14 April 2008
Jayakarta Restaurant and More Sub-Regional Reminders
If you are Filipino and homefoodsick abroad, perhaps an Indonesian restaurant can satisfy your hankering. There is a great one in Berkeley, California that might be worth a visit for you.
My lola, tita, and nanay and me were in high spirits upon entering Jayakarta on our "girls' day out". We continued to be semi-rowdy and happily pointed out the familiarly named offerings in this Indonesian-Singaporean joint (our lumpia= their lumpia, siomai=siomay, pansit=pangsit, kropek=krupuk, kangkong=kangkong, togue=toge).
Everything we had was exceptionally tasty-- from the lumpia semarang (Indonesian spring rolls, $3.95) to the oseng-oseng tempe (stir fried fermented soy cakes with string beans, $6.95) to the bubur ketan hitam (sweet black sticky rice with coconut milk, $4.25).
The ingredients used are similar to those in Filipino food, except less tinged with colonial influence, and more use of spices (and sugar). It is just baffling how little I know about Indonesian food, and how little of it I have eaten. Not to mention how I never even try to make it, given the ingredients are readily available. I have taken some immediate steps to remedy this.
I sincerely believe that diving deeper into our Southeast Asian heritage can help us discover ways to maximize our local crops (and have good, cheap food) and re-discover parts of our food culture. Finding common strands is a really fun and satisfying thing to do.
2026 University Avenue
(Between Milvia St. and Shattuck Avenue)
(+1510) 841 0884
BART Station: Downtown Berkeley
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