendors have also begun adding flavors like red velvet, bubble gum and taro. Six pieces of kue cubit cost between Rp 12,000 and Rp 20,000.
Western touch for Bubur Ayam
Bubur ayam (chicken porridge) is a popular dish in Indonesia, especially for breakfast. Besides chicken, a bowl of bubur ayam is usually accompanied by toppings like shredded chicken, cakwe (Chinese fried bread stick), crackers and fried soybean.
Now, western favorites like cheese and corned beef are being added to bubur ayam.
One of food stalls that is famous for this dish is the legendary Roti Bakar Eddy, which has branches located in various locations, including the Senayan sport complex in Central Jakarta and at Blok M in South Jakarta.