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Jakpost guide to Jl. Mangga Besar Raya

Jessicha Valentina
Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, October 28, 2017  /  10:10 am
Jakpost guide to Jl. Mangga Besar Raya

Jl. Mangga Besar Raya has vendors open in the daytime, but the selection increases significantly after dusk. (JP/Jessicha Valentina)

Jl. Mangga Besar Raya in West Jakarta has long been recognized as a foodie's heaven. At night, visitors can find a myriad of street food vendors, whose offerings range from Chinese fried kwetiaw (thin rice noodles), nasi campur (mixed rice), durians and even snake.

Those wanting to know more about the street and its offerings can check out our guide below.

How to get there

Jl. Mangga Besar Raya is located near Lindateves Trade Center, making it quite easy to reach via public transport.

Visitors coming from Kali Deres in West Jakarta can hop on a TransJakarta bus using the Harmoni route. Those living in South Jakarta can use Transjakarta's Blok M to Kota bus route and continue the journey to Harmoni.

You can also take a train to Mangga Besar station. And of course, taxis and app-based ride-hailing services will know the road.

What to wear

Most of the food stalls do not have air conditioning, so it's a good idea to wear casual clothing, such as a T-shirt and jeans.

Read also: Jakpost guide to Kota Tua

What to do

Although Jl. Mangga Besar Raya is a popular food destination, the road is also known as the location of the historic Husada Hospital. Previously known as Jang Seng Le, the hospital was established in 1924, making it one of the longest-serving hospitals in town.

Visitors will also find Apotek Roxy in the area. Open 24 hours, the pharmacy boasts a wide range of medicines for many kinds of ailments.

Men wanting to get a tailored suit or tuxedo can schedule a visit to Wong Hang Tailor. Established in 1933, Wong Hang custom-made suits start from Rp 5,900,000 (US$434.22).

 

A post shared by Wonghang Tailor (@wonghangtailor) on

As an added bonus, the shop also provides free alterations to its customers.

Those visiting Jl. Mangga Besar Raya in the afternoon may want to visit Vihara Avalokitesvara. The temple, built in 1936, has altars of Buddha and Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy).  

What to eat

Food is the main reason to come to Jl. Mangga Besar Raya. The area has a plethora of dishes for visitors to sample, making it an ideal place for a walking food tour.

Those coming from Jl. Gajah Mada may want to start the culinary excursion in Bakso Akiaw 99. The fact that the restaurant almost always packed is a testament to its popularity. Here, foodies can devour beef meatballs, with offal and choices of kwetiaw, noodles, rice vermicelli or rice. Served with fried garlic and coriander leaves, Bakso Akiaw 99 delivers tantalizing flavor that cannot be imitated.   

Next to Bakso Akiaw 99, foodies can try Medan-style nasi campur, bola-bola ubi (cassava balls) and more.

Read also: Jakpost guide to Jl. Benda

If you're still hungry, across from Bakso Akiaw 99 is Super Suikiaw, where foodies can try the signature suikiaw (dumplings). However, unlike the usual suikiaw that come with minced chicken or pork filling, the eatery offers other, less common fillings, such as crab, squid, seaweed and bamboo clam.

'Soto mie' (clear soup served with beef meat, egg noodles, tomato and spring roll) is one of Henis' signature dishes. 'Soto mie' (clear soup served with beef meat, egg noodles, tomato and spring roll) is one of Henis' signature dishes. (JP/Jessicha Valentina)

Henis is also well worth a visit. The restaurant is known for two things: soto mie (clear soup served with beef meat, egg noodles, tomato and spring roll) and roti bakso (bread with meatball filling). The former comes with chunky slices of meat and  savory soup. The roti bakso is relatively small but is chock-full of fillings.  

The truly adventurous can check a few items off of their culinary bucket list by checking out the snake, rabbit and monitor lizard vendors.

Acin is one of the most popular durian sellers.Acin is one of the most popular durian sellers. (JP/Jessicha Valentina)

Jl. Mangga Besar Raya is also a great place to get fresh durians, and Acin is known as one of the best. Here, visitors can savor the king of fruits, starting at Rp 80,000 per piece.

Other popular eateries worth checking out are: Kwetiaw Sapi 78 Mangga Besar, Asinan Bogor Gedung Dalam and Chinese restaurant Central.

Tips

  • Pay attention to your belongings and try to avoid wearing flashy jewelry, as crowded sidewalks may prove tempting for petty thieves.
  • Most of the street food vendors open after dusk, so it's best to visit at night.
  • Come with an empty stomach so that you can try several restaurants in one visit.
  • Try to walk on the sidewalks rather than the roads, as motorbikes can come from any direction. (kes)