It all started with a simple sentence:
Don’t all random evening food ventures start with that? Most of the time it would be followed by Indomie or McDonald’s (God bless 24-hour McDonald’s), but this time is different. We were in quest for food when a friend blurted out, “Do you know there’s a Japanese BBQ near Gandaria?” Japanese BBQ on the streets of Jakarta, outside the mall? Now that’s new.
Located right across Gandaria City, Tanpopo exudes a red glow with its Japanese lanterns and bamboo carriages. From afar you can already spot smokes, and as you walk closer, you’ll sniff the savory BBQ smell in the air. Tanpopo’s tent looks similar to other Indonesian street food stalls, only with better décor. Blue plastic chairs are gone, replaced by modern-looking wooden seating. In Japan, these kind of food stalls are called yatai, which exclusively open in the evening.
If you’re like me and you’re just looking for snacks, you’ll rejoice at the food served at Tanpopo. The portion is neither too big nor too small, perfect for midnight snack. You’re also spoilt of choices, with a lot of menus such as juicy Beef Hamburg (IDR 30K), Tender US Short Ribs (IDR 30K), and Oden (IDR 5K). Feeling fancy? You can also order their Wagyu for IDR 150K. However, if you come to fill an empty stomach, Tanpopo has a stand where you can delight yourself in a bowl of fragrant Japanese Curry Rice, Ramen, or Gyudon. Your choice. Free-refill ocha? They have that too.
I opted for their US Short Ribs and Gyudon. Given the pocket-friendly price, both are quite satisfying in terms of taste. For me, what makes eating at Tanpopo worthwhile is seeing the beef grilling on a small-coal barbeque. I’m completely immersed in watching that grill make some heat and smoke!
My friends and I would’ve stayed longer if it wasn’t for the line of people, waiting to experience Japanese yatai. But alas, this mini adventure shall continue another time when the sentence “Laper nih!” comes up. Who can say no to affordable Japanese yatai at night? I’m pretty sure the long line of people answers that question.
PS: I heard they opened another stall at Cikini! Do check it out 🙂
TANPOPO Jakarta – Gandaria
Address: Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda no. 99E. Arteri Pondok Indah, (Seberang Gandaria City, sebelah ruko Real Yoga Gandaria Studio), Kebayoran Lama, RT.10/RW.3, Kby. Lama Utara, Jakarta Selatan, Kota Jakarta Selatan, DKI Jakarta 12240
Price range: Food & Drinks (IDR 5-150k)
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/ybJYpTnpWjy