Cikini’s cheap eats favorites among Jakarta street food

Here’s a list of 5 items:

  • KFC’s “Deluxe Burger” — Rp 5,000 each, while promotion lasts. It’s chicken and nicely spiced. As usual they deliver. The number there is 314 –1045.  To pick ’em up yourself, it’s approximately across the street from Cikini Station. Which means it’s near Jl. Surabaya (antiques and fake antiques) and Executive Menteng apartments.
  • Small-time bubur ayam ( rice/ chicken porridge) guy at night on the street in front of KFC (walking against the traffic a couple steps; in front of a court office). I think the “original” bubur people must be the highly evolved ones across the street from KFC (toward the train station). But what they’ve got that I’ve seen is expensive and a bit weird. There’s also bubur down at TIM.
  • If you’re going to the movies at Megaria — it’s an old Art Deco building and not the worst place in town  — there’s a green-painted nasi goreng joint right there that’s cheap and good. It’s got 4 or 5 tables. And, um, it’s green. Food is good and place seems like its been there forever. Though I can’t imagine how they could have survived the epic construction on that corner. Need to check the name.
  • Go food shopping at the Hero located at Menteng Huis (at the Tugu Tani/ Monas end of Cikini Avenue across the street from the old Dutch post office). Joint is refreshing because it’s such a thin sliver of  shopping plaza compared to the usual way we get malled around here. Hero isn’t an exciting place to shop and the produce and meat is flat out disappointing. But you can get in and out fast, so who cares. There’s a little Dutch cafe downstairs and — just now — a mini bizarre with some truly cool Bandung-esque, made-for-bule handicrafts.
  • Go to Loro Jonggrang but don’t eat. It’s all about the antiques anyway. Tell them it’s your birthday. Or you were conceived there. Something so they’ll let you in to take some pictures.

Cikini area in Menteng, Central Jakarta includes Jl Cik Ditiro which runs parallel to Jl Cikini in the opposite direction.  There is plenty of 1930’s Batavia architecture and even some new stuff going up that looks OK.  A bicycle or motor scooter is a great way to see this part of town because some of it happens in the interstices between these two streets.

What else is in Cikini? TIM arts center, Formule One (hotel) and Black Canyon Coffee (F1 Cikini, not F1 Menteng).  There are more Black Canyon shops in Bali (and Thailand) than Jakarta. So it’s a bit refreshing on that count. And there’s a huge swimming pool. There’s really no connection between the coffee shop and the pool except for the occasional fresh breeze when you’re sitting at an outside table in the evening. You can pay to use the pool in the daytime or siang as the Indonesians have it.

2 responses »

  1. As regards Megaria, the spacious, relaxed cinema and restaurants (also a grocery store) at the very beginning of Jl Cikini, the whole place seems to be wildly popular. Why? Tons of outside parking — no hellish parking spirals; lots of green (cleverly growing in pots); lots of food options and a smidgen of sidewalk cafe vibe; the location is strategic — lots of ways in and out.

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