Monday, December 16, 2013

Markets of Jakarta

They say a market is often the soul of a city. The famous fruit and vegetable markets in Paris, the wonderful Tsukiji market in Tokyo, and many others. But Jakarta has perhaps hundreds of markets, and I was told most are very similar to the other.

Continuing on my visit to Jakarta coutesy of Jakarta Tourism Board as invited by Russell Cheong of Winsemius, I went to a morning market. Amongst the many cakes and kuih on sale, it was also a popular place for breakfast.

But before food, an iconic drink I only managed to find in Indonesia. Teh Botol.

Interesting that a sweetened, black tea can be commercialized to such an extent. The teh botol, or literally translated as simply bottle tea, is quite a nice tasting tea, and a must try in Indonesia.

The stalls at the market seem to be makeshift carts. I do not see a bicycle contraption attached to the cart or any means of moving them other than by pushing the cart. But this is a throwback to the years before hawker centers in Singapore, when hawkers literally ply the steets.

Mee Bakso is a popular meal in Jakarta. Be it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea breaks, and even supper.

The noodles are a bit like wanton noodles, but less springy, softer, more tender consistency. The diced chicken, and chicken ball, and wanton is quite interesting as well...not at all refined, but a robust, hardy kind of taste, which is satisfying.

Another standard breakfast fare is the Soto Ayam

Eaten with keropok...prawn crackers, and rice, this is a kind of savoury soup made with chicken.

Similar to the mee soto or soto ayam we have here in Singapore, but perhaps a bit more rustic and emphasis on base flavours, it is nonetheless very good. The deep fried shallots providing a wonderful aromatic touch. Must try in many places around town.

Another standard local breakfast item is bubur ayam...or chicken rice porridge. I did not try that, so apologies, no pics.

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