If you want to get yourself delicious and cheap Indonesian kue, and don't mind travelling at wee hours , then you should go to Pasar Senen.
A friend of mine, Syarliz, who was on holiday in Jakarta with a few family members, wanted to get some kue to be brought back to KL. Having been there a couple of days earlier, they enthusiastically told me of the vast variety of kue and of how ridiculously cheap they were.
So, at almost 1.00am, I drove them to Pasar Senen. But prior to that, I had to refer to the Jakarta road map to guide me on how to reach the place.
Luckily, we did not get lost. Reached Pasar Senen in about 30 minutes. The traffic was smooth. Iya iyalah!!! Udah pukul 1 pagi!!!
The place was without a doubt a kue heaven. Rows after rows of long tables with all sorts of traditional kue and cakes. It was not busy as according to Syarliz, who had done a little interviewing with the kue sellers herself, peak hours are between 3 to 6 in the morning. That's when people come flocking the place to get their supply of kue to be sold at their shops elsewhere.
Since I was with a group of tourists, most of the kue sellers were kind enough to allow us to sample the kue. I guessed they were too tired to explain after being barraged with questions on how this or that kue tastes like.
And as for gue, I know now how exorbitantly huge a margin my favourite kue joint in PIM 1 makes out of each kue. Here at Pasar Senen, one of my all time favourites, risoles, is almost 10 times cheaper.
Gue borong yang namanya lemper ayam. Lemper ayam is a must during meetings at the office. On most instances, I would be the first to reach out for this kue - barely 5 minutes into the meeting. Gak kuat nahan nafsu soalnya. Once, I could not promptly answer a question from my chairman because I had just stuffed a lemper ayam into my mouth. I can still vividly remember the expression on the faces of my CEO and CFO.
We spent just over an hour at Pasar Senen. Fully aware that their luggage have exceeded the alllowed limits, my guests bought quite a lot of kue anyway.