The Jakarta Post
Customers shop for various traditional Indonesian snacks sold at RM Nusa Indah on Jl. Ahmad Dahlan, South Jakarta, on Nov. 23. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Situated in South Jakarta, Jl. Ahmad Dahlan is a two-way street connected to Jl. Radio Dalam Raya, not too far from Pasar Mayestik.
Compared to the busy street of Radio Dalam Raya, which is packed with food establishments, beauty salons and workshops, Jl. Ahmad Dahlan may seem rather quiet. But that does not mean the street does not have its own unique offerings.
How to get there
Given that it is connected to Jl. Radio Dalam Raya, it is easy to get to Jl. Ahmad Dahlan. Some public transportation options are available along the road, such as the blue bajaj (three-wheeled taxis), the S72 Metro Mini public bus serving the Blok M-Lebak Bulus route and Transjakarta buses serving the Lebak Bulus-Kota route.
What to wear
Casual clothes are fine, but the street can be overcrowded with cars and motorcycles, especially during rush hour, so you may want to bring your hat and face mask to protect yourself from the pollution.
What to buy
RM Nusa Indah
Since 1985, Ruman Makan Nusa Indah has been a one-stop shop for those who want to buy souvenirs for their friends and relatives. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Established in 1985, Rumah Makan (RM) Nusa Indah is one of the legendary food establishments in this area. The store is famous for traditional Indonesian snacks from different provinces in Indonesia, including abon (shredded and fried meat); kue (cake) Mandarin from the Central Java city of Surakarta; sambal (chili sauce) Bu Rudy from Surabaya in East Java; sarsaparilla soda Cap Badak; and the all-time favorite, bolu (cake) Meranti from Medan in North Sumatra. It is a one-stop shop for those who want to buy souvenirs for their friends or relatives. Prices start at Rp 15,000 (US$1).
Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., RM Nusa Indah also has a restaurant on the right side of the building. It sells Indonesian cuisine, such as the warm mie kocok (shaken noodles) and sop buntut (oxtail soup). Ibu Hartati, the owner of RM Nusa Indah, said the store does not have a second location. “I’m already old,” she added while laughing.
Some of the florist kiosks as part of 'Rumah Bunga Ahmad Dahlan' on Nov. 23. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Continuing with the theme of gift-giving, there is also a specific location for florists on Jl. Ahmad Dahlan. Across from the Circle K convenience store, Rumah Bunga (House of Flowers) Ahmad Dahlan is comprised of five kiosks. The sellers will step directly outside of their kiosk to show you some of their best bouquets so you can decide which ones are best for you.
Komal, one of the shop clerks of florist Cahaya Rozzy, said the store had been a part of Rumah Bunga Ahmad Dahlan since the 2000s. He further explained that a bouquet of roses was still the most sought-after item, but the store also does other types of bouquets depending on the customer’s request, such as lilies and tulips. However, some flowers take time to order, particularly tulips, so customers are advised to check ahead of time regarding availability. Aside from flower arrangements, the shop also makes flower boards for weddings. Prices start at Rp 15,000 for a single rose.
Read also: Jakpost guide to Jl. Barito
Dirty Free Shoes and Handbags Specialist
Inside the Dirty Free Shoes and Handbags Specialist shop on Nov. 23. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Those who want to get their shoes, handbags, hats and leather jackets as clean as the day they were bought can consider dropping by Dirty Free Shoes and Handbags Specialist. Located near the traffic light for Jl. Gandaria Tengah III and Jl. Ahmad Dahlan, the shop is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and offers cleaning, minor repairs, recoloring and touch-ups. “We don’t have any restrictions on which brand can be handled here,” said Sari, one of the founders. “We focus on the material, whether it’s made from leather, canvas or fabric.”
For shoes, the cleaning process can take up to one day depending on the speed selected by the customer (regular, express or instant). Prices start at Rp 75,000. Meanwhile handbags will take longer to process, sometimes up to 10 days. The price depends on the bag's material and size, but a small canvas handbag, for example, starts at Rp 300,000.
The store also has a drop-off location in Bintaro, South Tangerang, but all of the items will be delivered to the Ahmad Dahlan store, where the workshop is located. In the future, they plan to open outlets in Surabaya and Medan.
What to eat
If you want to have lunch with your friends or family, visit Soto Padang H. St. Mangkuto. Established in 1966, the restaurant offers a spicy soto Padang (soup with vegetables and vermicelli noodles) that is usually served alongside steamed rice and nasi goreng rendang (fried rice with beef stewed in coconut milk). Upon entering the establishment, you will see many snacks available above the table, including fruits, crackers and traditional cakes like kembang goyang (crunchy flower-shaped cookies). The average price is Rp 35,000.
'Soto Padang' (left) and 'rendang' fried rice, two of the most popular dishes at restaurant Soto Padang H. St. Mangkuto. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
If you just want to hang out with your friends or have breakfast in a cozy place, you may want to visit the Gentle Ben café. Sharing space with the retail shop Flip Side, Gentle Ben provides vegan and gluten-free dishes, such as salads and a smoothie bowl. Of course, sampling their coffee is a must, and one of their best is the iced latte. The prices for beverages start at Rp 25,000.
Aside from the coffee shown above, the Gentle Ben café on Jl. Ahmad Dahlan also offers healthy breakfast choices for health conscious foodies. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Read also: Jakpost guide to Jl. Kramat Pela
Jl. Ahmad Dahlan is also home to Natasha’s Party Cake, a cake boutique and café. The café has unique decor that will make you feel like you are entering someone’s classic house and joining in a party. It offers various sweet treats, such as macaroons, cakes and cupcakes. It also has an afternoon tea package for one or two people that can be enjoyed all day. Prices start at Rp 60,000.
Other restaurants that can be visited along the street are the famous Soto Kudus Blok M, Dutch restaurant H.E.M.A., Tanamera Coffee and Bakmi Jhon.
The Soto Kudus Blok M establishment on Jl. Ahmad Dahlan on Nov. 23. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)