Kaki Lima (roving vendor), front of kraton: Mee Bakso!
Definition of Mee Bakso: In Indonesia, meatballs are called 'bakso' . It's usually served in a bowl, with savoury soup, glass noodles, beancurd (tofu), eggs, wonton dumplings.
Favorite Dish: When I was in Java, I saw many roving vendors (Kaki Lima) selling this ubiquitous meatball noodle soup - from little lanes to busy streets to the palace precinct. I suppose this is a national comfort food of sorts since it's available everywhere. Well, I had mine outside the royal palace. How could I resist? A big, delicious bowl of steaming hot noodles topped with succulent beef bowls and crunchy wantons came at only USD0.50 or less. But that didn't satiate me. I ate it again in many other places and concluded the best..
Available in any Candy Store: Geplak ( Yogya's Colourful Dessert )
Definition of Geplak: Colourful dessert found in Central Java. Each Coloured ball is made of dessicated coconut, colouring and flavoured with palm sugar ( brown ) , durian (yellow ), rose syrup ( pink ) , pandanus leaf ( green ) or just plain ( white ) . A word of warning , each little ball is a sugar time bomb, never give this to anyone with hyperactive disorder!
Favorite Dish: There's no doubt about it. The Yogyanese have a very sweet tooth. Everything in central Java is sweet, sweet, sweet! From their coffees, to their grilled chicken to their curries. Having said that, life's not complete for the Javanese without this devil of a dessert. Yes, it's as sweet as hell and one sugary coconut bomb is enough to give you a hyperactive high. If you're keen on this dessert, just wander into the throughfare of Jalan Marlioborough and pop into their many candy stores. The geplaks sold there are cleaner than the ones sold by the roving vendors. Also to note that this dessert is sold by the kilo for about USD1.30.
Lesehans in Marlioborough Street: Bebek Bakar ( Grilled Duck)
It's not a pretty sight but the black thing that you see in the picture was the most delicious grilled duck I've tasted in the whole of Yogya (Central Java) . Surprsingly, it wasn't bought at an upscale restaurant but in many of the lesehans ( local eateries ) found in Marlioborough Street. The local eateries over here are situated along the pavement and the furniture is spartan, just a couple of mats and a low table. Somehow, it reminded me of eating in Hanoi but this was more pleasant. I got to laze around like a Roman after a particularly satisfying meal of grilled chicken and duck. To cater to the sweet Javanese tooth, the duck was deliberately smeared with oodles of sweet black sauce ( kecap manis) before grilling it on an open fire. The result looks like crap but it tastes heavenly.
Where: A Lesehan, Marlioborough Street, opp KFC
Cost : Each piece of duck cost us USD0.90, the chicken was slightly cheaper at USD0.85, the hot lime drink and tea was about USD0.30 each.
Various Coffeeshops ( warungs): Traditional Javanese Drinks ( Jeruk )
Definition of Jeruk - 'Jeruk' refers to any citrus fruit that you see in Java. But in eating joints, it simply means freshly squeezed lime juice that is poured into your glass upon your order. This is the third most popular drink in Java, after the sweet tea with ice ('es teh') and hot tea ( teh panas)
Favorite Dish: I love drinking Jeruk in Java. Ok, that's a lousy attempt at alliteration but really, I'm addicted to the freshly squeezed taste of lime. It tastes great whether it's served with ice (Es Jeruk) or with hot water (Jeruk Panas). Equally refreshing is the aromatic Javanese Jasmine Tea. It's always served sweet and the aroma lingers long after you finish your drink.
Where to find this:At any night eatery ( lasehan), warung ( coffee shop) or restoran
Cost: Jeruk Panas cost around 2500Rp ( USD0.25) and Teh Panas 2000Rp(USD0.20). An iced drink will cost USD0.10 more.
Fruit Tree at the Kraton: Finding a Star in the Kraton (Belimbing)
Definition of Belimbing : This simply means starfruit in Java. Note that Belimbing means something else in Singapore ( a small, sour green fruit commonly eaten by the Pernankans)
Favorite Dish: I was wandering about in the Kraton ( royal palace) when one of the palace guards started to gesticulate wildly to me . It took me a while to realise that he was pointing to a star fruit tree. What confused me intially was because he kept saying Belimbing, which meant a small sour green fruit in Singapore. It took me a while to realise that he was refering to the starfruit. So, if you happen to go to the Kraton the next time, try looking for a star (fruit) that is. It's green when it's unripe and eaten with sauce in a salad (rujuk) , when it's yellow and ripe, it's eaten sliced ( lotis).
Deja Vu: Western Breakkie
Now after days of eating Mee Bakso in Yogya (Java), I was craving for a omelette, toast or anything Western. Even frosties (which irritate the hell out of me) will do!
So early the next morning, I popped into the eatery beside my hotel ( DejaVu Cafe) and had a tasty mushroom omelette. There was nothing special about the dish but the crockery was something else! The cups, saucers and even the sugar container had beautiful leaf imprints and little frogs on them. It was only much later that I found out that those things were for sale at the back of the eatery for a couple of dollars.
Note:Most the eateries in Jl. Prawirotaman serve a Western breakfast for USD1-2.
