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Authentic Makassar cuisine comes to Jakarta

The Jakarta Post, August 28 2002

For those who crave authentic dishes, desserts and snacks from Makasar or for anyone who just wants to try tasting the traditional Makasar dishes, H. Mamink Daeng Tata is the place to visit.

Location: There are three H. Mamink Daeng Tata rumah makan (restaurants), all situated in the Tebet-Casablanca area. One is on Jl. Tebet Utara I, the other on Jl. K.H. Abdullah Syafiie, and the newest is on Jl. Casablanca. They are easy to find, so if one of them is full, you can easily move to another, which is just a short distance away.

Looks: The restaurants are located right on the street so parking can be a problem when the restaurants get crowded. The restaurants are in an open area with ceiling fans to cool patrons. The space is narrow, so not many tables and chairs can fit into the restaurant.

What’s it got: It is the best place to find the specialties of Makassar cuisine in Jakarta, like sop konro and coto Makassar. Sop konro is an ox rib soup that is very spicy. One portion comes with two ribs.

Another authentic dish is coto, which is not to be confused with soto (soup). Coto is served in a small bowl and you can opt for the meat-only coto or animal innards coto, while with soto you get ribs, meat and animal innards as well.

Either way, soto or coto is served with ketupat burasa (steamed rice wrapped in banana leafs) or steamed rice, depending on your liking. The authentic desserts of Makassar, such as es pisang ijo and es pallubutung are also the best selling ones.

The special snacks of Makassar, such as lemper (steamed glutinous rice mixed with meat and wrapped in a banana leaf), jalangkote (pastel) and lumpia are tasty. The people of Sulawesi fill lemper with hot and spicy chopped cakalang (fish) while in Java it is usually filled with chopped chicken or meat.Lemper is also grilled for awhile to give it flavor from the banana leaf. Other dishes that do not originate in Makasar, such as nasi goreng, ifumi and siomay are also available. Taste factor: The coto, soto and sop konro are original in taste. Their special abundant ingredients blend well together. It is up to the diners to add the desired amount of salt and spice to the dishes. Its burasa, typical of South Sulawesi cuisine, is not special compared to a few months back when its coconut milk was tastier.

The desserts, such as es pallubutung and es pisang ijo, are excellent. Es pallubutung is a mix of sliced sweet pisang raja (banana), tasty rice powdered porridge, syrup, condensed milk and crushed ice, while pisang ijo consists of whole sweet pisang raja covered with sweet, green rice flour, tasty rice powdered porridge, syrup, condensed milk and crushed ice. Interestingly, the condiments on the table are in unlabeled plastic bottles, such as the ketchup, milk and homemade syrup.

Price Points: Prices on the menu are reasonable. One portion of coto costs Rp 7,000 while sop konro is Rp 15,000 per portion. The prices do not include the burasa, ketupat and steamed rice. Tata ribs is the most expensive dish at Rp 17,000 per portion, and desserts cost Rp 6,000 a bowl. There is no tax on the food you order.

Minus points: Lunchtimes and the weekend are the busiest times at H. Mamink Daeng Tata restaurant. When diners outnumber the seats, they have to line up, and lunch or dinner can feel rushed since those waiting for a seat may stand next to you while you are finishing your meal.

Verdict: Despite the many visitors that come and go during the busy times, service is consistently efficient and you don’t have to wait a long time for your order. If you are dining with your family, it is better not to go on the weekend or during lunchtime since it gets very crowded.

The addresses of the three H. Mamink Daeng Tata restaurants are Jl. Casablanca 33, tel. 831 55 55; Jl. Tebet Utara I No.77 tel. 835 00 34 and Jl. Abdullah Syafii 33 tel. 837 93 333. Opening hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Saturdays.

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