Nasi Goreng (fried rice) is the all-time favorite Indonesian dish. Last year, it was the runner-up in the list of the world’s 50 best foods by CNN readers.
This homemade dish, — cooked rice stir-fried in a frying pan and usually served with eggs, vegetables, seafood, fried chicken and meat, and crackers, is so popular that you can find its sellers easily across the archipelago.
In Jakarta, top-notch nasi goreng dishes are here and there. Here are five of the best nasi goreng I recommend you to try to taste, right after you land in the capital.
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Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih is an eatery located on a corner of bustling Jl. Kebon Sirih Raya in Menteng, Central Jakarta. It is widely popular as one of the must-visit culinary gems in the capital.
Kambing means goat in English. As the name suggests, nasi goreng here is served with diced tender mutton. It is also known as one of the most legendary fried rice in Jakarta because the stall itself has existed for over 50 years.
At this food stall, foodies usually enjoy the nasi goreng with so-called emping (fried crackers made from melinjo nut kernels). Emping, which tastes slightly bitter, enriches the savory of the mutton fried rice.
Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih, which is open from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. every day, sells the mutton fried rice for Rp 41,000 per serving. If mutton is a problem for you, you can order a bowl of fried rice with shredded fried chicken and it is sold at the same price. It has also opened branches in Bintaro and Blok M in South Jakarta, Cinere in Depok, West Java and Pamulang in South Tangerang.
Address: Jl. H. Agus Salim No.41B, RT.1/RW.1, Kb. Sirih, Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10340, Indonesia
Opening Hours: 11AM to 2AM.
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Nasi Goreng Kebuli Apjay is located on Jl. Panglima Polim IX No. 19 in South Jakarta. Apjay is the abbreviation for Apotek Jaya (Jaya Drugstore) because the position of this eatery is in front of that shop.
Nasi Goreng Kebuli Apjay is unique because the rice that the seller fry is nasi kebuli (spiced rice), which is a popular Middle Eastern delicacy. Like Nasi Goreng Kebon Sirih, this eatery also mixes the fried rice with large cuts of diced tender muttons. It is spicily delicious with a perfect sunny-side-up egg and crackers on top and slices of fresh cucumbers and pickled carrots in turmeric sauce.
Every day, this eatery opens its door from 5 p.m. until midnight and a mutton fried rice is sold at Rp 29,000 per serving. If the fried rice is not your favorite, you can order other popular Indonesian dishes here, such as bakmi goreng (fried noodles), bakmi godog (boiled noodles) and martabak (deep-fried stuffed pancake).
Address: Jl. Panglima Polim 9, Dharmawangsa, Jakarta
Opening Hours: 5PM to 2AM
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Ijo is a Javanese word that means green in English. That is why the color of fried rice in this place is green. If you are interested to taste this green fried rice, you can directly go to Nasi Goreng Ijo Thole on Jl. Panglima Polim V No. 4, Dharmawangsa, Jakarta.
It is not a color additive that makes the fried rice green because the seller does not add it to the rice when cooking it. The green color comes from mustard greens. Therefore, this dish is not only delicious but also healthy! A bowl of green fried rice topped with a fried egg and slices of fried chicken is sold for Rp 14,000 per portion.
If green is not your favorite color, you may try to taste the red fried rice or black fried rice. The red color comes from beetroot, while the black one is from squid ink. The red fried rice is sold at Rp 15,000 per serving, and the black one Rp 17,000 per serving.
If you want to taste the flavor of mustard greens, beetroot and squid ink in one plate, you can order Nasi Goreng Warna Warni (Three colors fried rice). It is sold at Rp 20,000 per serving.
Address: Jl. Panglima Polim V No. 4, Dharmawangsa, Jakarta
Opening Hours: 6PM to 1AM
Credit: Nasi Goreng Mafia on Facebook
Nasi Goreng Rempah Mafia is located on Jl. Tebet Raya No. 27 D, Tebet, South Jakarta. Indonesian people are known for their huge love for spicy foods and in this place, you can find various kind of fried rice with different spicy levels.
What is more interesting is that the fried rice have unusual names, such as Gangster, Triad (Chinese transnational organized crime syndicates) and Yakuza (Japanese gangsters).
One of the most favorite fried rice in this place is Yakuza fried rice. It is a bowl of dark-colored fried rice mixed with green chili and kikil (beef tendon). This fried rice is not is not too spicy and too oily and the kikil itself is also tender. It is sold at Rp 23,500 per serving.
If you order Triad, you will get reddish fried rice mixed with dried shrimp and red chili. This eatery also offers a variety of toppings, from fried meatballs, fried sausages to chicken satay.
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Located on Jl. Sidoarjo No. 3 in Menteng, Central Jakarta, Nasi Goreng Gila OK has existed since 1999. Gila means crazy in English and this fried rice is said crazy because it mixes rice with kwetiau (flat rice noodles). What makes this dish more special is that it tops with otak-otak (fish cake). The otak-otak makes this brown spicy fried rice not only different but also more tasteful.
A bowl of crazy fried rice is sold at Rp 25,000. If you do not want otak-otak, you can order fried rice mixed with chicken, salted fish or anchovy.
Address: Jl. Sidoarjo No. 3, Menteng, Central Jakarta
Opening Hours: 5PM to 3AM