When an Italian Goes Local in Jakarta

September 24, 2015 Ellyna Tjohnardi

Are you always at a loss of what places to take your overseas friends who are visiting your city? Well, true, there's always Tripadvisor or the Lonely Planet to look up for ideas, but seriously I have a reputation to live up as a #HipsterFoodie =P. So, not too long ago, when my Italian friend, Antonio's visiting South East Asia and came to Jakarta, I went to take him around to several not-so mainstream places. Do you think these places are 'hipster' enough? Scroll down for more details...

#ItalianGoesLocal (www.culinarybonanza.com)
Say hello to my charming friend, Antonio, ciao!
So for this special post, I try not to focus too much on food, just for an occasional break from routine. I thought this one day trip I had with Antonio is way too interesting to just stay only as pixels and bytes in my camera. And there are actually some interesting places that even I, as a local, would never have visited if Antonio didn't come to town.

Since I work Mondays to Saturdays, I told him that I'd only be able to go exploring with him on Sunday and I promised to take him to various interesting locations in Jakarta...Can you guess where this place (photo below) is?
#ItalianGoesLocal (www.culinarybonanza.com)
Batik painting
The photo above was actually captured at the Batik Pavilion inside Museum Tekstil Jakarta (Jakarta Textile Museum). The museum itself frequently host exhibitions related to textile from time to time, and to enter the museum complex, a local only needs to pay IDR 5,000 / person. But Antonio's main itinerary there was not to sight-see, he was dead set on learning the basics of batik painting and the Batik Pavilion allows visitors to do just that.

#ItalianGoesLocal (www.culinarybonanza.com)
Antonio, posing with local kids visiting the museum on a Sunday
To access the batik painting kits (a piece of square cotton cloth, the wax and the canting), the cost per person is IDR 40,000. You can stay inside the pavilion for as long as you want and there will be someone to teach you the basics before you start painting with the molten wax.

So the first thing to do after receiving the cotton cloth is to choose a design, available on the drawing tables and then start tracing it. If you were a beginner, it's best to choose a simpler design without too much small details. You don't want to end up getting frustrated on your holiday! Haha...
#ItalianGoesLocal (www.culinarybonanza.com)

#ItalianGoesLocal (www.culinarybonanza.com)

After the tracing step was complete, you'll be given an apron and then proceed to sit next to the hot wax clusters. It was amazing to see a diverse group of people painting batik here, from the young locals painting intricate and details patterns, to tourists like Antonio (and myself haha!) attempting their first time. It was not as easy as it seemed, because the 'canting' or the pen-like contraption to hold the molten wax, has to be held in an unfamiliar way to prevent it from smudging the cloth and to make sure the wax flows out evenly like a pen. I salute you, Antonio, for the patience (although we both gave up eventually, because we're too hungry already LOL!).

#ItalianGoesLocal (www.culinarybonanza.com)

Next, we went to Restoran Beautika Khas Manado for lunch. Beautika is popular among the locals, serving decent Manadonese food (notorious for being spicy and little 'exotic;). I ordered several dishes for Antonio to try, such as the Sayur Bunga Pepaya (papaya flower & shredded tuna stir-fry), Paniki (deep fried bat, still with bones), Cumi Woku Belanga (squid cooked in squid ink broth), Bakwan Jagung (corn fritters), Cakalang (spicy dried cakalang fish) and rice of course.
Restoran Beautika Khas Manado (www.culinarybonanza.com)
Left (top) Cumi Woku Belanga IDR 55,000 | Left (bottom) Bunga Pepaya IDR 42,500
Right: Perkedel Jagung IDR 11,000
I didn't tell Antonio what Paniki was, and asked him to try the dark coloured meat dish. He made a pretty wild guess, but the idea of cooked bat never occurred to him. I've never eaten Paniki before either, so I was honestly very bloody nervous about trying it for the first time...
Paniki (www.culinarybonanza.com)
Paniki IDR 88,000
Antonio almost choked when I told him that it was deep fried bat and realized that he could actually see the long fan-like fingers among the mass. I had a really timid bite of the meat and it tasted like very very pungent mutton and the texture was quite dry. I couldn't chew it any longer, I quickly washed it down with water. Paniki is definitely not my 'cup of tea' LOL.

