Rice and Shine: 5 Authentic & Unique Indonesian Rice Dishes in Jakarta

Unique Indonesian rice dishes

First thing first: Why an article about Indonesian rice dishes?

You can rarely go wrong with rice. For me, even rice with kecap & sambal can be a “proper” meal. As for most Indonesians, no meal is complete without the presence of rice. Breakfast, lunch, dinner; at home, at the restaurant, at the office. We crave rice so much to the point where we sometimes get bored of eating it, but we still need it nonetheless.

This article features 5 Indonesian rice dishes that can be alternatives to your regular rice-protein-veggies menu. May you refer to this list in times of the dreaded question pops out, “What shall I eat today?”

1. Nasi Gandul Bu Endang

Unique Indonesian rice dishes

Nasi Gandul: Sweet and fulfilling!

Unique Indonesian rice dishes

Nasi Gandul Bu Endang’s original outlet

Bu Endang has been selling Nasi Gandul in Pesanggrahan area since 1997. Since then, a number of outlets have popped out in food courts at major shopping malls in Jakarta. Nasi Gandul is a rice dish originating from Pati, Central Java. True to Javanese flavors, Nasi Gandul tastes sweet. The chunks of beef are very tender, and there’s a heavy use of sweet soy sauce, which will remind you of semur. When combined with salted duck eggs and kerupuk kampung, Nasi Gandul Bu Endang is the bomb!

Address: Jl. Pesanggrahan No. 14, Puri Indah
Opening Hours: 8AM-11PM
Google Maps: Click Here

2. Nasi Uduk Kebon Kacang Zainal Fanani

Unique Indonesian rice dishes

A person usually eats at least 2 portions of nasi uduk

An oldie but a goodie. Fragrant steamed rice infused with coconut milk with a hint of pandan, served with sides of your choice: fried chicken, empal, and many more. You most likely have your own personal favorite when it comes to this dish, but it’s fun to visit one of the oldest Nasi Uduk places in Jakarta: Nasi Uduk Kebon Kacang. There are numerous stalls focusing on Nasi Uduk around the area, but Zainal Fanani’s is said to be the original one. Expect generic flavors of Nasi Uduk, tasty sambal kacang, and no parking spots.

Address: Jalan Kebon Kacang 8 No. 5, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta
Opening Hours: 10AM – midnight
Google Maps: Click Here

3. Nasi Ulam Misjaya

Unique Indonesian rice dishes

Right in front of Toa Se Bio Temple

Unique Indonesian rice dishes

One of Betawi’s classic cuisine: Nasi Ulam

Pak Misjaya has been selling Nasi Ulam with his cart for more than 30 years in front of Toa Se Bio temple, where it remains to this very day. This Betawi rice dish serves up hot rice mixed with serundeng (fried coconut flakes) and drizzled with kuah semur (sweet soy sauce). The usual sides are rice noodles, shrimp crackers, emping, and a choice of protein (beef jerky, fried eggs, etc). Each element gives a different texture, creating a party of Indonesian flavors in your mouth. One negative point: Parking is even harder to find than at Nasi Uduk. Getting help from ojek online is highly advised.

Address: Jl. Kemenangan II, West Jakarta
Opening Hours: around 4PM – 10PM
Google Maps: Click Here

4. Nasi Galung Pluit

Unique Indonesian rice dishes

Nasi Galung is Pematangsiantar-style Nasi Rames

Have you ever been to Pematangsiantar, North Sumatra? Most of you probably have not, but here’s an introduction to that city: Nasi Galung at Pluit. This Pematangsiantar-style rice dish is recognizable from the spicy yellow-colored soy-chili sauce. Served with fried anchovies, rice noodles, potatoes, and green beans, Nasi Galung can be quite the shocker for first timers. Not the prettiest of food, but certainly interesting enough to spice up your rice dish repertoire.

Address: Jl. Pluit Sakti Raya No. 91, Pluit, North Jakarta
Opening Hours: 9:30AM – 7PM (Closed every Monday)
Google Maps: Click Here

5. Nasi Campur Kenanga Senen

Unique Indonesian rice dishes

So, so good

Unique Indonesian rice dishes

Of course the sate tastes good when the person making it is all-smile

Nasi campur, the Indonesian rice dish with strong Chinese influence. Also known as the porkiest of ‘em all. Nasi Campur Kenanga might have become a common scene at shopping malls all across Jakarta, but make sure to visit the true Nasi Campur Kenanga at Senen (also at Jalan Wijaya). Freshly grilled pork satay, crispy siobak, sweet chasiu, served on top of hot Hainanese rice. It’s the kind of rice dish that will make you say, “Life is good.” Hidden in rows of aging shophouses in Senen area, it could be difficult to find at first, but definitely worth it.

Address: Segitiga Senen, Blok A No.11, Jl. Senen Raya, Central Jakarta
Opening Hours: 9AM-9PM
Google Maps: Click Here

Those are 5 authentic Indonesian rice dishes that we seek to eat every now and then. The next time you wake up and not sure what to eat, well, Rice and Shine—you know where to look for inspiration.




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