While heading to Tanah Abang may be tricky for your usual fix of good nasi uduk, the Cikini area on the other side of Thamrin has also commendable options for that. One of the champions there is clearly Nasi Uduk Gondangdia.
So many combinations of rice dishes in Indonesia and yet the oldie goodie nasi uduk is always good for any occasion. From breakfast to dinner, nasi uduk is the staple choice for Jakartans and nothing could beat how the fragrant rice with delicate coconut milk taste could mix so well together with its sidekicks.
The Cikini area is easy to reach, nearby the city center, and a rather traffic-friendly neighborhood. From street food, coffee shop, fast food, fine-dining to iconic restaurants; there are plenty of choices for anyone here. When it comes to nasi uduk, there are two (competing) nasi uduk eateries in the neighborhood and separated for several blocks away. They are the Nasi Uduk Pasar Hias Rias and Nasi Uduk Gondangdia.
When talking about the latter, Nasi Uduk Gondangdia clearly has the upper hand when it comes to space and ambiance, while taste can become a subjective matter in this matter. It is located a bit deep inside the neighborhood but yet it attracts a lot of visitor. Inside, they provide anything that you wish to mix and match with nasi uduk – from fried chicken, grilled chicken, empal (fried, sweet and spiced beef), catfish, cuttlefish, intestines or gizzard satays, and the dynamic duo tempe tahu.
While waiting for them preparing your order, slide a bit to the bar and have your customized lalapan or raw vegetables that will go with the sambal. Clearly, the sayur asem is not to be missed as well here. Top that also with the self-service, free-flow hot tea anytime or the refreshing orange juice that will go well with most of Indonesian food anywhere.
Despite frequented by so many during rush hours and the rather extreme noisiness thanks to the live music, the service is nevertheless quick and precise to compensate the hectic ambiance. Even after the customers left the table, the waiters made it neat in a matter of second and still also friendly during rush hours. It’s basically more than you ask from street food, right? So, best to give it a try to see which one is your favorite anyway in Jakarta.
NASI UDUK GONDANGDIA
Unsuitable for vegetarians
Jalan Cikini IV no. 8A, Jakarta – Indonesia
Daily, 10am – 12am
Spend: IDR 20,000 – IDR 30,000 / person
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE March 2015 edition
Download it for free here via SCOOP!
Photography by Dennie Ramon