For the urbanites in Jakarta, deciding on where to eat, especially during lunchtime, is a modern-day burden. In one hand, you crave for the familiar and easy Indonesian food in “warteg” (Indonesian-style canteen) that is both cost-efficient and practical, but the atmosphere doesn’t encourage you to stay for long. On the other hand, a cosy café may offer an unhurried mood, but the food options are most likely to break your wallet.
The deft combination of both is the reason why SERASA Coffeetaria is often packed during lunch. As the name suggests, the establishment brings together the comfort of a coffee shop and wallet-friendly Indonesian food. But apart from the cosiness and affordable price, the food itself is also the reason why SERASA is enjoying a steady stream of customers.
The food on offer is made with recipes that have been handed for generations by the family of late Isbandiyah Sungkono, wife of the late General Sungkono, an instrumental national hero during the Battle of Surabaya in 1945. Expect homey dishes such as “Cumi Asin Pete” (Squid with stink beans), “Sambal Goreng Ati Ampela” (Fried gizzard with sambal) and “Tumis Pare” (Stir-fried bitter gourd) to perennial favourite like “bakmi ayam” and oxtail soup.
But don’t be in a hurry to leave after the meal. Wash them down with their signature ice coffee, “Es Kopi Pelipur Lara” or “Es Alpukat Jadul” (Indonesian-style avocado juice). Customary choices of coffee are also on offer here, if you prefer something straightforward.
As mentioned before, lunchtime is going to be packed, especially with nearby white-collar workers and groups of mothers waiting to pick up their kids from school. As such, the atmosphere is lively in SERASA. Plus, if you’re there by yourself, chances are you’ll be sharing the communal table with others. Whether you strike up conversation with strangers or glue your face to the phone, be prepared to hang around longer than initially planned.