Cikini, one of a few area in Jakarta that still store the remnants of old Batavia. Take a walk along Cikini Raya and you’ll find pieces of history scattered here and there. Gedung Joang that keep Soekarno’s first official presidential car. The house of the famous painter, Raden Saleh, and many others. It’s no wonder that you’ll bump into tourist often.
Kedai Tjikini is one of the newer cafe on that street that has these tourists as regular patrons. What’s interesting is that it tries to blend itself with the Batavian surroundings. Showcasing old architectural design, simple wood interior, a line of traditional Indonesian food and selections of single origin coffee. I’ve been coming to this place mostly to snack, chat over drinks and desserts.
They happen to sell the original Ragusa ice cream which save me the trouble and the queue for the same nostalgic pleasure.
That morning, me and fellow foodie, Jie decided to explore on the food. Upon a glance, we both agreed that the two most eye catching menu was Lodehawe and Nasi Goreng Belacan (Belacan Fried Rice). On the side, Jie, the coffee geek also had Aceh Gayo served in french press.
As much as I want to tell you about the coffee, I’m still a noob in that department. I’ll let Jie to do his part. ;). What I can say is that its not often you find a restaurant that serve Indonesian food as their main course, and serve it really well. Kedai Tjikini has quite an ambition to make that happen but they need to push it a little harder. All the orders came in just enough waiting time. Warm, freshly cooked, but just not enough taste.
Lodehawe, appears to be a coconut milk based soup, but lacks the savory sweet flavor. The round of vegetables topping that comes with it (jackfruit, long beans, corn, and melinjo) also does not play together to create excitement. Enjoyable but rather plain. The thing that saved the dish was the fried chicken and tempe that comes with it. Although the chicken is not seasoned, dip it in the kecombrang sambal and there’s the guaranteed comfort. The fried rice on the other hand is a people pleaser. Belacan contributed a lot to the equation, and the fact that our Indonesian tongue had it for breakfast helps too.
Kedai Tjikini has quite an ambition to make that happen but they need to push it a little harder.
All in all, Kedai Tjikini has the potential to rise and I personally support those who put an effort to highlight Indonesian culinary. But whether it can stand on par with the historical culinary gem around the are from the likes of Lontong Cap Go Meh or Gado Gado Bon Bin is still a long way to go.
PS: All photos are taken with Jie’s NX300. Shared the camera, took shots in turn. Thanks heaps Jie.
Jalan Cikini Raya No. 17