Then I challenged Antonio to down a red hot dish, which was actually Cakalang. Just curious how much he can handle the heat haha...sorry Antonio, but to be a local Indonesia, you have to be able to eat chili, even fresh ones and raw! It was quite hilarious watching his reactions, but he handled it pretty well and even helped himself to more of this. There's something so addictive about spicy food right?

To be honest I was quite let down by the food, because I've heard so many fantastic reviews here. It's quite expensive for such small servings.
Restoran Beautika Khas Manado (www.culinarybonanza.com)
Cakalang Garo Rica IDR 55,000
#ItalianGoesLocal (www.culinarybonanza.com)
Is the Cakalang hot enough for you?
That must have been one of the most unusual meal that both I and Antonio have ever had, I'm glad I had him as a company, because I'd normally be too squeamish to try such 'extreme' food haha. So, next, after lunch, we needed a real good coffee break and headed out to Anomali Coffee in Menteng.

Anomali Coffee Menteng (www.culinarybonanza.com)
Love the bright space at this coffee shop...
Relatively new, Anomali Coffee's store in Menteng is a lovely bright coffee shop with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating spaces. I wanted to show Antonio what Indonesian Kopi Luwak (civet coffee) was like, so the helpful barista there, kindly allowed us access behind the coffee bar and to see him prepare our special cup of joe from a very close range...

#ItalianGoesLocal (www.culinarybonanza.com)
tasting our Kopi Luwak with Anomali Coffee's friendly barista
The kind barista even taught us how to identify good batch of ground coffee, the most basic signs to look out is the 'froth' forming at the brim when pouring in the hot water (for manual V60 brew).

Anomali Coffee Menteng (www.culinarybonanza.com)
Left: manual V60 brewing process
Right: Our (much needed) afternoon coffee break
So, with that, my journey with Antonio for the day ended, but Antonio's other friends in Jakarta are taking him to so many other interesting places around town too. Like the evening before, I went to Pelabuhan Muara Angke (Muara Angke port) together with my other blogger friend, Natasha (The Yummy Traveler) and Antonio.

It was my first time setting foot at Muara Angke and the experience was nothing short of eye-opening. It's a massive marketplace selling various catches from the sea. I'm pretty sure local restaurants and chefs must have been here at least once to acquire their seafood supplies...

Pelabuhan Muara Angke (www.culinarybonanza.com)

Pelabuhan Muara Angke (www.culinarybonanza.com)

Pelabuhan Muara Angke (www.culinarybonanza.com)

The three of us decided to share a lobster (it's quite expensive!! Maybe because the fishermen saw us coming with a tourist, so they gave us a not so good deal *sigh). Then we went to some open air eateries near the market to have our fresh seafood cooked. It would've been a great meal, if we didn't have to swat away so many flies LOL!
Pelabuhan Muara Angke (www.culinarybonanza.com)
Is that bonfire or what?!
Pelabuhan Muara Angke (www.culinarybonanza.com)

Thank you Antonio, for visiting Jakarta and thank you for being my travel companion in discovering the lesser traversed parts of Jakarta. I certainly hope to see you again soon (he told me he'll be back with some great ideas he got from this trip, I wonder what it might be!). Ci vediamo, Antonio!

#ItalianGoesLocal (www.culinarybonanza.com)

Follow Antonio's journey in discovering South East Asia like a true blue local:
Facebook: Antonio Travels
Instagram: @AntonioTravels

Location details:
1. Museum Tekstil Jakarta
Jl. Aipda Ks Tubun No.2-4
Tanah Abang, Petamburan
Central Jakarta - 10260
Click here to open in Maps
Ph: +6221 5606613

2. Restoran Beautika Khas Manado
Jl. Abdul Muis No. 70A
Central Jakarta - 10160
Click here to open in Maps
Ph: +6221 3812340
Open Hours: 9 am - 9 pm

3. Anomali Coffee
Jl. Teuku Cik Ditiro No.52
Menteng, Central Jakarta - 10310
Click here to open in Maps
Ph: +6221 3106370

4. Pelabuhan Muara Angke
Click here to open in Maps

For live and regular updates,
stalk my Instagram: @ellynatjohnardi

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