A Stroll Around Menteng

Yesterday I took a stroll around Menteng, the prosperous leafy “inurb” of Jakarta which is where I like to stay. It’s a nice part of town because it has sidewalks that you can walk a long and tree-lined streets that are pretty and shaded enough to avoid the hottest part of the equatorial sun around here. I walked for about three hours, with a break in the middle for lunch.

I’ve walked around this area before, so there’s not really much new to report about it. But I did get a couple of good pictures, in particular this wordless advertisement for PDI-P:

Sukarno the Orator

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Some additional pictures are here. You get to the new pictures by clicking “next.”

For dinner I tried a cuisine that to my knowledge I had never tried before: Acehnese. There are a couple of reasons why I’d never had it before. First off, Acehnese food is hard to come by, as there are fewer Acehnese people in Jakarta than there are other ethnic groups. Second off, I’d always heard that it’s not much different than other Sumatran foods, in particular Padang-style West Sumatra food. I know now that this isn’t really true. Acehnese food blends Sumatran food with lots of Arabic and Gujarati influences, giving it a distinctly different kind of taste marked by notably different spices. Less of the Christmas cookie spices of Java and the eastern islands, and more of the peppery and sour tastes of central Asia. My very tasty dinner at Rumah Makan Meutia in the Bendungan Hilir neighborhood demonstrated this quite well.

Rumah Makan Meutia. Assalamu’alaikum.

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I also can confirm that Acehnese food does indeed make use of a special herb that one tends not to associate with cuisine. Its seeds go in the basic spice paste and also gets used in ayam tangkap, a chicken and fried curry-leaves (etc.) dish.

Check out more recent food pictures here, including nasi rames, soto ayam istemewa, es teh tarek, mie Aceh, roti cane, and ayam tangkap. You get to the new pictures by clicking on “next.

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