Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bakmi "Orpa", Jakarta

Bakmi "Orpa" is practically an institution in Jakarta. This place has been around even before I was born. Their specialty is chicken noodles and their noodles are handmade. The original owner had passed away a few years ago and handed the reins over to his son. I've never dine here before when the original owner was around and although I've heard that they've dropped slightly in standard, I still went in with an open mind.

We started with some appetizers. This is Indonesian-Chinese shumai. I didn't really like this because there seemed to be more flour than meat in it but apparently that's how it's done here.

The stuff beancurd on the other hand wasn't too bad. It was served hot and went pretty well with the sweet and chilli sauce.

Although the noodles look rather plain and there seems to be not even much sauce in it, after my first bite I could understand why this place can get so popular. It was very flavorsome, the use of shallot oil also brought out a nice fragrance. The texture of the noodle was something else by itself, springy without being hard, delicate without being too soft and none of the noodles stuck to each other. There was no clumping at all. As with most restaurants in Indonesia, locally reared (i.e. Kampong) chickens are used here instead of generic coup bred ones. As such, the meat had a very nice texture and flavor. No mushy chicken flesh here. Well, as I mentioned earlier, I can't really make a comparison between the son's cooking versus his dad's but what I had; I liked, a lot.

The dumpling soup was rather bland in comparison to the noodles but it still had that sort of depth that you can only get from a good stock instead from just using mono-sodium glutamate (MSG). The minced pork filling was mixed with some fried shallots give it a unique flavor (something I will definitely try to replicate at home hehe).

Bakmi "Orpa" sees very decent business during the weekdays and busy crowds with queues over the weekends. Each bowl of noodles cost about 5SGD, which by Indonesian standards is very expensive but their long heritage and staying-power is a testimonial that they'll definitely be around for many more years to come.


No comments: