Gado-gado is very popular salad with many regional variations. It is sold everywhere, in the most exclusive restaurants and hotels or by a humble street hawker. This vegetable concoction originates from the Betawi of Jakarta, but known as national dishes as well.

Gado-Gado consists of blanched spinach, long beans, bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, sliced fried tofu, and boilded eggs cut into wedges. A warm salad with tangy peanut dressing, gado-gado is sometimes eaten with rice or rice cakes (lontong). The peanut sauce is made from deep fried peanuts blended with an assortment of herbs, such as lime leaves and chilies that gives it a fresh, spicy taste. Indonesian peanut sauce is a delicate balance of tastes that blends and adapts itself to the various ingredients it complements. Peanut sauce must not be too thick or too runny.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
Edited by Vera
Disclaimer click here         

Do you want to taste amazing Gado-gado in Jakarta? Let’s join our all-you-can-eat food tour in JakartaWe will bring you to the best gado-gado stall in town. Contact us here



Gamelan is the traditional musical ensembles of Indonesia, typically from the islands of Bali or Java. The ensembles features a variety of instruments such as sets of tuned bronze gongs, gong-chimes, metallophones, drums, bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked string instruments. A gamelan orchestra can sometimes include singers. Gamelan music, weather played live or the recorded version, usually accompanies important events such as weddings, rituals and ceremonies, traditional dance and wayang performances.

Gamelan comprises two scales; the slendro (minor) and pelog (major). Each instrument has its functions. Gongs maintain the basic structure of the music; the metallophones carry the theme, while the kendang leads the orchestra by controlling the tempo of the musical piece.

Gamelan Jawa

Javanese Gamelan

There are generally three distinct types of gamelan, the Javanese, Balinese and Sundanese styles, each with its own distinctive musical scale, dynamics and mood. In Central Java, the gamelan is an essential element in many kraton (palace) ceremonies. In Bali, almost all religious rituals are accompanied by the gamelan.

Gamelan Bali

Balinese Gamelan

Certain pieces of the ensemble are believed to possess supernatural powers and would be played to ward off evil spirits or even manipulate the weather. Such special pieces are given titles and treated with utmost respect.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
Disclaimer click here         


wayang workshop

Wayang is ancient Javanese form of storytelling that refers to the performace and the puppet itself. For centuries wayang flourished at the royal courts and rural areas of Java and Bali before it eventually found its way to other islands in the archipelago, each developing its unique performance style and musical accompaniment.

Although puppet come in many sizes, shapes and styles, the two primary types are the flat, perforated leather shadow puppet (wayang kulit, kulit means leather) and the three-dimensional wooden puppet (wayang golek). Different wayang characters are distinguished by facial features, costumes, mannerism and assigned voice.  In the shadow-puppet theater, the master puppeteer (dalang) manipulates the puppet’s arms by means of slender sticks attached to the puppets, in front of a screen lit from behind.

The dalang are well-versed in a large repertoire of characters and lore, able to recite ancient narrative passages and poetic songs in a witty and creative manner. Besides directing the story, the dalang also leads a gamelan ensemble. In the past, dalangs conveyed moral and aesthetic values through popular stories with characters borrowed from indigenous legends, folk stories and the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata epic.

Other forms of wayang include wayang wong, performed live by actors, and wayang beber, illustrated ballads inscribed on paper or lontar leaf scrolls.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
Disclaimer click here         

Do you want to learn more about wayang? We will bring you to wayang workshop to learn how to make, play, and get to know wayang historical background on the right place with the expert. Contact us here


Four Types of the Best Satay in Jakarta

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Satay in Jakarta is one of the most popular dishes in town. It starts with the street food stalls then slowly becomes all day-dishes which served in the restaurants. Among these satay stalls and restaurants, there is four types of the best satay in Jakarta. In my experience as Jakartans, we separate type of satay based on the meat and the sauce. Let’s check it out.

What is Satay?

I need to explain this basic question before we go any further. What is Satay? Basically, satay is Indonesian style of barbecuing. Meat grilled on indirect heat that comes from the burning charcoal. Yes, charcoal make satay tastes more flavory. In Jakarta, we also use spices and seasoning on satay sauce. Sauce is the key.

