Makanan Tanah Abang

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I went to Pasar Tanah Abang Blok A today, a giant fabric and textile market in Jakarta.  I was going to buy some fabric to get some ultimate travel pants made, but basically the fabric shopping got a bit overwhelming and I ended up just buying more batik and then buying ready-made pants on sale at Debenhams later. lol

But there was a cool food court called ‘Tenabang’ on Level 8 of the building that had food from all over Indonesia that I had been tipped off on by a friend. It had kerak telor, a traditional Betawi (Jakarta’s people) snack, which is something I’ve wanted to try for aaaaages, except its hard to find.


I’m glad I finally got to have it, because it was really yummy!!  Covered in fried shallots and grated coconut, the pancake is made from duck egg and dried shrimp (plus more shallots and coconut).  The taste was subtle, it mostly tasted like the shallots and coconut topping, but it was really yum. I could have eaten another one, but decided to get some other food to try instead.

I didn’t take any pics of the process, but here’s a video on YouTube by someone more organized than me, and here’s an interview with a seller.

The food court had the normal-style kiosks:


But in the center, there were little stands just like you find everywhere on the streets in Jakarta:



Well… some of them were a little fancier than your usual street vendor’s cart.  Feeling adventurous, I decided to try tahu gejrot cirebon, otherwise known as Cirebon’s (a town in West Java) stinky tofu.


I couldn’t really smell the stinky.  The sauce over the tofu was strong and VERY spicy (I must have looked flippant when the lady asked whether I wanted it spicy).   It was tasty though.  The sauce was sweet, made with palm sugar, and besides chili also tasted like garlic and shallots.  The tofu itself didn’t really taste any different to the usual, in my opinion.  Nice though.

You can read more about tahu gejrot on this food blog.

And finally (I should add, I didn’t eat alllll this food lol.  Just sampling).  Surabi Bandung Pisang, Coklat and Keju.  That’s right.  Bandung chocolate, cheese and banana pancake.  I can honestly say, this is the first time I’ve gone down the banana-choco-cheese slope, despite having been in Indonesia for a year and a half and despite it being a wildly popular flavor combination here.


The verdict?  It was actually pretty tasty.  I can’t say I would eat a huge amount of this, but luckily the pancake (made of rice and corn powder) was small (not like martabak, another popular street pancake which is usually huge and unbelievably sweet).  I only managed half, but the chocolate smeared on top wasn’t too sweet, that made the combination of flavors unoffensive.

That’s it for the food.  I trucked my stuffed self around the market, which is super crowded, but only ended up buying some batik fabric before leaving.  The fabric there is very cheap and there’s also readymade wholesale clothes and fake designer handbags and the like.

2 Responses to " Makanan Tanah Abang "

  1. Heather says:

    Ah, I’ve missed your food posts. Yummy!

  2. ameroxx says:

    should come to malaysia.more great place and of course food.