Exploring Cooking and Culture through Cooking Class at Oasis

JKT-NOW-cover November 19, 2015

Story & Photography by Gail G. Collins

Betawi cooking is widely available in restaurants and stalls around Jakarta. They are the indigenous people of Batavia. Soto Betawi (beef brisket in coconut broth), nasi uduk (fragrant coconut rice) or ketoprak (vermicelli noodle and tofu salad) are standard dishes and reflective of the warm, candid and humble people who enjoy a hearty, simple meal, usually eaten with the hand. Learning this skill and how to prepare a selection of native dishes from Jakarta or mystical Bali is a foodie adventure awaiting guests at Oasis cooking classes. Continue reading “Exploring Cooking and Culture through Cooking Class at Oasis”

Jatinegara, The Might of the State

JKT-NOW-cover October 21, 2015

Story & Photography by Gail G. Collins

At the beginning of the 19th century, Jatinegara became a busy transportation hub. Pausing on a pedestrian bridge over car-choked Jl. Raya Bekasi Barat, it has only grown busier—from markets, burgeoning onto the roadway, to buses and trains. The railway station began as the main connection east to Bandung, and its Dutch Colonial heritage building, designed by S. Snuyff, was constructed in 1910. Continue reading “Jatinegara, The Might of the State”

Jamu—Herbal Healing

JKT-NOW-cover September 7, 2015

Story & Photography by Gail G. Collins

Indonesia’s traditional healing through plants is called jamu. Myth and closely-guarded recipes cloud what has been standard, holistic care since prehistory. The theory is based in the idea that if disease comes from nature, then the cure must come from there as well. Today’s pharmaceuticals are synthetic compounds based in medicinal plants, and slowly, research is confirming what generations have long believed: jamu heals the body. A U.S. 2011 study by Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science and Technology confirmed the soursop tree’s preventative properties, related to breast cancer. Continue reading “Jamu—Herbal Healing”

Jalan Surabaya—Treasures and Trinkets

JKT-NOW-cover August 11, 2015

Story & Photography by Gail G. Collins

When poking into stalls on Jalan Surabaya, an old saying comes to mind: One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Regardless of how you feel about Chinese porcelain or Led Zeppelin vinyl, the antique market, or Pasar Antik, is a shady, half-kilometer browse in Menteng. As the previous seat of government, the area boasts upscale, tree-lined, residential streets. The traditional market was born in the mid-70s through entrepreneurial spirit and a good idea. It grew from a weekend event to daily standard shopping hours. Officially opened by Ali Sadikin, then-governor of Jakarta, the antique shops took the place of Kota Tua’s traveling traders. Many of the stalls are run by the next generation of owners. Continue reading “Jalan Surabaya—Treasures and Trinkets”

Let’s Go Fly a Kite! Layang Layang

JKT-NOW-coverMay 11, 2015

Story & Photography by Gail G. Collins

With buildings, power lines and trees, Jakarta isn’t exactly suited to kite flying, but our Indonesian Heritage Society group enjoyed the next best thing: A trip to Layang Layang (Kite) Museum. Founded in 2003, it is the inspiration of Endang W. Puspoyo, who has been a longtime kite enthusiast. In fact, she was preparing for the next kite festival when we chatted. The grounds are a quiet, shady respite from the hectic city, and the day we visited, they swarmed with eager school children learning kite history.

Kite Museum painting 1

Continue reading “Let’s Go Fly a Kite! Layang Layang”