The Best Satay in Jakarta #1 : Chicken Satay

This is the most popular satay in town: Chicken Satay. We use peanut for the sauce. Blended peanut, sweet soy bean ketchup, chilli (off course!), and mashed onion. Duh, we don’t need to make it at home. There is many Chicken Satay seller in every corner of Jakarta. Everyone love it!

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Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Nowadays, chicken satay has new favorite sauce. We called it “taichan satay”. Eighty percent of the sauce comes from red chilli. When we barbecue the meat, we will not use soy bean.  It just oil and lime to keep the meat stick with white colour. Taste:  spicy, salty, and savory.

The Best Satay in Jakarta #2 : Mutton Satay

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Mutton Satay in Jakarta

Let’s change chicken with mutton. Grill slices mutton, put soy bean and pinched green chilli on your plate. Voila! You made mutton satay. It is simple dish for mutton lover. Please don’t eat mutton satay too much since it will give you high blood pressure.  

The Best Satay in Jakarta #3 : Padang Satay

The Best Satay in Jakarta -1

Padang Satay

Padang Satay made from cow tongue. Yes, I talk about that cow and that tongue. Honestly, Padang Satay will not taste like cow tongue at all. Some people seems surprise when I told them what kind of meat it is – of course after they ate Padang Satay. It is chewy and has strong spices on the sauce. The sauce is traditional flavor from Padang city, West Sumatera. Padang Satay sauce has yellow color that comes from turmeric. Anyway, do you ever try cow tongue before?

The Best Satay in Jakarta #4 : Lilit Satay

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Sate Lilit on fine dining restaurant

“Lilit” means twisted in English. It is the closest translation but not 100 percent correct. So I will keep the original name on my writing: Sate Lilit. Sate Lilit is Indonesia culinary that comes Bali island. It made from minced fish, vegetable and mixed spices. In Bali, they also mix it with pork but I don’t think pork will acceptable in Jakarta. Most of the population in Jakarta is moslem and moslem don’t eat pork.

I never found Sate Lilit on Jakarta’s street food stalls. Sate Lilit always sold in restaurant since you need refrigerator to keep satay dough fresh. After we make the satay dough, we need to put it on tiny bamboo stick then its ready to barbecue. Make the dough twisted on bamboo stick. See, twisted!

Two exceptional. Maranggi Satay and Kikil Satay

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Maranggi Satay

There is two more kind of satay that I know but rarely found in Jakarta. First, Maranggi Satay made from beef and has similar sauce with Mutton Satay. You will find it easily sold in West Java area but less seller in Jakarta. I don’t know why, it tastes good though.

Second, Kikil Satay. Kikil is cow’s foot. 

sate kikil

Kikil Satay (image source: twitter @malbekasi)


It might be not everyone’s favorite part from the cow. Once, I found this Kikil Satay sold by travelling satay seller around my neighborhood area. Sold for the kids since it’s cheaper than ‘actual beef’. The sauce is quite similar with Chicken Satay, all grinded peanuts and sweet soy bean ketchup. 


Where to find the best satay in Jakarta?

Easy question, tricky answer. Hmm… where to find the best satay in Jakarta? I’ve been eat here there everywhere since I open food tour with Jakarta Walking Tour. Honestly, the best satay that I ever eat is sold on the street. Less expensive and fresh.

IMHO, the winner for the best mutton and chicken satay is….Sate Jaya Agung in the corner of Sabang Street, Central Jakarta. Yes, they win two best satay in town. They use only breast part for Chicken Satay. So tender. For Mutton Satay, they use lamb. So in Sate Jaya Agung Jakarta, it is actually Lamb Satay not Mutton Satay. Super juicy.

The winner of Padang Satay is Sate Mak Syukur in West Sumatera. Hahaa..sorry, it is far away from Jakarta but I said no lies. When I checked on google maps, Sate Mak Syukur has some branch in East Jakarta and South Jakarta. I never try it and can not believe they can bring ‘the magic hand’ to Jakarta. Different chef different taste. I don’t want to not ruin the memory of Goddess taste of West Sumatera Satay.

