It has been 5 years since I set foot on this city of angels, Yogyakarta. It is a food heaven with a hell lot of choices. I was astonished, seeing how much choices I had.
But time has passed by, and the light has faded. There are but only a few classes of food, and in each class there are tons of restos and eating places with more or less the same old taste. But one, in each class, still shines.
Thus, here I list the classes of food and the best among them.
1. Nasi Ramesan prasmanan: The nameless Ramesan, Behind Pasar Demangan, infront of a masjid and playgroup.
I first set foot on this place with Yunizar “Yudi” Adiputera, but then it has been at least 2 years and I cant find it. Then Aulia, my girlfriend, lives around the area and I accidentally found it again.
My favorite combination would be using two kinds of vegetables: buncis orak arik (oooh, the best) and tofu thingo, two chickens, two tempes. It will cost me 11-12k-ish, unless Im very much mistaken, including a nice Es Jeruk. But the taste of the meal, lingers very long. It even got the I-Don’t-Nom-Veggies Yudi to actually eat vegetables. Some real little reasonable amount MSG is used, but that isn’t what makes it special. Then what? I don’t know. Its just awesome.
PS: Warung makan Flamboyan: Jalan Flamboyan – worth noting
It is a very famous place, almost always crowded. It has a huge variety –yes, HUGE variety- of menus which you can choose. There is at least 4 different ways of cooking chicken, for example. Prices are expensive though, for Jogja Standard, especially on the Es Jeruk. Its 2500, while they put minimum sugar and I think only half an orange in it (minimum taste and sweetness – I prefer it this way though, but I am seeing its value for money).
But if you are looking for variety, this is a place you definitely should go.
As for I, personally go here only to devour Patin soup. I have found no other place which sells patin this big and cooked this good in Jogja.
2. Angkringan Pak Man: Blimbingsari
A nice guy, helped by his wife. He is a supplier for many other angkringans, and rents motorbikes (only for people he knows) and many more. Is a very nice friend, even until now after I moved far away.
Angkringans almost always sell pretty much the same things. Sate jerohan, nasi kucing, nasi goreng, chicken heads n feet, gorengan, jahe, etc. But there are three things that are different here, and among them, the two reasons why it is special.
First uniqueness, is that there is no longer any nasi kucing. They give you plates then spoon you rices of your choice.
Second uniqueness, here is the 1st speciality, is some special menus. They have a really distinct way of making sambal which I really like, and also this tofu’s soup (its not the tofu that’s special) which is a good combination with your fried rice. And the Sate Jerohan, maaaan theyre huge!
But third, which is what makes this place the best, is price. I can not name prices, because they always change as far as I remember –to our benefit. I recall asking prices of the individual items I take while eating, and it added up to over 10 thousands (God, I did eat a lot at that time). But at the end of my meal, when I asked, he says “7 thousands”.
I think this family is not fully seeking to the profit, although Im certain its not that they forgot, but this is a big reason why Angkringan Pak Man is never vacant until everything is sold out. Worth a try, mates.
3. Burjonan: three clusters
There are three major specialties that a burjo would usually serve, and I would say that there aren’t any burjos that Iv tried are apparently special in all three of them. But there are ones exceptional on each.
a. Best Noodles: Burjonan Palm Kuning Jl Flamboyan..
They have this special menu called Mie Dogdog/Mie Warnet (the difference is only in an addition of a tempura). It is essentially noodle soup, but made from Indomie Goreng. Then they add some certain pastes, creating a new flavor. Some very few other burjos have it, but this one is significantly the best
b. Best Nasi Telor: Burjonan Sami Asih, in Gang Pak Ateng.
Nasi Telor could be judged by egg frying (simple: fry-by-order is always better than pre-fry), vegetables, and sambal. Sami Asih is the best!
c. Best Gorengan: Sendowo C-69 C.
I know, familiar address. And I know, its strange for a special gorengan. But if that Burjo is still managed by the same husband and wife with that really minyi little kid, they have quite the best gorengan tempe. Perfect thin slices, perfect batter, and seriously, crunchy and tasty. It has been a very long while though.
4. Pempek Jl Tamsis where two Pempek places stand side by side, but the smaller one.
Awesome mix on those fish n etc, and also awesome cuka. The only little drawback is when you take out, and very unlucky, the owner will give a long lecture on how he loaths people who go directly to the bigger pempek store beside his simply because its bigger. Well, I could live with that for 5 or so minutes.
Not a big fan of Pempek though. I have always had problem with its value for money. With 6thousands-ish, I get something that doesn’t fill me a bit.
PS: I’l update the name soon, but there is this Pempek place in Jalan Kaliurang, east side of road. If you like to nomnom tasteless rubber blocks, try that place.
5. Fried Chicken specialities
Jogja has many branded fried chicken, some even having a lot of branches. But the best for me is Ayam Bakar Pak Joko in selokan mataram right before the turn to Gang Pak Ateng. The Ayam Bakar tastes pretty good, but it is pre cooked thus it is not served heated.
The fried chicken, however, is just excellent. Ask for Paha Atas, its 5000, real good value for money. And they really have great awesome sambal! GOD!
The drawback is, you shouldn’t go often there or even avoid it due to health concern. The fried chicken has already been pre-fried. Then, they will fry it again for you before serving it. It results very excellent (GOD, YEAH!). But double the oil, double the kill.
6. Padangan: Duta Minang, Jl Kaliurang km 4.5-ish
Many Padang restaurants in jogja has adjusted their spices to Javanese tongues, or maybe, they just don’t bother to fulfill the original richness of Padang Spices. Duta Minang, although is among the pricy ones, lives up the legend of Padang Spices to the original. It has many branches, but I only know that one in Jl Kaliurang.
My favorite menu would be with cincang-sapi and/or fish eggs if I am feeling really rich and am ready to fast the rest of the day –or week, if I were that crazily realistic.
But the best is a cross culture. Spread the rice from Duta Minang along with its greens, then spread Joko’s Javanese sambal on it. Then put Joko’s fried chicken on top of all that, and finalize by pouring an amount of cincang-sapi’s soup at taste –on top of the chicken and the rice. EXCELENT, but deadly, so beware.
FYI, I always pick cincang-sapi soup *although any soup is free* because not only that it tastes good, but we might accidentally get some chunks of beef by mistake :p
PS: I count Aceh food as padangan too. Try the very exquisite Masakan Aceh in a tent infront of Hotel (or wisma?) Indraloka which only opens at night.
They have Nasi Goreng Kare, which is very VERY heavenly. It is a fairly made fried rice –mass cooked, nothing special, but some distinct distant spices somewhere there- then added with a few peanuts and deeeelicious sambaaaaal! But that’s not it yet. They will add a bowl of Kare with a piece of chicken there. MAK NYUSSS!!!!
More will come soon, as I cluster more similar type of restaurants <3