I passed Rumah Baba many times in the past but I only this time did I got the time to try it out. Famous for serving authentic Betawi food, I was pretty excited to give this one a try since there were limited places where you can find a proper Betawi restaurant amidst its cultural presence in Jakarta. The place is very homey and humble, the settings are very comfortable. They have free Wi-Fi available and multiple electric plugs so you can even hang around this spot for a long time. The restaurant itself is not very big, it has limited parking space yet it doesn't feel cramped once you get inside. The menu were pretty good as its beverages, meal and dessert options have Betawi signature and influence in them.
Es Biang Kerok (IDR 15.000)
This fizzy drink is the specialty of Rumah Baba and the beverage is added with strawberries, mint and lime. It is sweet and fizzy, and I liked the overall flavor as its balance of sweetness and sourness goes really well together.
Es Bir Pletok (IDR 15.000)
The 'Betawinese beer' is actually a non-alcoholic beverage that is made out of infusion of ginger, sugar, galingale, cinnamon and other spices into one. I regret having this favorite drink 'cold' as the bitterness overwhelm the sweetness and I struggled to finish off this drink; so I think it will be wiser to order the hot serving of bir pletok instead.
Soto Betawi Campur (IDR 50.000)
Soto Betawi is characterized for the use of coconut milk and broth that is added with protein such as chicken or beef as well as other blends of spices. You'll often find diced tomato and green onion within the soup and topped with emping crackers. I really like the Soto Betawi offered here, it's thick but not overwhelmingly rich and fatty. As I opt for the 'campur' soup, other than the beef meat there were also parts of the beef innard in this dish, including intestine, lung, and heart. The mix of beef parts gives a variety of texture and it's not smelly, which is a good thing. This dish comes with complementary steamed rice.
Nasi Uduk Komplit Ayam (IDR 40.000)
The complete rice meal consists of nasi uduk which was rice steamed with coconut milk, fried chicken, peanut sauce, braised tofu and egg (semur tahu dan telur) garnished with shallots, slices of cucumber and tomato as well as crackers. This is a pretty filling whole meal but the flavor is nothing extravagant, but it is a good one and true to the flavors to other kinds of Betawi's nasi uduk.
Kerak Telor (IDR 25.000)
I was pretty excited to see kerak telor available on the menu as it is rare to find this kind of thing on an actual restaurant as it usually available on street vendors. This egg dish is served thinner than the ones you'll find on the street and that the rice is crunchy. The mixture of egg and sticky rice is added with chicken floss, and fried shallots and uses chicken egg (on the street you can also opt to use duck eggs, but in this case they uses exclusively chicken egg). It was a good dish for what it is!
There are some other things I would like to try in the restaurant that is decorated with many vintage ornaments from classic Indonesian movie posters to a collection of old-time cigarette packs, however from what I had here it leaves out good notes about Betawi food. I would love to try out their snacks and squid-ink dishes but maybe next time. I hope similar restaurant to this will keep on adding so that the traditional food would be greater known and to become more accessible to a greater market.
Jl. Cipete Raya No. 7A