[Jakarta, Indonesia] Nasi Goreng (fried rice) is undoubtedly one of Indonesia’s most famous dishes, crowned the world’s second best dish based on CNN’s World’s 50 Best Foods.
This simple dish was deemed fit to be served to former US President Barack Obama during his visit to Indonesia in 2010.
It can be easily found across the nation ranging from posh restaurant to street carts and warungs.
The variation to Nasi Goreng varies from one region to another, using various ingredients and toppings adjusting to the local palate but the essential ingredients remain the same: rice, frying oil and kecap manis (sweet soy sauce).
Located in an alley at central Jakarta, lies the legendary “Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih” which been serving Goat Fried Rice (some use the word “mutton”) since 1958, considered by many to be one of the best fried rice in town.
True enough, for over 60 years, this semi-permanent stall always filled with Nasi Goreng enthusiast every night without fail, becoming an icon itself.
What distinguishes them from other Nasi Goreng establishments, is their “open concept” kitchen where all the preparations and cooking happen.
The process involves cutting the goat meat, simmering and finally piling up the mountain of rice in giant wok before mixing.
It is estimated that one wok can serve about 100 portions.
Nasi Kambing Kebon Sirih is slightly influenced by Middle East culture as they use ghee, some curry powder and cumin oil spices to bring out the aroma and flavours.
As the stall is always packed with limited seats, be prepared to queue.
It is common to see customers “dine in” inside their cars where the server actually deliver the dish to your car, then collect the plates afterwards.
Although it is known for its inconsistency and higher-than-average price (IDR 41k, SGD4.00) I was considered lucky enough to try the newly cooked batch of Nasi Goreng.
The fried rice came with big, juicy chunks of goat meat, topped with fried eggs and emping crackers.
Though it looked deceptively simple, I could taste the richness of the herbs and the wok hei.
In case you are wondering, the goat meat did not taste gamey at all.
Personally, I would recommend to visit and experience a true food street sensation. Not an easy feat to cook all that plus distribute the ingredients evenly in that large wok.
Even if you are feeling full, just come by and watch the ‘live cooking show’.
Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih
Jalan Kebon Sirih No.09 3, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat 10340
Tel: +6281 186 4011
Opening Hours: 5pm – 2am (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih
* Written by DFD͛’s Jakarta Food Correspondent @iknowhowtoeat. who loves exploring NEW food places in both Indonesia and Singapore. DFD pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.