Jakarta: Kedai Disto

A small modest shop sits by the side of the road on Jalan Cipete, pretty near to RM Pagi Sore. Its inviting homely facade could tempt just about any passerby to enter the establishment and find out about its menu. From the outside, one could hear nostalgic 1980s tunes blaring out from speakers. The joint’s name is Kedai Disto.

Founded in 1999 by percussionist Widodo Disto, its simple music-oriented interior is decorated with an angklung, a ukulele and records, while its walls are adorned with pictures and scribbles that lend a 1980s vibe to the place. The comfortable wooden chairs and tables brought to mind the many small warung that sit by the roadside on Jalan Legian at night.

kedai disto

Kedai Disto specialises in fish delicacies, with its signature dish being its popular Ikan Patin Bakar (grilled iridescent shark). It is frequented not only by common folks like you and I but also by famous local luminaries such as Hanung Bramantyo, Tyas Mirasih, Sheila On 7, Maliq & D’Essentials, Tompi and Samuel Rizal. Besides iridescent shark, its menu also offers ikan gurame (gourami), lele (catfish) and one dish that may just entice you to give it a go: belalang (grasshopper). The fish-based treats here can be ordered fried, grilled, and in the form of a soup.

I ended up ordering its famous Ikan Patin Bakar as I’ve always been intrigued by it. Its cooking process takes quite some time as the fish will only be washed, seasoned and grilled once it is ordered. I assume that this method was adopted to maintain the freshness of the fish when it is served.

My mouth began to water as soon as my meal was delivered to my table. The sweet soy sauce- spattered grilled iridescent shark looked very delicious – no wonder it is much sought-after by visitors. The iridescent shark that I chose was quite big and could cater to two persons. If you’re visiting with a group of people, you could have super or extra super Ikan Patin Bakar. Its meat is savoury and soft to the bite, and I could taste the sweet soy sauce even from the innermost parts of the fish. To complete my meal, I added four types of sambal that one could grab by one’s self: sambal kecap (sambal with soy sauce), sambal matah (raw shallot and lemongrass sambal), sambal merah (red chilli sambal), and sambal hijau (green chilli sambal).

You can also read this article in The Jakarta Post:Delicious ‘ikan patin bakar’ in a cozy setting

Jl. Cipete Raya No. 1B,
Fatmawati, Jakarta Selatan
T: 021 766 3805
Open daily from 10am-2am
Rp.70,000/US$5.20 per person

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