Dear fellow tasters,
Because it is too mainstream to dine at fancy restaurants and shopping malls. That’s probably the reason why so many Jakartan hipster youngsters and foodies alike flock to Pasar Santa, a slightly modernized traditional market near Senopati area in Southern Jakarta that recently has transformed into a hipster wonderland following the pioneering success of ABCD, A Bunch of Caffeine Dealers, a coffee shop slash barista school that first opened their business in the market. Nowadays, the first floor of Pasar Santa is occupied by numerous food stalls, chic stores, small cafes offering specialty merchandises and various local and international delicacies ranging from Korean barbeque to Chinese clay pot, black bun hotdog to Mexican tacos and burritos, as well as es cendol to serious coffee.
Well, to be honest I couldn’t care less about being hipster or anti-mainstream but wherever there is good food around, I’ll probably be there to try it out. Hence, despite no air conditioning and the unavoidable bumping with other hungry food seekers on the narrow aisles, that afternoon after Umaku, my friends and I braced ourselves for a quick tour of Pasar Santa. We actually wanted to sample many different stalls but due to the crowd and long queue at some of the favorite ones, we only ended up trying five of them. Here goes.
Pasar Santa 1st Floor
The first stop was for Japanese at Kicchin (from Japanese pronunciation of “kitchen”) and we ordered a large bowl of Gyutan Don (beef tongue rice bowl) to share. For 25k, I would say it was quite a deal looking at the generous gyutan slices. Taste wise, it was pretty delicious and on the spicy side due to the sliced bird’s eye chili mixed in the rice bowl.
Damage – 25k for a large gyutan don
Miesop Medan 61
Pasar Santa 1st Floor
Then we moved on to Miesop Medan 61, recommended by a friend of mine for their miesop, a signature Medanese noodle soup (mie = noodle, sop = soup). However, we felt that a bowl of miesop would be too fulfilling so we opted for the tasty Sate Kerang (skewered cockles with sweet and slightly spicy sauce) and some refreshing Badak soda drink.
Damage – 18k for sate kerang (5pcs), 10k for Badak
Next, my pork lover friend and I headed for Legoh, a branch outlet of a Manadonese restaurant from Bandung. We shared a portion of the Babi Cuka (vinegar pork) from the not so openly displayed porky menu. The BaCuk was absolutely delightful with my only complaint that the portion was a tad too small with too much of the fatty parts.
Damage – around 30k for a portion of babi cuka
Bbo Bbo Kogi
Pasar Santa 1st Floor Food Court
While we rested our weary feet and took our seats in the packed food court, another friend of mine bought Lychee Tea Bingsu from Bbo Bbo Kogi shop. Bbo Bbo Kogi actually specializes in Korean Barbeque but they also serves up different variants of Korean shaved ice or bingsu. I only tasted a few scoops and all I can say is that nothing can really go wrong about some lychee-tea-flavored shaved ice topped with vanilla ice cream and canned lychees.
Damage – 17k for the lychee tea bingsu
The Pasar Santa Tour concluded with a quick visit to Sepotong Kue for their Kue Sus (choux pastry) with chocolate ice cream, which was quite a unique way to serve the ice cream. I tried a little bit of the ice cream and it tasted quite lovely, moreover so with the 12k price tag.
Damage – 12k for the choux ice cream
Have fun market touring!
PS: Most of the shops are only open after 2pm and closed on Monday (do check their social media accounts for exact opening hours)
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – gyutan don, babi cuka
Which stalls to try next time – DOG, Mie Chino, Clay Pot Popo, Papricano, Roti Eneng
Jl. Cipaku I