Thursday, 2 February 2012

Gudeg Bu Kris (Bu Kris's Gudeg), Grogol - Jakarta

Gudeg is one of my favourite Indonesian food.
Gudeg Bu Kris

It is originally from Yogyakarta, but thank God that there are already a lot gudeg restaurants in Jakarta.

Gudeg Bu Kris is legendary, at least for my parents. They have been serving since the childhood of my parents. They told me that they used to save their money just to buy gudeg from here, and it enchanted them very much to eat the traditional dish. So one day, they took me there to witness the awesomeness myself, and also to reminisce their teenagers memories.

The place is housed on a quiet road-side, just metres from Pasar Grogol (Grogol traditional market). It is obvious that it has been there for a long time, apparent from the stained paint, old furniture, and old-looking signage. The parents said that it had been renovated, so it might be in a worse state in the past.

The restaurant's outer appearance

Most furniture are wooden and vintage looking, but strangely the place feels homey. No other patrons dining that day, it is such a shame if this legendary restaurant is forgotten.


Every food order is done at the front counter. Metal trays are lining up, revealing traditional side dishes when opened. We chose anything we like, and the waitress will quickly put them on the plate, along with warm rice. Crackers are provided too, feel free to take them, but do remember how many have you taken as it will be noted in the end.

Clockwise from top: dish selections, kerupuk putih (white flour crackers), rempeyek (crispy flour crackers with peanuts)

I went for the usual suspects to go with my warm rice that day; gudeg, krecek, tahu bacem (tofu cooked with spices and soy sauce), and orek tempe. And I took an kerupuk putih (flour cracker) too, I really love the salty cracker.

Just in case you didn't have any idea about the food, gudeg is jackfruit cooked with palm sugar and coconut milk. Krecek is ox skin cooked with spicy sauce and orek tempe is stir fried tempe with various spices.

Every component on the plate works excessively well with each other. None overwhelms each other, which makes it very enjoyable. My fav part is clearly the gudeg; sweet and cooked perfectly. Krecek is delightful as well, a bit spicy but very soft.

My meal set: rice with gudeg (boiled jack fruit), krecek (spicy ox skin), stir fried tempe, tahu bacem (tofu cooked with spices and soy sauce), aci cracker

A set of gudeg rice cannot be considered complete if an egg or a piece of chicken is not involved. So I ordered ayam opor. It is braised chicken in coconut milk and numerous spices such as galangal, lemongrass, and bay leaves.

The chicken is very tender, it is actually to soft for my liking. It almost loses it's meaty textures. Still enjoyable to eat though, and the broth is milky and flavorsome.

Ayam opor (braised chicken with coconut milk and spices)

While I was enjoying my ayam opor, the mother ordered buntil, another interesting dish. The square-shaped dish is made of boiled cassava leaves, with shredded coconut filling, and then doused with peanut chilli sauce to impart more spiciness.

Buntil - IDR 4,000 ($0.45)

The mother seemed to enjoy this a lot, but it didn't really do it for me. The flavour combination is interesting actually; notes of bitterness, sweetness, fiery punches, and savouriness will tickle your tastebuds. The cassava leaves are boiled very well, not hard to bite yet still hold their texture.

Buntil innards

After the filling lunch, we went for a short walk to Pasar Grogol (Grogol traditional market), to check out the fresh products. Caught a sight of these rambutan mountains, we couldn't help but to buy some. Great snack for a humid weather, these are.

Rambutan #1
Rambutan #2

Overall, it was really a great, hearty lunch. The price is deserves a plus point, we only spent about IDR 65,000 ($6.8) for three plates of complete gudeg set and the other side dishes. One downside of the place is that they do not have a spicy sambal to accompany the meal. Fiery sambal will really do the gudeg good, I reckon.

Having said that, I think that the place is unpretentious, but offers great gudeg and other traditional dishes. It was not the best gudeg I have, but given the chance, I will be back for another plate.

Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Great gudeg, service is quite friendly, price is affordable, clean and bright dining area although the place itself is old.



Jl. Dr. Muwardi II no 3
Grogol, Jakarta Barat

Phone: (021) 5600058

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