When our foodie friend, Niko said that Martabak Asan Bandung is the man who founded Tipker, we were excited and skeptical at the same time. I think it is every foodie’s dream to have that so-called ‘pilgrimage’ to the birthplace of a particular food that they love so much. I’ve always been a martabak man. And tipker is one of my favorite renditions of martabak. It’s thinner and crunchier without losing the original taste.
So I tried tracing back the history line to confirm the origin, but there’s just none available. I guess a visit is a must.
Located in a long line of hawker food, Martabak Asan Bandung stood humbly with typical street side banner marking its existence, a few plastic seats for customers to sit, and four hot pans fired up ready to take on the orders. We immediately called for the famous Tipker Keju (Cheese Martabak).
Koh Asan, who looked like a 60+ grandpa, still does all the cooking himself. I held my judgment and silently watched as he started the show.
He cracked open an egg, scrambled it in the special mix, and poured a thin layer just to barely cover the pan’s surface. Okayyy, that’s expected. I don’t see anything special yet. I waited for about ten minutes when finally Koh Asan did something that attracted my attention.
He pulled up a steel scraper and began scraping off the top layer of the partially cooked mix, then grated some cheese and poured on the condensed milk. He closed off the pan to keep the heat inside for another minute or so, flipped it off the pan, sliced it evenly like he has done it a thousand times before and voila, tipker was ready!
Here comes the moment of truth. My first bite would decide whether the likeliness that Koh Asan is the founder of tipker is close to being true. I took my time to breathe the smell in. Sweet and savory at the same time. A strong hint of butter got my appetite turned on and then I took the bite that would change the way I see tipker forever.
It is nothing like I’ve ever tasted before. I repeat. Martabak Asan Bandung’s rendition is the real deal when it comes to tipker. It’s not overly cooked that the texture becomes biscuit like. Just about right. And the thin layer of cheese perfectly complements the crunch. I remember it was a little over 10PM. Earlier I said to Niko, I’m going to eat just a piece as I’m still full from dinner earlier. Well, I ended up eating five. That should speak more than the word ‘delicious’.
We might never know if Koh Asan is really the founder of tipker. He then told us the story of how he started 21 years back and how his popularity has brought him meeting Mr. President. He even mentioned that he got a badge from the man himself. That might or might not be true, but judging from what he made, I’m very confident that he is the man who started tipker. Or at the least, the better rendition. I dare you to prove it yourself.
I concluded my pilgrimage that night and returned the night after. It. Is. That. Good.
To infini-food and beyond.
My Instagram: @captainruby
Martabak Asan Bandung
(aka Martabak Koh Asan Bandung)
Jl. Rama, No. 20, 40172, Indonesia
Daily 5PM – 11PM
Google Map Location: