What is Jakarta without its beloved ketoprak? An iconic dish that is eaten everyday by thousands to start their day made extremely popular for the past five decades by a humble hawker.
SometimesI wonder about the power hawkers’ have over their fans, it is beyond logic. I don’t get why people are enchanted even if the hawkers don’t really pay attention to other factors like venue and appearance. It all remains a mystery to me. One great example of this hawker fanaticism is Ketoprak Ciragil.
Ketoprak is one of the most sought after delicacies in Jakarta and is eaten usually for breakfast and lunch as well. Ketoprak Ciragil is open from morning until early evening and with their peak time being lunch. Unless you’re really hungry or a true aficionado of Ketoprak Ciragil, best to prepare yourself to vie for your seat, shove your way through the queue, and deal with the confusion inside the kitchen.
But when your order arrives, be ready of spoonfuls of divine flavors. It is made up of steamed rice cakes, bean sprouts, vermicelli, and fried tofu all brought together by the silky sweet goodness of the peanut sauce. A unique element from Ketoprak Ciragil is that you can have fried egg, hard-boiled egg, omelette, or even salted egg with your ketoprak!
It has been five decades since the grandparents of Pak Parto decided to sell this ubiquitous Jakartan treat. Aside from inheriting the business from his mother, Parto also takes on her shy and conservative personality. He prefers to continue the legacy of his family business without rushing anything. Well, there is nothing to change, since their ketoprak stall has survived for many years without experiencing any shortage of customers!
A loyal patron, Hadi Wijaya told The Foodie Magazine that he has been a happy faithful customer for two decades. ‘We have known Parto since he was still a little kid!’, he confessed so loudly, making Parto and his mom smile. ‘No matter how hot the day, it’s always satisfying for me to visit Ketoprak Ciragil’, Hadi’s wife added. Although some people prefer to have their ketoprak inside their cars cooled by the AC, but many including celebrities choose to experience the ketopraks directly inside this humble shack.
Care to share in the experience? Better come down and enjoy it like how we did.
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians
Address: Jalan Ciragil (right on the corner by the small river with other hawkers), Jakarta – Indonesia
Opening hours: Everyday, 10 am – 5 pm
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE January 2014 edition
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Photos by: Dennie Benedict