The Jakarta Post
US-based neuro-marketing research found in 2010 that sizzling steak is one of the most addictive sounds in the world. It is not just about the sound, but it stimulates people into thinking that they are about to have a juicy slab of meat on their plates.
Here are five spots in Greater Jakarta where you can savor barbecued and grilled meat from different cultures.
South American Wood Fire Grill
Paying homage to Argentinean and Uruguayan cuisine, El Asador in Kemang, South Jakarta, offers variations of meat prepared in an open parilla wood-burning grill in the back of the dining area.
The single-serve platter provides a generous portion of vacio (thin flank steak), pollo (chicken) and homemade chorizo sausages. Those are tender and have a lovely smoky flavor. Additional portions of asado (short ribs) and churasco (rib eye) are recommended for serious meat lovers.
Glazed with El Asador's secret seasonings, the tender cuts are best enjoyed with fresh chimichurri sauce.
Sweet, savory barbecue of Hawaii
There is a lot to be explored in Hawaiian cuisine. It is a combination of locally grown ingredients processed with the cooking methods of the various ethnic groups living in the islands.
Opening its first Indonesian outlet in Central Park, West Jakarta, chain restaurant L&L Hawaiian Barbecue aims at introducing Hawaiian signature dishes to the Indonesian market.
One of those dishes is BBQ Beef Dry Saimin, grilled beef slices served over Hawaii's own noodle saimin, along with egg, dried seaweed, chopped spring onion and pineapple. The thick, crinkly saimin is inspired mainly by Japanese and Chinese noodles.
If you want to have a big lunch, its Barbecue Combo could be the perfect choice. It is an assortment of sweet and savory glazed short ribs, barbecued beef and chicken with two scoops of steamed rice and macaroni salad.
American barbecued ribs with a local touch
Many Indonesians not only find melt-in-your-mouth textures in barbecued food, but also the rich flavors of perfectly marinated meat. Creating the Indonesian version of a perfect barbecue is the main purpose of Turoz Ribs & Wings in De'Tents in Kemang, South Jakarta.
Deriving its name from the Indonesian word for 'rib', tulang rusuk, Turoz has provided a home-catering barbecue service around Jakarta since 2014 before opening its first branch last February.
Turoz's signature dish is slow-cooked beef ribs basted with homemade sauce. The ribs have been cooked in advance and will be grilled and brushed with barbecue sauce prior to serving.
The meat is tasty, tender and easily falls off the bone. The ribs are served with herbed French fries and corn on the cob. Don't be shy to eat with your hands because Turoz provides plastic gloves.
Korean cuisine is enjoying a rapidly growing popularity in the country, with more Korean restaurants and barbecue places popping up in every corner of Jakarta. The choice ranges from posh restaurants that offer premium meat cuts at hefty prices to small barbecue restaurants with a limited, affordable variety of meats.
If you are looking for a casual, pocket-friendly Korean barbecue, one of the choices is the all-you-can-eat restaurant, KOGIKOGI, in Senopati area, South Jakarta.
KOGIKOGI (which literally means meat-meat) provides a buffet of marinated ribs, chicken and spicy pork along with some Korean dishes, such as Japchae stir-fried sweet potato noodle, kimbap rice rolls and, of course, Korea's famous condiment, kimchi.
Enjoy the barbecue like a true Korean by building ssam (literally means wrapped). Simply, place a half of a lettuce leaf on your palm, put on it a piece of meat, a slice of grilled garlic and the thick, spicy ssamjang sauce. Wrap it into a ball and eat it all at once.
Japanese street food
Opening its first Indonesian outlet in the AEON Mall in BSD City, Hakata Ichibandori serves the most-beloved Japanese street food, including yakitori, or grilled chicken skewers.
Aside from chicken, the food stall offers interesting variations of dishes on skewers to ranging from rolled beef with quail eggs, ox tongue and okura beef roll to stewed okra wrapped in sliced beef.
In the middle of the grilling process, the skewered food is dipped into a sauce made up of mirin, soy sauce, sugar and a dash of sake, before being returned to the charcoal grill.
Another signature menu item is Charcoal Grilled Chicken, for which cooking oil is drizzled on the grill to create flare-ups that leave charcoal grill marks on the chicken chunks.
- Photos by Yuliasri Perdani