Do you need assistance to find the best satay in Jakarta? To save your time and avoid scam, you can book our food tour with all-you-can-eat experience. Four hours eating, and Satay is on the list. If you want to know more about this program just drop me an email here: (:

Bank of Indonesia Museum Jakarta

Combination “bank” and “museum” is more than enough to make people stay away. However, after couple time visit Bank of Indonesia Museum in Jakarta surprisingly I found interesting stories in this well-maintenance museum.

spices history of indonesiaLocated around Old Town’s Jakarta area, Bank of Indonesia Museum give you insight about monetary timeline and old money in Indonesia. Nevertheless, I think the most powerful message that we can get from Bank of Indonesia Museum is about Indonesia spices. We could learn spices history and its correlation with money and power during colonial period.

That will give you basic understanding about why and how people from European country want to come far away and stay long enough in Indonesia since 16th century. Yes, Netherlands colonialized Indonesia for 350 years because of spices. When Chinese trader sold spices through silk route with very high price, Netherlands decide to explore the world to find land of spices with ship. It happens after exploration by sea (map -red) found by their ‘neighbor’ country.

bank indonesia museum jakarta

Interior Bank of Indonesia Museum

Netherlands found Ternate and Tidore Kingdom (Maluku island – present time) and made Jakarta as their administrative city, storage city and harbor city. All these story…you can found in Bank of Indonesia Museum. You can also see this building architecture inside out. It is old building since 17-18th century and still stand strong until today.

In Bank of Indonesia Museum, you can also explore their money collection from all over Indonesia from 9th century – long before colonial period. From paper to coin, Arabic to latin words, and of course the story behind every coins/paper money there.

bank of indonesia museum in jakarta

Coin from 9th century


You can rent Bank of Indonesia Museum Jakarta for your wedding party

Yes, you read it right. You can rent it. Bank of Indonesia Museum has basement area where you can held your party on the evening. This museum will close at night so you can rent it for your special occasion. I’ve been see someone use basement area during daylight, but it is not as beautiful as glowing party at night. Too hot and too bright IMHO. Noisy. Make another museum’s guest uncomfortable.

bank of indonesia museum jakarta

Getting ready for night party!

Bank of Indonesia Museum Jakarta will close on Monday

Monday is maintenance day. Most of the museum in Jakarta will close on Monday. Not only Monday but this museum also close during public holiday in Indonesia. Nah, you should ask your local friend if you really want to visit Bank of Indonesia Museum.

You need to put your belonging in Bank of Indonesia Museum’s front desk

You can not bring your bag inside the museum. The staff will lend you plastic bag to bring your important belonging such us wallet, camera, phone. Fair enough?  I think so. I don’t want to see visitors make a mess with their water and snacks inside the museum. People are not easy to control even there is CCTV and sign board in every corner of Bank Indonesia Museum.

There is two best choice of public transportation to go Bank of Indonesia Museum Jakarta. You can use Jakarta train service and stop on the last train station called “Stasiun Kota”. Second, you can try our Transjakarta Bus corridor 1 Blok M – Kota. You can stop on the last bus shelter called “Kota”. We could also help you to go Bank of Indonesia Museum in the most efficient way. You can book our Batavia Tour including private guide for half day. The choice is yours. Happy exploring!

First Time in Jakarta

First time in Jakarta? Relax, you are with other million person in the Soekarno Hatta Airport. Either you have business meeting or short vacation in Jakarta we have some tips for you as the first- time visitor in Jakarta.

First time in Jakarta: Oh my gosh, it’s humid!

first time in jakarta with sunglasses

Sunglasses ON.

Bring lotion with SPF, sunglasses, and/or hydrating mist. We have summer every day in Jakarta. Not only hot but also humid. When you are landing Soekarno Hatta airport, you might feel relieve with the warm weather after long hours sit on the airplane. But after hours you will sweating and feel sorry for your own make up (if you are a woman!). So, I suggest you not only to bring sunblock and sunglasses but also to prepare hydrating mist. It helps your skin with the changing weather.

First time in Jakarta: Taxi or Bus?

