There is more to Indonesia than just Nasi Padang
The tradition and the beauty of what a city can offer is best experienced through its culinary. Food as I always said, is the best way to learn about any place and the local palate is one that’s crafted by not only the geography, but the history and economy growth as well. It is insanely fascinating what we can learn through culinary. Indonesia and Malaysia are similar in many ways, but at the same time, tremendous differences when it comes to incorporation of evolution when it comes to multiculturalism and differences of different ethnic group of the locals of different traditions and customs on certain city or states. Yogyakarta in particular is very well-known as capital of Javanese art. But one should take note of what you can explore and learn through food. I’ve done a 5 days food familiarising trip and here’s a list of the unique flavour of Yogyakarta.
To start off, know that palate and flavours of Yogyakarta maybe a little sweeter than expected, and that foods are not far off too different from off the street or in restaurants. Of course, there’ll be some street foods that’s uniquely interesting, one of which is the Tofu Mercon.
Here’s a friendly guide to your next food journey in Yogyakarta.
Restaurant Sekar Kedathon for a spread of Javanese dishes to go with rice – Yogyakarta style
This Sekar Kedathon Restaurant was built in the 1800s, a historic building once owned by Pak Tembong, a gold trader and pawnbroker. Expect Javanese architecture and a spread of menu generally representing the local palate.
Restaurant Sekar Kedathon
Jl. Tegal Gendu No.28, Prenggan, Kec. Kotagede, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55173, Indonesia
59FV+64 Kotagede, Yogyakarta City, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia
+62 274 386868
Stewed young jackfruit with rice at Gudeg bu Ahmad
Dig into traditional Javanese cuisine and a must have would be the Gudeg. Stewed young jack fruit commonly served with meat and white rice. Skip the meat and replace it with tempeh and this would be the most delicious vegan meal. Enjoy the unique sweet taste of Gudeg here at Gudeg bu Ahmad.
Gudeg bu Ahmad
Jl. Kaliurang KM. 4.5, Blok CT3 No. 5, Caturtunggal, Kecamatan Depok, Kocoran, Caturtunggal, Kec. Depok, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
5:30am – 10pm
Mushroom galore and probably one of the finest and freshest mushrooms you would ever taste in your life.
Not being dramatic with this one but Restaurant Jejamuran here serves the best satay I’ve ever had. And not just that, we are talking mushrooms here. Jejamur translate to mushroom and one would find all the mushroom dishes you can get. With one in particular that’s superb – the mushroom satay. It is so good, potentially better than any meat satays I’ve ever had.
Jl. Pendowoharjo No.RT.01, RW.20, Niron, Pandowoharjo, Kec. Sleman, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55512, Indonesia.
Local cocoa blend at Chocolate Monggo
Learn about chocolate making and understanding what the cocoa fruit provides at Chocolate Monggo’s museum. Founded in 2001 and inspired by a Belgian man named Thierry Detournay, the museum showcased history of chocolate as well as the tale from during when chocolate products were being sold from the back of a pink Vespa on the campus of Yogyakarta Gadjah Mada University, toting around about 5 kilograms of chocolate at a time, before now that it is available through retailers. All kinds of cocoa all over Indonesia was gathered and as a result is a blend for Yogyakarta. Also fun is the little cafe attached to their museum and showroom. We had chocolate drink and chocolate crepe dessert after. Chocolate monggo is uniquely a local blend and label so it makes great souvenirs.
Sribitan, Bangunjiwo, Kasihan, Bantul Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55184, Indonesia
575X+Q6 Kasihan, Bantul Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia
9am – 5pm Mon- Thur, 9am- 7pm Fri-Sun
+62 274 6465223
Bakpia Pathok 25 for indulgence and souvenirs
Speaking of souvenirs, bakpia is another great souvenir as it is a great representation of Yogyakarta. These sweet pastry rolls were introduced by Fujian immigrants and has since integrated as traditional iconic local snack. Read about my visit to the famous Bakpia 25 here.
Bakpia pathuk 25 is located at:
Jl. AIP II, Jl. Karel Sasuit Tubun Jl. Bhayangkara Ng 1 No.504,
Sanggrahan, Ngampilan, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55132, Indonesia
Business hour: 6am- 12 am daily
Sate Khlatak Pak Pong for mutton skewers
A professor in food technology and science at Gadjah Mada University (UGM), Yogyakarta, has disclosed that Indonesia had 252 satay varieties. According to Murdijati Gardjito, satay deserves to represent Indonesian culinary treasure and I couldn’t agree more. Interestingly the name Klathak is derived from the sound that comes from the burning coal when the mutton satay is being grilled. Instead of using wooden sticks, iron sticks were used to skewer the meat chunks. This to ensure that the mutton is grilled faster and evenly and meat retains juicy tender.
Sate Khlatak Pak Pong
Jl. Sultan Agung No.18, Jejeran II, Wonokromo, Kec. Pleret, Bantul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55791, Indonesia
49HP+GX Bantul, Bantul Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia
9am -11:30pm daily
“Tofu Mercon”- a local spicy tofu Yogyakarta
I am unsure if this is available all-around city but if you are ever in Borobudur and within this area, make sure to stop by Balkondes Tanjungsari and ask for this dish called the Tofu Mercon. Made with delicious tofu mashed and stuffed with chilli before taking a dip in hot oil, there is a reason why it’s called tofu Mercon. Mercon translate into fire cracker so expect explosion when biting into these savoury balls of tofu. There’s a fluff of crispy and airy after frying, somewhat similar to puffed tofu but is juicy soft on the inside, it is one of the most memorable food I’ve had in my trip. Balkondes Tanjungsari is a homestay though one can walk in to feast on this delicious delicacy, but I’d highly recommend making prior arrangements to avoid disappointment. I later tried looking up and researching on this dish only to find out from a friend that this is something relatively young, probably the recent decade or so.
Jl. Giri Tengah No.KM. 105, Dusun V, Tanjungsari, Kec. Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah 56553, Indonesia.
Opening hour 8am-10pm daily
Also, watch my 5days culinary trip on vlog with the influencers and medias from Malaysia