Jakarta has long been a port city, where people from all over the world meet and cultures intertwine. In its early days, traders from china, India, and neighboring ports come and add colour to the then Dutch’s main port called Batavia. Today, Jakarta still lives up to its legacy and is Indonesia’s main melting pot. Those living in the city are spoilt by option, particularly on food, and it is easy to overlook that Jakarta has its own culinary gem, the Betawi food.
Betawi cuisine, like its culture, is rich, diverse and eclectic and is in fact really similar to Peranakan cuisine, as both are hybrid cuisine heavily influenced by Chinese and Malay, as well as Arab and European cuisine, to neighboring Sundanese and Javanese cuisine. You can find and sample Betawi food everywhere, from the street vendors, to premium restaurants, like Discovery Ancol’s Kembang Goyang Restaurant. The name Kembang Goyang or directly translated as ‘Shaking Flower’ is taken from the traditional Betawi snack of the same name, made by dipping sweet batter in a hot oil, with the help of a flower-shaped iron stamp.
The ambiance is airy with subtle and contemporary touch of Betawi architecture. My favorite is the large balcony overlooking the Dunia Fantasi, a perfect place for a relaxing dinner or afternoon supper.
The first dish I tried in the restaurant is the Soto Tangkar. Although it is not quite as popular as its Betawi counterpart of Soto Betawi or Sop Kambing, Soto Tangkar is one of the most authentic Betawi dishes you can find. It is nearly similar to Soto Betawi, using thinned down coconut’s milk, but Soto Tangkar is richer in spice, resulting a yellow and almost reddish broth. And instead of using cow offal like lungs, tripe, and other organ meats, Tangkar usually beef ribs or slightly fatty beef cuts, slow cooked in the coconut’s milk mixture. In street vendors, you will usually get random and haphazardly cut beef ribs, but Kembang Goyang’s Soto Tangkar is loaded with nicely cut, thick, and succulent beef cuts. The broth has been cooked to perfection too, and perfect with a portion of steaming rice, pickles, and emping or the traditional bitter crackers.
Although the portion was good for two persons, I could not help but to try the Nasi Goreng Nyak Babe (Mom & Dad’s Fried Rice), a traditional Fried Rice with lamb and middle-eastern inspired spices, think of Briyani or the traditional Middle Eastern lamb rice, but with the Indonesian touch of stir-frying.
For desserts, what’s more fitting than to try the namesake of the restaurant, the Kembang Goyang. Although instead of the version commonly found elsewhere, the pastry chefs at Discovery Hotel came up with a more whimsical Kembang Goyang flavored with various flavors and dipped with colorful chocolate.
Other than the Betawi cuisine, Kembang Goyang also serves other Asian and some western favorites, making it a perfect choice for dining option for your Ancol excursion for the whole family! Kembang Goyang is also where the hotel serves its breakfast, lunch, and barbecues buffets, with 200 seats capacity with one private room, bar and lounge also.
For more information about the restaurant, visit www.discoveryhotelancol.com
Kembang Goyang at Discovery Hotel & Convention Ancol
Jl. Lodan Timur No. 7, Ancol Taman Impian, North Jakarta
Phone: (021) 29377777