There is an airport bus in Soekarno Hatta Airport. It called Damri Bus. Ask security about this bus service. It is cheap (around USD 4 each trip/person) but you should wait longer than taxi service. After long trip, I don’t think Damri Bus is a good idea. Why? One: you need to follow Damri’s schedule. It could be one hour or longer depends on the Jakarta traffic. Two: Damri can not drop you in front of your hotel. Damri Bus will drop you in shelter somewhere in the city, can not take special request.

first time in jakarta with taxi service

Blue Bird Taxi in Jakarta

If you are first-time visitor in Jakarta, then which taxi service you should have to avoid scam? My answer always two taxi service: Blue Bird or Express (white) taxi. Express with experienced driver and cheaper fare as a bright side. The darker side: when you are new in town you will be mistaken with different white taxi service. Same white different brand. I’ve been pay for 2 USD for two minutes driving with scam-white taxi. Hahaa.. *crazy*

So, blue bird is the answer. Yes there is also blue colour taxi, but blue bird have brightest color among blue colour taxi service. Newest car with fair-fare, argometer is ON.  Please also save your hotel address in your phone. Just in case.

First time in Jakarta: Where to stay?

My suggestion is staying in hotel near with your travel/business destination. Since Jakarta’s traffic quite unpredictable, I think less commute is better. What if I couldn’t find cheaper hotel in Jakarta?

Hmm..good question. Yes, you can stay in less favorable hotel but after all you will need taxi/bus service to reach your destination in Jakarta. More time, more money. So, I should leave it to your own choice. Just email for hotel suggestion in Jakarta. No, I don’t take any commission from the hotel. Just ask me then I’ll give you some overview about hotel surrounding area.

First time in Jakarta: Where to hangout?

Where to hangout in Jakarta? Ask receptionist nicely. He or she is local person. Ask locals.
Actually, it all depends on your interest and preferences. However, as first time Jakarta’s visitor you might want to know Jakarta in a summary. An overview before you go further.

first time in jakarta on car free day

Car Free Day in Jakarta

Go National Museum for museum lovers, visit Sunday’s Car Free Day to see people, explore Central Jakarta for modern part of the city, and stroll around Old Town if you like Jakarta’s history. That’s IMHO. If you need further assistance about Jakarta as a first-time visitor, send us your question through I will love to read your message there. Welcome to Jakarta!

Bandung Tour: Tips and Trick

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If you stay long enough in Jakarta, you know where to hangot when weekend comes. Yes, Bandung. Jakarta’s sister city where 3 hours driving (one way) seems worth a visit. So here I am writing about tips you might need when visiting Bandung.

My first tips about Bandung tour: you need to stay one night.

Why you need spend one night in Bandung?

Reason: One Day in Bandung is not enough. Three hours driving from Jakarta to Bandung, then another three hours from Bandung to Jakarta. You already lost half day on the road. With business/executive/economy class train you also need three hours (one single trip) since Bandung – Jakarta railway took farther route. Half day tour in Bandung is not enough since you will face traffic jam in popular hangout place or street in Bandung. Now you know why. 

Second tips for Bandung tour: Do slow walking around city center

In Bandung, there is a lot of public space, parks, bench all over sidewalks. If you explore Bandung by foot, you will feel the city vibe through people around you. Next question, where is the city center of Bandung? From time to time, city center will move from one place to another place. It should be around city government offices area but I strongly recommend you to take a walk around Braga street, Merdeka street, Asia Afrika street. These are the oldest streets that Bandung city ever built. You will found vintage building, coffee shops, street artist, oldest local markets, biggest mosque, green parks, and people do hangout around these streets. It is fun and free.
[singlepic id=153 w= h= float=center] Four hours walking tour around should be enough in city center. After take a short walk in the middle of the city, then you can move to another cool places such us Cihampelas Street, Riau Street or do a culinary trail in Bandung. Cihampelas if you want to see their local mall and pedestrian walk over your head. Yes, Bandung built pedestrian walk on the top in Cihampelas Street. Riau Street if you like shopping. Foods, snacks, and clothes. Riau street is a factory outlet street, IMHO.

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Third tips about Bandung Tour: Go to Lembang

Nah, now you still have one full day in Bandung. It’s time to go neighborhood area with car. My third recommendation is all about Lembang. Lembang is still part of Bandung city, but you need 2 hours driving from city center to go Lembang. You will found Tangkuban Perahu (old crater), pine tree forest, tea plantation (Walini local tea, how to produce and see the plantation by your own eyes), and everything about nature. Nice weather, less pollution, less people if you come on weekday haha.
[singlepic id=154 w= h= float=center] After taste Lembang with its relaxing nature then you can go back to Jakarta. Back to work (oh, no!) in the same day. If you need assistance about Bandung tour with arrangement from Jakarta, I could help. Just simply drop message here: Let me know your Bandung tour wishes. Yeah, Jakarta Walking Tour is not only about Jakarta. We reach new city this year: Yogyakarta, Bandung, Bukittinggi, Padang, and cities around West Sumatra. We enjoy walking everywhere, like you! 😀

What is Martabak?

