Mike and I decided, during our wanders up in Kota and Glodok on Chinese New Years' Eve, that we wanted to sample one of the options in the Jakarta Good Food Guide, the holy bible of expats looking for good grub.
After finding our first choice closed for the holidays, we decided to track down a place called Wong Fu Kie.
After a taxi, a detour by Fatahilla Square to see a bird singing competition and to be interviewed by schoolkids wanting to practice their English, a bajaj ride where the driver stopped many times to ask for directions… we were dropped off outside a little back alley in a residential area.
After walking down the alley and enlisting the help of the local police, we finally found our restaurant. Entering through the rustic little kitchen which was practically open-air ("don't look at the grime, don't look at the grime" I muttered to myself), we found ourselves in the restaurant, which hosted four tables, thirteen calendars (I counted) and a whole family busily preparing for Chinese New Year.
My favourite calendar was one with photographs of different kinds of shoes on it.
We were warmly welcomed, and were even shown previews of our dishes from the polystyrene takeaway boxes that were being stuffed with noodles and other delights and taken out by a delivery boy who was being loudly henpecked by the doyenne of the diner.
We decided to go with the food guide's recommendations, as well as our friendly host's suggestions.
We had a yummy ayam rebus (top left), a steamed chicken dish that was subtly seasoned and very tender. We also ordered a fried noodle dish that had beautiful fresh prawns in it.
But the absolute standout was the lindung cah fuma, a combination of breaded eel and tasty fuma (an Asian green). Ohhh… mi…. gawd. It was good. I don't even know what it was seasoned with. It had a very subtle garlic flavor, but there was something else there that I couldn't put my finger on. Each piece of eel just burst with deliciousness in your mouth.
It was definitely worth the trek.
Wong Fu Kie
Jalan Pasar Gelap No. 22 (also known as Pasar Pagi Lama apparently)
I think it's only open for breakfast and lunch… no dinner.