Thursday, 13 September 2012

Culinary Feature: Dapur Babah (Babah's Kitchen)

Direction: Across the street from Istiqlal Mosque, a little under the overpass

Hello, everyone! I am back with a culinary feature today. Today's culinary feature is brought to you by my beloved father. We discovered this restaurant, at first, thanks to my idea to go to Jakarta's oldest ice cream parlour -- which, apparently is still pretty famous. By the time we got there, it was already time for lunch so we decided to have lunch before going in for the ice cream. My dad suggested this Dapur Babah Restaurant. Even though I've lived here all my life, I don't think I've been here before. Granted, it's located so far away from home -- yes, Jakarta is that big. Like most of everything in this area, this restaurant is an antique. And they preserve the vintage feel of the interior of the restaurant! Also the menu is written in old Indonesian writings. My brother had a hard time of reading the cuisine names. Thankfully, the descriptions were in English. So, tourists, no worries. They have a number of selections of dishes, from locals/indonesians to chinese/oriental. The oriental-meets-colonial interior is what caught our hearts and made us stay -- aside from growling stomach, of course. They also have outdoor seats with incredibly vintage paintings and ceramics.

Lemon Grass Tea (left) + Es Rumput Laut (Ice Seaweed) & Tahu Petis (Petis Tofu) [right]

Nasi Campur Pandan (top) + Bakso Kota Lama (Oldies' Meatballs) & Nasi Goreng Kepiting (Crab Fried Rice) [bottom]

Lidah Terseloeboeng (Concealed (Cow's) Tongue)

My father ordered Bakso Kota Lama, Tahu Petis and Es Rumput Laut. I love Tahu Petis! If you don't know what petis is, please do google it because I sure as hell can't explain it. The Es Rumput Laut is oh-so-delicious, with some cendol/dawet and lychees mixed into it. My stepmom ordered Nasi Campur -- with Pandan rice that tastes like Nasi Uduk -- and Es Kelapa Muda (Ice Virgin Coconut). My brother was humdrum as always and chose the not-too-special Crab Fried Rice -- but it did taste more javanese than a mere fried rice-- and Watermelon Juice. I chose to enjoy the Lidah Terseloeboeng -- the name itself is interesting -- whilst gulping down the Lemon Grass Tea. They all tasted marvelous, I must say. If this place wasn't located so far away from home, we'll definitely visit more often. Sad to say, that the price is so extravagant, it seems. It is an élite restaurant, after all. So get your wallets ready before coming over. Oh yeah, we didn't get to eat the ice cream, in the end. But we did make a stop by Istiqlal Mosque. Cheerio!

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