Indonesia is a very big country with rich cultures and heritages, and I am very proud of it. One of the most famous heritages here is the “Peranakan” or simply means “descendants” of the Chinese immigrants who came to Indonesian archipelago long time ago. Also known as “straits Chinese”, Indonesia has the most of them, approximately about 6 million people in total. These “descendants” also still exist in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. But what’s the relation between these people and my post this time?
The place that I visited a couple months ago is called Dapur Babah, which literally means “Chinese Man’s Kitchen”, as “babah” is the term used to call “straits Chinese male”. The whole concept of the restaurant is very much like a museum, where they put all the babah-related decorations, accessories, and even furnitures inside. Besides that, the restaurant also focuses on authentic babah’s cuisines that are very interesting to try!
It is located in the historical Veteran street in Central Jakarta, amazing when I think about it now because it was like I was thrown back to the past and felt a total different atmosphere once I stepped in. It doesn’t look big from outside, but when I was inside, WOW! It is just HUGE. There are so many dining areas, indoor or outdoor, each with different furnitures, settings and ambiances, but everything is just AMAZING. I especially love the wall decorations, be it paintings, framed photos, or just wall cabinets, they are breath-takingly interesting! There are also private rooms for business meetings or events, so it’s also a great spot to bring your crowds.
And as I fell in love so bad to the place, here I present special photo collection, ta-dah!
They also offer many selections of food and beverages, which again, sound very interesting judging from the names. So without further ado, we ordered some food and I didn’t even mind waiting because I just enjoyed the beautiful place so much!
Nasi Tjampoer Babah IDR 68K
As much as I know, this is one of their best-selling menu ever, and sort of become their signature dish. Infused by Pandan leaves, the rice is green in color, served wrapped in banana leaves, it was superb in term of texture, taste, and aroma, not mentioning the appealing looks from the first glance! The plate consists of nine types of Javanese side dishes, including crisp-fried shrimps, marinated grated coconut, sauteed tofu and soybean cake in ‘Ketjap sauce’, marinated beef, stewed vegetables in coconut milk, fricadel van garnalen, chicken cooked in chili sauce, special sambal and also a gigantic rempeyek kacang (deep-fried Javanese rice flour crackers with peanuts). It was savory, delicious, and attractive in the same time, but I think bigger portion wouldn’t hurt. XD
Nasi Kare Kepiting IDR 78K
An exciting plate, I must say. Focused on the crab itself, it was big, crispy, yet soft and very easy to eat. I love the side dishes and the curry sauce too because they just complimented each others very well. A brilliant dish that I really recommend to try!
Biefstuk Compleet Oen IDR 98K
As the name suggested, this menu is the exact replica of the Holland-style steak that used to spread around Indonesia some centuries ago. The steak itself was not too thick, very well-marinated and very tender. The sauce was a bit watery but very delicious, accompanied with fresh veggies and chunks of potatoes, it brought back memories of my childhood. Love it.
By the way, my visit for this post was around July 2013 so some of prices might have changed already. We also tried 2 kind of drinks, which I remember very enjoyable. I don’t recall the ingredients of each drinks, though, but well, here are the pictures!
Vanilla Sky IDR 28K
Cafe Mocha Glace IDR 38K
Dapur Babah Elite is clearly different from usual dining experiences. The place, the atmosphere, the food, the service, everything is just excellent. Now I understand why people always talk so good about this place and put that in top list of must-go places to bring foreign friends or any expatriates in general to introduce one or two things about Indonesia.
*All prices are subject to 5% service charge & 10% government tax
Dapur Babah Elite & Tao Bar
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11.00 – 23.00
Estimated Spending: IDR 100.000 – 150.000/person