Teh Botol Sosro / Sosro Fruit Tea: Bottled Drinks in Java
Sweet Javanese Jasmine tea in a bottle. It's one of Indonesia's best loved drink next to the fruit drink by the same brand (Sosro). Available at every warung ( coffee shop ) and drink vendor ( kaki lima ) .
Favorite Dish: Since portable water is rather questionable over here, your only alternative is to buy bottled mineral water from a vendor. Since Evian or Perrier is not commonly sold here, go for the local "AQUA" brand. It's about 3000Rp (USD0.30) per 500ml. Well, other than water, there's also a popular favourite that also comes in a bottle - Sosro Teh Botol ( teh=tea, botol=bottle). Give it a try if you love sweet jasmine tea. I took a sip of this after a particularly hot day at the kraton and was instantly resfreshed. A bottle cost the same as a bottle of mineral water. The fruit tea is equally refreshing but i prefer the jasmine tea.
Roadside Vendors: Eating from a Pincuk
Definition of a Pincuk - A rice meal packed neatly in a banana leaf and a scrap of newspaper fastened at one end with a small stick.
Favorite Dish: Have you ever wondered how the locals eat on the go? Well they'll just approach a roadside vendor and ask for a small but healthy serving of rice and pick from an assortment of fresh vegetables, fried tofu, tempe or spiced fried cow's lung ( paru ). The vendor will pack the meal neatly in a leaf and fastened it with a stick. A simple meal like this cost less than USD1.
Note: I did not try this as the food looked exposed for all the world. Still, the selection looked delicious. I saw many vendors eating from banana packets like this in the Berinharjo market.
Bakso Mas Kribo: Soto Bakso : The Biggest Bakso in Yogya!
Sometimes, it pays to talk to the locals . Thanks to them, I found out where the best bakso in Yogya was to be had. Well, not only did the bakso turn out to be good, it was biggest one I've tried!
This gigantic thing that I'm holding on my spoon must be the biggest bakso in the whole of Yogya. It was also the yummiest I've ever tasted. Do go to this place and try their soto bakso. It's simply meatballs ( beef) drenched with savoury chicken soup and rice. This delicious dish only cost me 5500Rp.
gudeg....: The local speciality...
The local speciality is named 'gudeg'.
You can eat 'ayam gudeg' - chicken gudeg
or 'gudeg komplit'...
I suggest you stick with the chicken.
Gudeg is a way of cooking. The meat is cooked in a sweat mix with coconut in it.
A refined taste is the result. Really nice..
Surpice surprice , the komplit dish is also with dried and cooked cow skin and intestines. yakkes.
ES CAMPUR.: I had to try it!
'ES CAMPUR' the name was standing there so peacefully between ,
juice alpukat , juice appel , juice pisang....
I had to try it...
What it is?
- es campur is a mix of little pieces of jelly ,
in a lot of colors. These pieces of jelly got no or little taste. They swimm in a coupe of water with a pink really sweet grenadine-like
sirop , and is topped with crushed ice...
Not bad , but also not my favourite-
-just try it ones - 5000 Ir - 0,50 eurocent-
- Budget Travel
Superman;: A tip from the book....
This restaurant was a tip in our touristical guide ,
so we gave it a shot...
It is in an alley in a popular backpackers area , called sorso.
The place to eat looks rather nice and it is
far from the traffic (read smells)
Favorite Dish: I went to wash my hands after I've ordered ,
and I saw the kitchen...(yakkes)
I must admit that my
pancake with tropical fruit and icecream
(they just take a frisco for the ice)
Didn't taste as good anymore just because of that.
I didn't liked the audience either.
(It's ok to be alternative , but please , does that mean you can't use shampoo)
Also , Indonesian food is so nice , why make such an international card.
Well the choise is up to you...
My tip , go to a warung , at least you can see the food and see it gets prepared , or go to a shopping center , the food court. An excellent alternative.
MARTABAK.: Martabak manis komplit and martabak menara...
Ok , I told you on my Jakarta page that this is
my absolute favorite. We didn't feel like searching for a restaurant so we ordered
'martabak manis komplit' - a sweet pancake with sugar , cheddar cheese , concentrated milk , nuts and chocolats....a lot of dutch butter.
But also a 'Martabak menara' ...more like a loempia filled with eggs and vegetables and fried in oil.
Djeezes , for two persons that is a whole lot of food ...
Both dishes are about 1 Euro.
Favorite Dish: It's not a restaurant , it's a warung...a street food car...
Great value for money , really tidy , and you can watch every step in the kitchen...
- Budget Travel
KEPPEL: sweet-smelling fruit...
Not a restaurant but a fruit that you have to try.
We had a guided tour in 'Taman Sari' , the water castle ,
where the concubines of the sultan took a bath ,
way back in history...
Here you can find a tree with little brown fruit growing
on the trunk.
He called it 'keppel' and explained that the women
ate those to make them smell better when they
I think I ate those in a restaurant and they tasted like
sweet potatoes. Really soft.
- Food and Dining
Mama's: The best Bhami Goreng you'll ever have
The restaurant is really a street cafe, extremely basic - plastic tables and chairs with a bunch of forks in a glass on the table. The food however is excellent. The kitchen is minute and part of the restaurant so you can see it being cooked. It is so cheap it is negligible. They also do excellent fruit shakes.
Favorite Dish: Bhami Goreng and the fruit shakes (about £1.20 in total for 2 people)
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