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Home / Indonesian Cuisine / Jakarta Eats Part 6: Nasi Lemak = Balinese Food ?
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Jakarta Eats Part 6: Nasi Lemak = Balinese Food ?
By Alfred May 25, 2009
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Jakarta Eats Part 6: Nasi Lemak = Balinese Food ?
Fast Facts
Indo Mee Goreng Indo Nasi Lemak Indo Satay
Indonesian Cuisine
Price Range:
S$11 - S$20
Rating Range:
7 to 7.9
Food Centre:
Recommended For:
Reviewed by:

Kemangi Nasi Lemak dan Warung Kopi
Ruko Puri Indah Raya Blok A no.6
North Jakarta

Kemangi Nasi Lemak

Kemangi Nasi Lemak’s menu

Kemangi Nasi Lemak counter

Kemangi Nasi Lema’s menu

Nasi Lemak with Kemangi leaf.

Kemangi Nasi Lemak

Beef Soup

Pork Satay

Chicken satay


One of my agenda in this trip is actually to try and discover some delicious local food that otherwise is not popular in Singapore – yet. I remember a friend of mine who came to Singapore for a holiday and I brought him to try our delicious chwee kway and dark chai tao kway.

He loved it so much and was asking me why he can’t find these in restaurants in Australia that sells Singapore food. My answer to him then was that freshness is very important in this kind of food and hence cannot be easily prepared for the only odd customer that would walks in and orders daily. A few customers here and there is hard to justify the trouble of adding such food to any menu. And also the fact that such food are more like side dishes and people don’t usually eat them as a meal here. I asked the same of the Taiwanese ‘Xiang Ji Pai'(Taiwanese famous chicken cutlet, few years back they haven’t arrived in Singapore yet) then and he agreed that such food is difficult to be exported.

Of course we know that ‘Xiang Ji Pai’ did arrived in Singapore with a bang and it did conquered the market for a while. It’s even gone to JB and ‘Xiang Ji Pai’ stalls at their Pasar Malam is a common sight nowadays.

So therefore my answer to him then had been proven incorrect. The truth is any food can be exported, whether it’s a main course or side dish, you only need to know how to market it. Really and truly, Taiwan is more than ‘Xiang Ji Pai’ and ‘Oyster Mee Suah’.

There are many nice food that I’ve tried there and really loved that has not yet come to our shore. In this world of globalisation, really the potential is there and the only factor is time. Therefore I think we just need to wait for someone with the right expertise and the financial capabilities to develop a system for the ‘importing’ of all these foreign delicacies.

I’ve heard many good things about the Balinese food and so I was so glad that I’m finally going to try it. Ok, by now you should know that a lot of Indonesian food is all about ‘Goreng’ or ‘Bakar’. Goreng means fried while Bakar means grilled. In Singapore’s cuisine, grilling kind of food seem to be diminishing very quickly in the past 2 decades or so. Or even if you found one, chances are they don’t taste as good as those in Malaysia. One of the reason I think is that very few food sellers in Singapore nowadays use charcoal due to regulations installed by the whatever ministry to tackle fire hazard issues blah blah blah.

So things like steamboat, otah or chicken wings, you see more and more foodstalls using electric grills or stoves instead of the traditional charcoal powered ones. If you ask me, I really do think that charcoal does make one hell of a difference to taste of food. I don’t know whether that taste is actually acquired but for me it really does smells better. If you ever been to JB’s Pasar Malam during the Ramandan, you can see all the stalls there using charcoal to grill their whatever chicken or seafood or satay and the smell of it can really uplift your makan spirit. Well you can never get that kind of smell in any of Singapore’s Pasar Malam.

Ok, Balinese food is to do with a lot of grilling. Basically it’s seafood, chicken pieces, chicken satay, pork satay…yes you didn’t heard it wrongly, it is PORK. Bali has a lot of Hindus apparently so that place actually does have a lot of people who eats pork and so Balinese cuisine has Babi – it’s that simple.

I almost LOL when I read the menu at restaurant called Kemangi who are selling Balinese food.

The reason is because I saw a Singapore food name. Ok it’s theme(those words accompanying the restaurant name) is ‘Nasi Lemak dan Warung Kopi’.

To translate that to English, it mean ‘Nasi Lemak and house kopi’. Now as far I know we don’t eat Nasi Lemak with kopi in Singapore so if anyone were to tell me that I can have Balinese food in Singapore if I take Nasi Lemak + a cup of kopi, then I will tell him to stop pulling my legs but how if you read that off a menu in a purportedly famous Balinese restaurant?

The Nasi Lemak here came in set meals of Ayam(chicken) or Udang(prawn) or Empal(fish) etc, to be served peanuts, egg, ikan bilis and with a choice of soup.

Quite frankly the last thing I want to do in Jakarta is to try some Singapore food so that really lowered my morale a bit.

And what with other dishes like Chicken Satay and Pork Satay(which they’re famous for) really made it look like I’m having a meal at Changi Village. I then decided to order something more and saw an interesting Mee Goreng but ordered it anyway. Gah, why does Balinese food names sounded so ‘Singaporean’?

The Nasi Lemak was alright but not fantastic. We have some of the best Nasi Lemak here in Singapore so it’ll really takes a bit to excite me to new heights. This unfortunately just tasted like one of those I can find anywhere that is sold by any Malay food stall.

One thing about the Satay here is that they don’t serve the peanut sauce separately but by pouring it all over the satay.

There is nothing wrong in doing that except that the original ‘bbq’ taste of the satay is masked by the peanut sauce and I have no way to taste the satay in it’s original flavour. Another thing they love doing here is to pour some kind of sweet black sauce over the satay, that definitely need some getting use to because for me, sweet black sauce is something that you only add to Chai Tao Kway or Char Kway Teow.

Overall the satay passed and the pork satay was good but I definitely had tasted better Indonesian Satay back in Perth. Also another thing is satay here were not served with generous amount of cucumber which was a shame because I love cucumber and it does provide a nice interlude between those charred meats.

Price: SGD$2-3 per set

Recommendation: Satay

Conclusion: Only the satay is worth coming here for, other food are unfortunately not as delicious as what I can find in Singapore.

Likes: Satay is quite big size.

Dislikes: Nasi Lemak Chili power no enough.

Overall Rating

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[xrr label=”Service:” rating=”7/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Ambience:” rating=”8/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Cleanliness:” rating=”8/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr overall=true group=s1 label=Overall:]

Readers' Comment(s) : 4
Lim Boon Tiong says:

hmmm… the nasi lemak there looked quite pathetic to me but the satay was all right.

The satay with black sauce looks a bit like those Japanese style chicken sticks.

Did you eat anything at the Bu oka place?

Posted May 25, 2009
Alfred says:

It looked japanese because of the plate I think.

Posted May 27, 2009
Dewi says:

Wah aku sering makan d sebelahnya Haytien yang rebus rebus itu… Anyway kalo mencari nasi bali sih aku punya rekomendasi langgananku mereka jual nasi bali tradisional lengkap dgn satenya, tum ayam, sisit, sambel matah, telor lalah, kankung plecing, muanntap dan pedas banget…sip banget rasanya serasa d bali hehehe apalagi makan rame2 d kantor telpon aja mrk biasanya bs delivery tambahin ongkir aja 081927740999.

Posted January 28, 2012
Dewi says:

Oh yah harganya juga gak mahal cuma 18.000 per bungkus utk nasi balinya…

Posted January 28, 2012
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