|Preparing Baganese curry rice|
There is where you'll find the freshest of produce, familiar bustling sound of customers doing bargains, and of course the packed, small, local-favourite restaurants or eating spots.
I always love doing food hunting in local markets. Especially if the market has so many delicious items to offer, like this one at PIK (Pantai Indah Kapuk), Jakarta. I was there for a breakfast/brunch date with a fellow foodies, Ellyna, who apparently was as interested to explore this popular spot of the area as I was.
PIK fresh market is a rather clean and neat one, and it seems to have a whole floor (or maybe more) dedicated only for food court. The place is packed by couples, families, jogging groups, and many more locals digging into their breakfast/brunch.
|PIK market, the food court area|
A tip to decide which place you are to order from in this kind of food court where the options are overwhelming: either find the stalls with longest queues or browse the tables and find out the most often ordered dish. Then find out where they get the popular dish. That is what I always do.
|Locals enjoying breakfast and/or brunch|
After going around for while, we finally decided to have a taste of Baganese culinary gems. Bagan or Bagan Siapi-api is an area in Riau, eastern coast of Sumatra. A stall called 'Nasi Kari Si Chuan' stole our attention with attentive staffs and the food preparation show.
|"Nasi Kari Si Chuan"; Baganese food stall|
I settled on one of their recommended menus: nasi kari or Baganese curry rice. It's perfectly cooked rice, drowned in thick, curry gravy with pork, some small prawns, and seasoned boiled egg. The curry doesn't have the pungent aroma like Indian curry does, and it's even 'tamer' compared to Japanese curry. What makes it awesome are its thickness, creaminess, and savouriness that glue all of the elements together brilliantly. Not to mention the tender pork too.
|Nasi kari (Baganese curry rice) - IDR 18,000 ($1.8)|
Ellyna had the char siu noodles, or noodles with glazed roast pork. She seemed to enjoy her bowl, and I suspected that it's due to the springy noodles and the tender pork slices. Still, I reckon that it would be much better if the pork had been juicier.
|Char siu noodles - IDR 18,000 ($1.8)|
You may find it strange but both of us are those who don't need to drink while eating. Hence the ordering drinks after we finished our meals. Ellyna got her caffeine source of the day with a cup of nicely presented coffee, and I had iced Milo which would be better if there were more milk included.
|Coffee with condensed milk|
|Iced Milo - IDR 6,000 ($0.6)|
Dessert came not long after that, and Ellyna's durian toast had definitely grabbed all of my senses. The smell is very noticeable, and it tastes wonderful as well. I have no doubt that they really used durian flesh to make the spread. I almost planned to steal the recipe for the durian spread.
|Durian toast - IDR 12,000 ($1.2)|
Mine refused to be pale in comparison, it came wrapped with banana and pandan leaves. This is chocolate and cheese toast, selimut hijau. Apparently selimut hijau means wrapped in banana and pandan leaves to inject more tantalizing aroma to the toast.
The toast is admirable with fluffy bread and crispy edges, and they aren't short in giving the filling. While it has a bit of pandan scent, I wish there is more of it.
|Chocolate cheese toast wrapped in banana and pandan leaves - IDR 10,000 ($1)|
The drinks and the toasts were from a coffee stall nearby the Baganese food stall we had our meals from, but I failed to record the name. It can be easily found due to a unique cart parked in front of the stall and the big menu board.
Overall, it was another great food hunting in a very interesting market. It definitely isn't over yet, there are still so many things to try there. Do you love market food hunting? Hit me with your fav food in your local markets!
FRESH MARKET PIK
Jl Pantai Indah Kapuk Boulevard
Phone: (021) 56984943 - (021) 56984944