Glodok is famously known as Indonesian capital Jakarta’s Chinatown, with a history dating back 300 centuries to the Dutch colonial regime.
Glodok is home to many families of Chinese ethnicity, with a majority of them running businesses out of their dwellings — offering services or selling commodities, including many authentic Chinese dishes.
In the heart of the Chinatown lies Pancoran Street, where people have been managing family-run businesses for decades. From its “entry gate”, one can spot a dense-network of outlets and stalls hawking Chinese traditional medicine as well as food.
While there are many gems hidden in the narrow alleys here, our picks will focus on the purely epicurean.
Here are the top three must-try foods to try in Glodok, as cited by ANTARA:
Note that the culinary spots in the area mostly serve non-halal foods containing pork.
- Akin Kuo Tie
The Chinese dim sum can be prepared in several ways. Kuo tie (or guo tie) is made using the pan-frying technique, using just a smidgen of oil to bring out its crispness and add tenderness to every bite.
If that’s what you crave, you can head to Akin Kuo Tieh, a kuo tie-stall located at Pancoran Street VI Number 25. The alley takes some finding, but the Kuo tie served at this stall will make it worth the effort.
The stall also houses a dwelling on the second floor. Thus, dine-in customers can expect very simple seating on the first floor, not to mention a taste of Jakarta’s hot weather.
However, these conditions make the stall even more unique. Why the Kuo tie here? It has a thick wrapper but is balanced with a chockful of tasty filling of minced pork and chopped scallions. The skin is perfectly fried, and not too greasy.
To add more authenticity to the flavors, dip the Kuo tie into the thin sauce, made from a spoonful of minced garlic, sesame oil, and black vinegar, and also sambal for spiciness.
One portion of 10 pieces of kuo tie, including the sauce, costs just Rp35 thousand (USD 2.5).
- Cempedak Goreng Cik Lina
Another snack you can easily find in Pancoran Glodok is cempedak goreng, a deep fried cempedak covered in batter.
Cempedak, a kind of tropical fruit, is closely related to the jackfruit (nangka) and breadfruit (sukun).
Cempedak Goreng Special Cik Lina, a tiny stall at Pancoran 6 Number 6A offers a “live view” of its kitchen, where cempedak goreng are made fresh by order.
Customers can watch Cik Lina, who runs the stall, expertly dip ripe, sweet, and orange-ish cempedak flesh, which has been separated from its seed, into the batter, before frying it in hot oil in a wok until it turns golden brown.
Served with or without brown sugar sauce, it costs a mere Rp15,000 per piece (around USD1).
- Kopi Es Tak Kie
Gloria Alley has become one of the most famous narrow alleys in Pancoran Glodok for its food stalls. Kopi Es Tak Kie is a Chinese oldie, a legendary coffee shop located here.
While the stall has existed for three generations since 1927, it has been two generations since it began selling coffee.
Kopi Es Tak Kie serves iced coffee as well as its authentic hot black coffee. Visitors can also savor some main dishes, including Chinese-style mixed rice with pork and Chinese noodles.