As day turns to night, numerous food hawkers begin to set up shop by the side of the road from one end of Jalan Fatmawati to the other. You can find a smorgasbord of roadside treats here, from Pecel Ayam (fried chicken salad with chilli sauce), Bubur Ayam (chicken porridge) and Nasi Kucing (small portion of rice with side dishes) to various seafood choices and Nasi Goreng (fried rice). One famous place where you can sample a good plateful of the latter is Nasi Goreng MPR.
The Story Behind
It was christened with its moniker not just for the sake of it. Founder Bapak Ruhman started selling his fried rice back in the 1980s right in front of the entrance to the MPR residence area in Fatmawati – hence the name Nasi Goreng MPR. However, Nasi Goreng MPR had to relocate several times after they were turfed out, leading to confusion for its customers. Now, though, you can find it in front of the Philips shop before SMA Cendrawasih. Pak Ruhman’s son – who has inherited the business from his father – informed me that this was its fourth spot ever since the shop’s inception.
Simple yet Tasty Nasi Goreng
Now, I may have said shop, but don’t you go and imagine Nasi Goreng MPR to be this huge tented warung with a snaking long queue of customers waiting for their fried rice. Nasi Goreng MPR is actually just a pushcart equipped with a table and a no-frills tent, along with a signboard that says “MPR” to indicate its location to potential punters. For a dish as renowned as Nasi Goreng MPR, I was slightly worried as not one other customer was present at the time of my visit. My concerns disappeared right after I was told that most of the toppings that I wanted were finished when I went up to place my order. Even the rice was almost kaput, with just a quarter of the rice receptacle still left for me to consume. This shows that the majority of its customers prefer not to dine in.
Finally, I settled on a plate of its Nasi Goreng Bakso Sosis (meatball-and-sausage fried rice) and a glass of Es Jeruk (orange juice). Its fried rice, topped with a fried egg, was utterly appetising. It took me only a glance to know that it was not oily like its equivalents; even the fried egg was dry. Based on its deliciousness, it really deserves its reputation of being one of the most celebrated Nasi Goreng around. The spices did not dominate the overall flavour of the dish, yet it was still adequately savoury. And in a blink of an eye, I had gobbled down my plate of Nasi Goreng Bakso Sosis and gone were the growls that were previously sung by my hungry tummy.
Jl. Fatmawati (in front of toko Philips),
T: 0858 8890 7745
Open daily from 7pm-11pm
Rp.30,000/US$2.20 per person