Exist from decades ago eventually, the 20th-century society bringing back the old traditional Javanese restaurant style as a new trend. The rapid climb of the trend makes it easier for people to discover newly-bloomed Javanese traditional restaurants. Start a few establishments of restaurant in town. This could make tourist confused “Which should I go to within diverse options?” Hereby “Cengkir” appears as the answer. As top classified Javanese restaurant also one of the initiators, its serve us with affordable price and genuine taste of Java. Giving us the maximum sensation being a local native.
Located in the north side of Yogyakarta City. To be exact on Sumberan II Street No.4, Ngentak, Sinduharjo, Ngaglik, Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta. Proximately half hour from the heart of Yogyakarta. Situated in sub urban area and the restaurant itself build between the greenery of Yogyakarta’s, hidden within the beauty of nature. Build intentionally to match the traditional concept. A hidden place with country-side nuances.
A signature brownish colour of Yogyakarta dominating the building. Consist of two main construction, the first one is traditional Javanese hall called “Joglo” another one build in traditional Javanese house with kitchen inside. Both of the building are available for all the customer to dine. Equipped with wood craft table and chair, again with Javanese style. Customers can also have a seat in the artificial garden that surrounds. The sight of pond and pigeon birdcage will please customer eyes as an ornament. Cengkir is a non AC restaurant.
Food and Beverages
We didn’t see any signature food offered, so we jump to conclusion Cengkir doesn’t have a specific signature food. The identity and typical of Cengkir itself to provide various traditional Javanese food the local usually eat.
For the food, as basic Indonesian, we take rice, empal daging, tempe garit, and sayur lompong. There are still many more menu you can choose. Consist of beverages, main course, and snack. They were also several foods that didn’t write on the menu, yet you can still try it. It all served on the buffet table. You can choose based on your preferences regarding the taste (Spicy, savoury, sweet, etc)
Empal Daging, beaten soft meat cooked and stir with Javanese spices and palm sugar. Sweetness dominating the flavour. Yet you will find savoury in the aftertaste. The tenderness of the meat makes the spice perfectly absorbed to the meat. It can also be easily chewed. For Indonesian, it is perfectly combined with white warm rice.
Another side dish we take is Tempe Garit. Made from the fermentation of soybean seeds or some other ingredients that use several types of Rhizopus mold. It’s fried with salty seasoning. It’s easy to chew and 100% plant-based. Tempe also one favorite side dish for almost all Indonesia. A very recommended dish to try, especially for vegan.
Not only provide main courses, but Cengkir is also well-known serving the best Javanese traditional snack. Fried Banana (Pisang Goreng) is one of customer’s favourite. Not only for foreigner but also for local. Fried Banana is chopped banana greased with a special mixture from specific flour. The taste of vanilla fused well through the crispy fried banana and next, dominating our taste buds. You will first taste the crunchy and crispy from the fried mixture perfectly wrapped. Then, the tender sweetness will greet along with the delicate texture of banana. Bring addiction for every bite. There are also several other snacks, “Jadah Tempe”, as one Indonesia special and “Tela Goreng” (Fried Cassava)
Tips and Services
Most of the time we do self-service for the food. Customer takes the food by their own self and let the waiters count what we eat, write it down, and the bill come later after we eat. Their menu book also all written in Bahasa, so if you find something strange or confusing you can ask the waitress. Still, it will be hard to communicate, we also suggest you to always get your phone on google translate. So you can type and they can type back. This will be the most effective way to communicate.
Beware of “Sambal”. Sambal is a spicy paste made from chilly, onions, and sometimes people add hot oil and tomato. Spicy is one flavour that would not be missed in every Javanese food. So native usually used sambal for their food or put chilly into their cook. You could ask the waitress which one is spicy which one is not.
Generally, you can simply say “Tidak Pedas” Means Not spicy. They usually understand and giving a suggestion for non-spicy food.
The recommended time to visit Cengkir is in the evening. The weather won’t be too hot and customers can see the beautiful twilight sky from the garden. Other additional services Cengkir could offer is there will be free live music every weekend. Make Cengkir as a comfortable place to chilling and spending an evening with family, friend, or colleagues.