Has anyone ever tried “Sayur Asem Betawi” (Betawi style sour soup)? Well, after so many years of living in Jakarta, this is the first time I’ve tried it. A friend recommends me to try it at a place called “Warung Sayur Asem” located at Gang Sayur Asem, Joglo, West Jakarta. I’ve never gone this far to Joglo area and didn’t know that there’s a big Betawi suburb there. On our way, I noticed several eateries also boasting “Sayur Asem Betawi” on their signboards. We arrived at our destination with no visible signboard telling us we were at the right place, but with the size of the crowd there, it’s surely hard to miss.
photo courtesy of ruthwijaya.com
Occupying a traditional Betawi Joglo house, there’s a food counter on the left side and several long wooden tables & benches. We arrived well past lunch time, but the place was still crowded. We managed to get a portion of sayur asem 5K and ikan mas goreng (deep fried gold fish) 7.5K and warm rice 5K to share. From the appearance, the soup was quite different from the ones we usually have. The soup was clearer, lacking the red hue commonly seen in sayur asem. The ingredients are more or less the same: melinjo leaf, melinjo, labu siam (pear squash), peanut, young jackfruit, string beans and corn. In my opinion, the taste is more salty than sour/spicy. It was unique, but I’m not really sure I like it. Maybe because I’m used to the sour & spicy version. On the other hand, the chili sambal that came with the fried fish was superb. It was so hot, I can eat two portions of rice just with the fish & chili sambal. I tried putting a bit of the sambal into the soup and I liked it too.
Overall it was a great experience for me. I love the fish and sambal so much. Warung Sayur Asem Betawi opens from 9AM until sold out. Apparently, besides sayur asem, they have various kinds of fried fish too, so if you want to visit this place, make sure you arrive early. If only it’s not that far away, I will surely return for more.
Warung sayur asem H. Matali.
Jl. Raya Joglo, Gg Sayur Asem, RT 02/06
ph. 0813 14229422