It is for you who crave about Indonesian cuisine. Martabak is one of the most popular street food in Jakarta. There is two kind of martabak, sweet martabak and savory Martabak.

Sweet Martabak is a Bangka Martabak

Sweet Martabak actually is an American pancake, but Indonesians people make it thick. Sweet martabak made from flour, fresh milk, chicken egg, sugar, and butter. We cook the batter and put topping after it cooked well. Sweet Martabak has popular name: Bangka Martabak. People believe that sweet martabak is originally coming from Bangka island, Bangka Belitung Province near South Sumatra Indonesia.

what is martabak

Nowadays, businessman/woman take martabak to a new level. They modified it and put ‘fancy’ topping such us toblerone chocholate, cheese, oreo, red velvet, ovomaltine, and so on. But for you who like original local foods, just leave those fancy topping. You can try Sweet Martabak with “Wisman” Margarine. Banana and cheese topping is our favorite choice. Yumm!

Savory Martabak is a Duck Egg Martabak

Egg Martabak made from duck egg, chicken egg, cow meat, local spices, and onion leaf. They also made Martabak skin from flour dough and the sauce from vinegar. If you buy Martabak on the street, the seller will make it directly in front of you. It is an ‘interesting show’, like this on the video (start from 02:30) :

Where to buy Martabak? All you need is…asking.

For you who stay in Jakarta, you can find martabak easily in every corner of Jakarta’s street. If you are not familiar with Jakarta, please ask security, hotel receptionist, or anyone around you. They usually know something about this. Another option, you can try to order through local motorbike taxi apps like Gofood and Grabfood. They will bring Martabak in front of your door room. Don’t know how to use the apps? Again, ask local people around you.

what is martabak

Martabak seller on the street

Local Tips when you buy Martabak by yourself

We have a tips for meat lovers. Actually, you can ask more meat to put on your Duck Egg Martabak with additional price. It will bring more texture and flavor on your Martabak. Just give Martabak seller couple bucks only for additional meat. Trust us, it works!

where to buy martabak

Interesting fact about Duck Egg Martabak : it could be your night snack or even your dinner.

Why? It because some people like to eat martabak with white rice. We can not order Martabak in small portion so local people use to buy it when there is gathering with friends or family. It could be snack for 3 – 4 person, or meals if you are going to add white rice on your plate. Who can say no to Martabak? NO ONE. Everybody like MARTABAK!

Happy Birthday Jakarta #JKT489

This is our love letter for you, Jakarta.
Selamat ulang tahun, Happy Birthday Jakarta! You are not getting older, but wiser and better. In your 489’s birthday, we do hope that you have wider sidewalks, less pollution, and more comfy public transportation. Thanks for being you, an original you that always make us surprised.

We love you, Jakarta. Every now and then. Happy birthday. *hug*


Jakarta Local Markets Tour


Good morning Jakarta! Let’s revive your morning spirit and discover an authentic sides of Jakarta in the middle of bustling markets. On Jakarta Local Markets Tour, we will take you to some fresh food markets, local shops, fish market, wholesale and souvenir markets. Everything you need to know about being Jakarta’s local is here.

But, as always, we offer you not “just” a visit.
– Taste local snacks, local drinks, and tropical fruits of Jakarta;
– Direct interactions with Jakarta’s people;
– Understand more about local people daily needs;
– Shopping like a pro. Oh, we just want to remind you that we are a city full of spices. Pepper, chili, cinnamon, and any other spices, you name it. You can buy all of it in Jakarta’s local markets.

So, are you ready to start your wonderful morning in Jakarta with us?



Price                      : 40 Euro per person
Duration                  : 3 hours
Meeting point           : Guest Pickup around Central Jakarta

Included       : Guest Pickup (Around Central Jakarta), All Public Transportation – Round Trip Ticket, Local Fruits/Snacks, Mineral Water, Jakarta Travel Guide Service
Excluded      : Personal Expenses, Private Transportation

For more info about Jakarta Local Markets Tour, please send us message to : or click here : contact us