In the past few weeks various events have entertained Jakarta’s residents, from traditional and pop shows to great discounts offered by nearly all major shopping centers as the capital celebrated its 486th anniversary, which fell on Saturday 22 June 2013.
Somewhat similar to the 2013 New Year celebration, the anniversary celebration peaked on 22 June evening, when Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and other city government officials threw a great dinner party for the people at the National Monument (Monas) park and its surrounding areas.
Car-free night along Jalan M.H. Thamrin and Jalan Sudirman was organized during the celebration of Jakarta’s 486th anniversary on 22 June evening.
Visitors, including many from the outskirts, thronged to temporary stages on the square and near the traffic circle to enjoy music and or just sit and relax, chatting in groups or taking photographs on streets sterilized of cars and motorcycles since the afternoon.
The celebration was marked with the cutting ceremony of a giant tumpeng (cone-shaped rice) in front of City Hall on Jl Merdeka Selatan, led by the Jakarta Governor.
The big party did not stop there. During the Jakarta Night Festival, eight large stages has lighted up the evening for all residents of the Big Durian and anyone who wished to experience the merriment of the city’s birthday.
A total of 14 Jakarta malls held one-off late-night sales on that weekend to mark the city’s anniversary and to boost the profile of its retail trail.
A celebration would not be complete without food…….
During Jakarta anniversary, traditional Betawi foods were served not just on the side of the road or at traditional restaurants but even in five star hotels in Jakarta.
The name “Betawi” derived from the name “Batavia,” the colonial name of Jakarta, and refers to the descendents of the people of the northern area of Jakarta, whose cultural traditions are now spread across the archipelago.
Let’s take a look at some of authentic Betawi Foods
Kerak telor (English: Egg crust) is a Betawi traditional spicy omelette dish made from glutinous rice cooked with egg and served with fried shredded coconut, fried shallots and dried shrimp as topping. It is considered as a snack and not as a main dish. The vendors of kerak telor are easily the most ubiquitous during annual Jakarta Anniversary and it has also become a must-have menu item for visitors at the event.
Nasi uduk is made by cooking rice soaked in coconut milk instead of water, along with clove, and lemongrass. It is commonly served with an assortment of side dishes, such as eggs (omelette, shredded omelette, or telur balado, a hard boiled egg in sambal sauce), empal (fried beef), semur (beef stew in sweet soy sauce), fried chicken or ayam suwir (shredded chicken), teri kacang (anchovy with peanuts), bihun goreng (rice vermicelli), tempe orek (tempeh stir fried with vegetables and soy sauce) and gorengan (fritters).
Semur Jengkol is dogfruit sweet stew. Semur is is usually for meat (beef, chicken) or egg. Only jengkol (dogfruit, Archidendron pauciflorum) is used to be cooked as semur. Jengkol or dogfruit is a popular type of bean in Indonesia. Despite its strong smell , it’s often cooked as satay, curry, or sweet stew like this. Stink aside, these beans have firm texture, make them enjoyable to eat. The stew’s gravy, which is made with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) helps a lot; being very tasty and perfectly seasoned.