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Fill Up Your Cart in Jakarta: What to Eat

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Fill Up Your Cart in Jakarta: What to Eat

Last year, CNN did an impromptu public poll of the “World’s Most Delicious Foods“. Number 1? A dish from Indonesia. It’s no wonder that our list lacks specific restaurants, but rather present our readers with a list of some of the most delicious and best foods you’ll ever taste– all found in Jakarta. With street markets and vendors as constant as the ever- present traffic jam in Jakarta, the food on this list can be found pretty much anywhere. Pick a place, any place, and if they don’t have these foods on their menu, pick a different place!

Rendang: a mouthwatering dish of chili- coated beef

Can’t handle spice? Too bad. Try and work through it, just so that you can successfully say you’ve tried the most delicious food in the world! A sensory overload of salty, sweet, and definitely spicy, this dish has won over the heart and stomach of hundreds, and millions, of people around the world. Melt in your mouth, this dish starts with some beef, slowly simmered for hours and hours with a coconut milk broth/ sauce mixed with lemongrass, galangal, garlic, turmeric, ginger, and chilies. True perfection.

Nasi Goreng: Fried Rice from the Gods 

Number two on the list of the World’s Most Delicious Food? Nasi Goreng. A completely mouth- watering mix of chili paste, onion, garlic, shrimp, and often topped with a perfectly fried egg, Nasi Goreng is everything you could ever want in one bowl. Delicious, filling, and ubiquitous, you should be able to find this dish in the street from local vendors, in sit- down restaurants, and especially in the home of Indonesian residents.

Gorengan: Fried Foods to Soothe your Soul

Though they may not be the healthiest, gorengan are a true local staple for the Indonesian cuisine. Jakartan street vendors fry up everything; from yams to pineapples, tofu to spring rolls, it’s like the Indonesian french fry. Available anywhere, and hard to screw up.

Nasi Padang: A True Indonesian Dining Experience 

Nasi Padang refers to a style of dining: nasi translates to rice, referring to the rice that the food is served with, and Padang, refers to the Padang region the food originated from. Nasi Padang is not just one dish– rather, it is a collection of small dishes ranging from meats, to vegetables, to curries and sauces. There are two specific styles to eat Nasi Padang, called pesan and hidang. Pesan refers to the street-style of eating, where you go to a vendor, they give you a plate of rice, and you choose which dishes you would like put over the rice. It is good for a quick bite and a meal on the go. For a more sit- down experience, hidang is the nasi padang experience where you go to a street vendor (typically a restaurant- looking place, but still less fancy than an actual restaurant) and they give you a plate of rice and lay out a whole selection of dishes for you to choose from. Double- decker arrays and selections of food are typical. Choose what you want to eat, eat them, and remember, don’t touch what you won’t eat. The bill is paid based only on which dishes you eat, even though all dishes are laid out on the table. A truly unique experience, if you have the time, the hidang nasi padang experience is one you should definitely not miss!

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