Searching for Street Food: Nasi Bistik Astana Anyar (FoodieS, May 2016)

Regular nasi goreng stall is ubiquitous all over Indonesia, but an added value is given by a particular hawker from Bandung and that makes a whole lot of difference with the rest of the competition.

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Jalan Astana Anyar lies deep in the older part of Bandung, not far from to the city’s main street of Sudirman since the colonial era.  As far as the eyes can see, the façade of side-by-side old and typical commercial two or three storey buildings are stretching along Sudirman as well as the surrounding streets. That makes this part of town feels iconic.

The street food scene around here is both rich and ancient as it rooted from the Chinese influences for many generations. Streets are always busy and traffic may be rampant at times.

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In the evening, the traffic eases up and the street food scene is finally unveiled. Many are concentrated around Jalan Cibadak, but Nasi Bistik AA (stands for Astana Anyar) can be found around 5 minutes drive from there.

One can totally relate how busy this stall is with an additional frying station for the bistik separated than the regular wok station used for stir-frying nasi goreng, mie goreng, or kwetiau. Service may feel slow due to the onset of unstoppable hungry people, but the crews are very courteous and helpful. On top of that, nobody complains! That gives me an dose of extra patience – much needed when your stomach starts growling.

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Finally after more than half an hour or so, my fried rice with chicken bistik arrives. Now, here’s the added value I told you about.

Bistik itself is not the localized version of beef steak or let alone the term steak itself. It is whatever meat breaded and deep-fried. When cut into chunks, the bistik is served as a topping and then accompanied with boiled vegetables such as string beans and carrots. Finally, the sour, spicy, and savory sauce is poured.

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Despite the wait and the muddy terrain after the downpour, the nasi goreng bistik quickly quenches my hunger. Cooked in a huge batch, the chef still managed to pull a wonderfully balance taste with the nasi goreng. The bistik with the sauce work really well in harmony and I even ask them to have a half portion of the bistik topped on my fried rice again!

If you feel like going a bit more conservative, the bistik also works well with the usual white rice. Well, perhaps on my next visit, I should try something else but I have something else for you around this part of town coming soon on my street food adventures!

NASI BISTIK ASTANA ANYAR | Jalan Astana Anyar no. 218, Bandung | +62 81 2142 7856

Opening hours: Daily, 5pm – 12am

Spend IDR 20,000 – IDR 25,000 / person

Featured in FoodieS Magazine May 2016 issue