Nasi gule is big in Blok M, but nobody knows that Pak Lasimin is among the pioneers of this comfort food in Jakarta. That’s why I’m tagging you along for a good breakfast at his place.
The neighborhoods around Blok M and Kebayoran Baru have some of their best places to eat hidden from the main streets. It’s not that they are elusive or even exclusive – since many of them are openly visible like the hawkers behind Masjid Al Azhar for example, but there are those that require a bit of effort with all the searching and further appreciations.
Nasi gule is rather ubiquitous in Jakarta, albeit not as obvious as ketoprak, mie ayam, or bakso. The easiest find is at Jalan Mahakam itself at night until dawn where there are so many of them there. However, there are only a few which are available during daylight there or at neighboring vicinities.
One of the best belongs to Pak Lasimin on Jalan Lamandau, just behind the Gran Mahakam Hotel. As you enter the street, Pak Lasimin’s pushcart is already there at the intersection since as early as 7am until late in the afternoon.
Like any typical Solo’s nasi gule, a great claypot is filled with all the curry and meat. Pak Lasimin’s version includes also tempe and the offals. My choice was only the meat and despite coming from secondary cuts, Pak Lasimin cooks it thoroughly so you won’t be doing a lot of chewing. With his uber-rich broth, a bit of sambal and kecap manis, and some crackers; I never hesitate to have my seconds while here.
One after one customer visits his place and enjoys the breakfast. It is quite unbelievable that even if Pak Lasimin’s pushcart is somehow hidden like this, people from different backgrounds actually came by to have his superb nasi gule. Assisted by two helpers, Pak Lasimin operates his business efficiently and not forgetting to show his smiles to the patrons as well.
“I started selling nasi gule since 1978 at the Blok M bus terminal. There weren’t so many of us back then, but look at now at night! I decided to move here since 1995 and I am thankful that the home owners here allow me to open my business”, explains Pak Lasimin.
Curious at why that some nasi gule hawkers operate since the morning, Pak Lasimin actually has a really good answer for that. He says laughingly, “At night, I couldn’t stand getting sleepy!”
Well, now it’s almost time to have my third serving. Should I or should I not?
NASI GULE PAK LASIMIN
Unsuitable for vegetarians
Jalan Lamandau (on the intersection), Jakarta – Indonesia
Opening hours: Daily, 7am – 3pm
Featured in FOODIES Mar 2016 edition