In Jakarta, you can find multiple local dishes that has been brought by villagers who migrate to the city. And yes, Pempek is one of them. For those who doesn't know what is Pempek, let me explain it to you a bit. Pempek is a savory fishcake delicacy from Palembang, the capital of South Sumatera, Indonesia. Made up from tenggiri fish or belida fish with tapioca flour, Pempek can be served in two way: fried or non-fried with homemade sweet and sour sauce called cuko. Knowing this menu is quite a lot in town, I will lead you to the great one here.
Established in mid-2000's, Pempek Sriwijaya has gained its popularity through time. Start with the humble beginning as a small kiosk in school and faced various incarnations until much more modern like now. Currently, they offer you more than 5 types of savory fish cake in a generous presentation. Ranging from the classic egg version called Kapal Selam to the most crispy version called Pempek Kulit is all available here. None menu costs you above IDR 20K / S$ 2.50 which means really affordable and that is why most of the guest always order more than one plate. How about you?
Tucked away in Jelambar area, West Jakarta, this venue is packed with school students and their parents on daily basis. Stepped inside the venue, guest can see a small food gallery, minimum kitchen environment and a couple of staff standing beside the door. The owner also stands by there and kindly greet every customer since the beginning. What makes it interesting is the live cooking show that allows the customer to smell the beautiful aroma of perfectly cooked pempek and any other dishes related to savory fish cake. Just enjoy the show.
The must try menu here is Lenggang (IDR 20K). A perfectly cooked omelet consists of two layers of savory fish cake that seriously delicious. Eggy, juicy and chewy on every bite of it. What makes it even more beautiful is that sweet and sour sauce for extra heat. Even the aroma speaks better than words.
Kapal Selam (IDR 20K) is the all-time favorite menu here. Most of the customer always order this and paired with Bulat (IDR 8K) which is more simple and chewy as well. The presentation of this menu is a bit more complex with a bright layer of egg yolk at the core. Just ask for longer cooking time, for extra crispiness.
If you are looking for something uncommon, Kulit (IDR 8K) is surely the best idea for that. Just look at how that crispy skin covered the tender meat at the core. Whenever you fork it, there would be a crunch sounds at first that surely attracting. Do expect for less meat here, because the focus is on crispy skin. The well-recommended menu from me.
Still not enough? They also served some soup version called Tekwan (IDR 20K) that is no longer boring, but it just tastes balanced and addicting. That soup is light while the savory fish cake remains chewy and fluffy as well. Just add more chili and pepper for extra heat. Because, I do realize they did not use any MSG, so the food taste quite plain.
For the beverage, do expect for Es Jeruk (IDR 12K) as known as Orange Juice. The freshly squeezed orange with a bit of sugar and ice cube might be the great way to refresh your mind and quench your thirst after eating that hot meal.
Overall, Pempek Sriwijaya is part of the Jakarta culinary heritage. The humble presentation of food, warmth hospitality from the owner, and affordable prices for each menu never lies. Guest who comes in must try the Lenggang and Kulit which is seriously delicious and taste quite different with any other version out there.
Jl. Hadiah 2 Blok D13 No.1158, RT.5/RW
Nearest area: Jelambar, Grogol Petamburan, West Jakarta
RSVP: (+62) 82 299 580 705
9.30am - 10.30pm (Everyday)
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