A bowl of noodles with extra chicken costs IDR 40.000 at Bakmi Atjuan. (JG Photo/Joy Muchtar)

Find Your Noodle Heaven in Kelapa Gading

BY :JOY MUCHTAR

MARCH 23, 2018

Noodles or bakmi, a simple and inexpensive dish, come in so many varieties. Noodle fans argue till the cows (or chicken?) come home about which noodles from which obscure location have the best taste, the best texture or the best topping.

Jakarta is spoiled for options when it comes to bakmi, you can choose to enjoy it from a gerobak (cart) on the side of the streets or in proper, air-conditioned noodle restaurants that have been around for many years.

Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta, famous for its boulevard with restaurants on both sides serving all kinds of traditional and modern Indonesian food, is one of Jakarta's bakmi central. We've picked five of the best bakmi places in Kelapa Gading for you, complete with a map at the bottom of this article. We've done the homework, all you have to do now is tuck in!

1. Bakmi Atjuan

A bowl of noodles with extra chicken costs Rp 40,000 ($3) at Bakmi Atjuan. (JG Photo/Joy Muchtar)

Steve the owner standing at the entrance of his restaurant. (JG Photo/Joy Muchtar)

The best thing about Bakmi Atjuan is the soup. Steve the owner wakes up every day at 2 a.m. to make his ayam kampung (free range chicken) broth. Everything in Bakmi Atjuan's noodle bowl is also homemade. It took Steve six years to perfect the recipe for his chicken noodles, after opening the restaurant so he could work from home and take care of his parents. Steve built the business from zero. "I remember one day when we just got started, all we had was Rp 75,000 in the till even though we were open the whole day," he said. Steve said he owes his recent success to food bloggers and vloggers who came to his place and posted photos and videos of his bakmi on social media. Thanks to the hype on Facebook and Instagram, Steve can now open his shop at 7 a.m. and sell out by  9 a.m. At Bakmi Atjuan you can choose between thin, wide or bakmi karet (rubber bakmi, because the texture resembles rubber band) noodles, and each bowl gives you a generous portion of chicken pieces. And yes, the chicken-based soup offers so much depth in a dish so simple – one you must try for yourself.

Address: Jl. Summagung 1, Blok A4 No.2, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.

Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday (7 a.m. - 1 p.m.)

Halal option available: onion oil/minced chicken dumplings

2. Bakmi Selamat

The mi karet ('rubber noodles,' since the texture resembles a rubber band) at Bakmi Selamat has a softer texture. (JG Photo/Joy Muchtar)

Bakmi Selamat is a proper family restaurant, frequented by families on weekends and run by an old couple and their son. Wongso Hasim, 75, Kho Siew Lian, 66, and their youngest son Hendrik Hasim, don't hire any outside help to prep, cook, serve or even deliver takeaways. They only hire one daily helper who helps cleans dishes in the afternoon. Originally from Medan, Bakmi Selamat has been selling bakmi karet noodles since the 1960s. The Kelapa Gading version has been around for 10 years. Here the family recipe is modified to make the noodles softer, which Hendrik says results in stronger flavor. They also offer five complimentary toppings for each bowl of noodles – minced chicken/pork, fishcake, egg, chicken and vegetables. A halal option is also available.

Address: Jl. Sumagung III S1 No.2, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.

Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday (6.30 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

Halal option available: non-pork oil

3. Bakmi Copin (Halal) 

Bakmi Copin Kelapa Gading's clean-tasting chicken noodles. (JG Photo/Joy Muchtar)

Marianna cooks for customers at Bakmi Copin Kelapa Gading. (JG Photo/Joy Muchtar)

The original Bakmi Copin has been serving customers in Kota – Jakarta's Chinatown – for 41 years, the branch in Kelapa Gading has been around for 14. Roadblocks from the ongoing MRT construction in the area has been responsible for a slump in sales, owner Marianna said, but she assured everyone the shop will stay open and outlive the construction work. The noodles at Bakmi Copin are lightly salted and the chicken has a distinct flavor. Even though Marianna has a large staff, she insists on cooking everything by herself. Bakmi Copin is open every day, find Marianna scooping out fresh noodles from the steamer there.

Address: Jl. Kelapa Hybrida, Blok RA 3 No.5, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.

Opening hours: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

4. Bakmi Tan 

Bakmi Tan's signature bowl of noodles is topped with shrimp crackers. (JG Photo/Joy Muchtar)

Mr. Tan, the owner-operator of Bakmi Tan. (JG Photo/Joy Muchtar)

60-year-old Mr. Tan still makes Bakmi Tan's signature shrimp fritters topping all by himself every day. He also manages the original shop with his wife Mrs. Tan, 56. The cleanly shaven man Mr. Tan is never seen sitting down, always out and about taking orders, talking to his employees and tending to customers. Even with a staff of 25 people – the efficiency is amazing, you'll get your orders within five minutes of taking your seat – Mr. Tan never stops moving. The original shop opens and closes early, so if you're not an early riser, the second mall location might be a better choice.

Address:

Original Location: Jl. Summagung III, Blok P2 No.18, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.

Mall of Indonesia: French Walk, Jl. Boulevard Barat Raya, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta

Opening Hours:

Original Location: Tuesday - Sunday (6 a.m. - 2 p.m.)

Mall of Indonesia: Monday - Sunday (10 a.m. - 1o p.m.)

Halal option available: vegetable oil

5. Bakmi Karet Krekot

Signature 'rubber' noodles at Bakmi Karet Krekot. (JG Photo/Joy Muchtar)

Mr. Akian inherits Bakmi Karet Krekot from his father. (JG Photo/Joy Muchtar)

One of three children, Akian has faithfully continued his father's contribution to the world of bakmi. His Kelapa Gading branch of Bakmi Karet Krekot has been open for 13 years. The original location in Krekot, Central Jakarta, has been around for over 50 years. "We were the first to start selling bakmi karet but we can't prove it because back then we didn't know you could patent a noodle," Akian said. Their signature bakmi karet has just the right texture, somewhere between rubbery and melt-in-your-mouth, but if you want you can try their soft noodles – almost as good.

Address: Jl. Boulevard Raya Blok A19 No.7, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta.

Opening hours: Monday - Sunday (10 a.m. - 10 p.m.)

Halal option available: chicken oil

Find your way to bakmi heaven here. (Map by Iman Firmansyah)

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