My first encounter with sayur asem betawi (Betawi style sour soup) was several years ago when I tried it at Warung Sayur Asem (read the review HERE) in the Joglo area. It’s quite far though, so we rarely go there. However, several weeks ago, a friend shared a review about a place called Warung Betawi H. Muhayar that also serves Betawi style sayur asem along with pecak gurame as their specialty. My interest was piqued so we ventured there last weekend.
Warung Betawi H. Muhayar is located at Pejaten, alongside Jl. Warung Jati Barat (though the address said Jl. Taman Margasatwa). It’s easily spotted as they have a big banner in front of the eatery and lots of cars parked nearby. It’s a very humble eatery, with no decoration whatsoever. The menu is very simple, consisting of fried chicken, fried gourami, carp fish (ikan mas), catfish, fried bean curd, tempeh, and of course sayur asem. The fried fish and chicken can be served with bumbu pecak which is a light sauce made from a combination of red/green/bird eye chili, tomatoes, shallots, ginger, etc. So we ordered a portion of pecak gurame 80K, fried chicken, tahu & tempe goreng and sayur asem for lunch.
Our order was served with a plate of lalapan (raw vegetables like kemangi (asian basil), string bean, lettuce, pohpohan and a plate of steamed papaya leaves) The deep fried gourami was fried perfectly, with crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. Combined with the bumbu pecak, it made one hell of a dish. I pretty sure I can eat 2 plates of rice with this dish if SC didn’t stop me. The pecak sauce complimented the fish well, giving the meat a refreshing, spicy and savory kick. The sayur asem had a dominant salty taste, plus a block of oncom making the soup unique, but I think it’s an acquired taste to be able to enjoy it. I tried adding a spoonful of sambal terasi, and it made the soup more enjoyable as it reduced the saltiness.
With this kind of food, no wonder this place is always packed with customer. Dishes like pecak gurame and sayur asem betawi are already hard to find in Jakarta, so if you are in the Pejaten area, do visit this place and you won’t be disappointed.
Warung Betawi H. Muhayar
Jl. Taman Margasatwa No. 8
Ph. +62(21) 781 3945, 781 2160