Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Central-East Java: Nasi Gudeg & Ngamen

We can have so many reasons to like a place. It could be the warm welcome u received, the cheapest breakfast u ever bought, beautiful scenery just outside your window or the feeling of being young again after a ride on roller coaster. But for me, my stomach always have good connection with my heart. Enjoying food with good company never fail creating sweet memories of the place and that was the reason I never forget my first night in Yogyakarta. I agree when people say food bring people together, no matter where the place.

The day I arrived was hectic, I straight away visiting places in my itinerary without putting my backpack at a place I would be spending my night at. My lunch was just a bar of Snickers chocolate and raining the whole afternoon didn't make my travel any easier either. I was tired and glad when finally I reached Lisa's house at about 6-ish. At least I could put my head down to rest for awhile before having dinner *I hadn't eat any meal except my in-flight Nasi Ayam Chin*

Lisa was so friendly and she's a chatter box! We talked almost about anything for hours like there's no tomorrow and like we were good friends that hadn't meet for ages and need a lot of catching up to do. I had a good laugh, really! Then I totally forgot about my dinner. My sister already laid herself down and lost in her dream. During the conversation also I decided to change my plan for tomorrow and day after. It was all because of Lisa! Now, I just need to rent a car with driver for my trip to Dieng Plateu, a place 5-hour drive from Jogja. But at 9pm, we were still talking and I hadn't book any car yet for tomorrow's trip that should begin at 5am! And I was still in the same cloth since I arrived without shower nor dinner. Pathetic! I am such a well-prepared freak sometimes, this kind of arrangement doesn't fit me, I need to at least secured the booking then I can be comfortable with anything afterwards. This conversation needed to stop and we should be going out doing the arrangement. Luckily Lisa's helper came into our room and interrupted our conversation, brought 3 plates of Sate Madura for each of us. So, we stopped talking for awhile and I finished them in no time. I was famished! 

This is the look of Sate Madura. Similar to our Malaysian sate but with additional of sambal and kicap. The taste? As yummy as it looked *burp, excuse me :p

If you have been to Prawirotaman to look for mid range accommodation and place to eat, you've probably come across Via Via Cafe. In Lonely Planet, it is rated as top place to eat in Jogja and have been travelers' choice to hang out too. What was I doing at Via Via Cafe while I supposed to look for car rental company? Well, besides cafe they also provide car rental service and as I guessed, the price was a "little" too expensive for my type of travel :( So, I passed and together with Lisa we walked out of the place to look for more wallet-friendly price although I really would love to sit and enjoy the company of other travelers while drinking some refreshing juice there. The cafe had very relaxing ambiance, perfect for me who had tiring day today. 

Just as we were about to leave, our motorbike bumped into Lisa's friend motorbike who also happens to be one of Jogja CSer I requested to be my host. I was very elated when Rose recognized me and she invited us to join her for some meet up with other CSers. How could I say no?! At that instance, I nodded in agreement and put the finding-rental-car mission aside first :p Inside, there were already Fauzi, Taufik and his surfer from Germany, Basti. So later that night, the 6 of us (4 Indonesian, 1 Malaysian and 1 German) shared a table and many stories over our favourite drinks and live jazz music. Oh, how I love travelling...and making new friends!

Although Via Via Cafe serves local Indonesian dishes, Taufik suggested we should go some other place that have more authentic Indonesian taste and ambiance than the contemporary cafe setting Via Via have. Agreeing with him, Fauzi, Basti, Lisa and I hit the road with motorbikes to look for the best place to eat Nasi Gudeg, Jogja signature dish. 

I fell for this place! I never expect such food stall could make me like Jogja so much. It's Jogja not at its surface!

I know, the video is very dark :( and there was no lighting except from the sidewalk but what I want to share is the songs from ngamen. I quite enjoyed their singing :) Do u? Ngamen is what Indonesian call a group or solo street performer. They could be singing any song at any place, including at the market, in a bus, food stalls etc. Usually people give them some money to show they enjoy their performance.

When I arrived at Gudeg Permata, it was almost 11pm but there were still a lot of people queueing for the food. As u can see, they are specializing in gudeg and have a lot of lauk to eat the rice with. Besides gudeg (young jack fruit cooked with palm sugar and coconut milk) I chose chicken with gravy and tempeh-playing safe by not choosing any peculiar lauk. Then Lisa suggested to include beef skin sambal. She claimed it is not as disgusting as its sounds and I was convinced and had some on my plate. 

In the end, what left on my plate was the beef skin sambal. I just didn't have the courage to be food adventurous that night :D And I didn't finish the gudeg as well since jack fruit can caused wind in my stomach. But afterall, the gudeg taste just nice when combine with some sambal since eating it itself can be too sweet for my liking. 

From the video, I did show there's a place for them to boil water isn't it? This is how it looked when I took the photo with flash on.

How classic! A coal stove.

But the more classic was the eating place at this stall. What do u think?

The empty space on the rainbow mat was where I ate and had a good taste of true Indonesia lifestyle (maybe). And that's how I could record the ngamen playing songs uninterruptedly *super happy*

That's how I spent my first night in Jogja :) Awesome, no?

Do u think u would enjoy this place like I did? 



fatt said...

wow u did a lot of CSer while i havent try it yet. i dunno how to start infact. im thinking of going to Bangkok this wesak and maybe will look for Cser as im on my own. any tips to share for the first timer? :)

Traveller's Anatomy said...

I like how CS works and how it connects me to the local. Afterall, that's the beauty of travel kan? For CS, first, get yourself register and do the profile thing. I'll email u for detail k :)

fromblank said...

amazing pics! looks like a great trip.

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Biqque said...

we tried bakmi once and that dish finally became our official dish during our trip...hehehe!

Ms. Littlewing said...

I believed you had such of wonderful moment over there with awesome and wonderful people surround you...hope one day I can do the same too.thanks for sharing the posts.

Lily Riani said...

catching up with all the blogstory.... cant wait to hear more on jogja.

Alid Abdul said...

haha finally I come to comment something :)

Gudeg without krecek (cow skin) is like food without salt :D
Its gross for first timer but it tastes great :)

Traveller's Anatomy said...

thank u. indeed it was :)

oh, i didn't try bakmi :( But Nasi Gudeg is true Jogja's specialty.

Traveller's Anatomy said...

@Ms Littlewing
yeah, put Jogja in your next travel list. People there are friendly too :)

Ah, missing u :)

Traveller's Anatomy said...

I didn't know that :p I'll come again and try it with krecek next time :D

Anonymous said...

Hey I think we had the same host! Lisa that's obses with lomo right? Gudeg and kopi jos was def my fav in jogja, krecek and all. Went to the cs-jogja meet up also and all they ask was about upin n ipin.