My Food Journey in Yogyakarta
Whenever I book tickets, I make sure that the weather is good for the planned travel dates. Nobody wants to travel to an exciting and lovely place during rainy season when you can’t do anything but stay in the hotel or hostel.
I was thinking of just that when I booked I and my friend’s tickets to Yogyakarta. But alas! Luck was not with me. No one could have predicted that the nearby Mt. Kelud would erupt a week before our trip. Save for the invigorating and excellent Javanese massage and the Javanese cuisine at Sekar Kedhaton, which tickled and delighted my taste buds to no end, everything else did not go my way.
In retrospect I realize that trip had a lot of blunders. It was a misadventure of sorts, from the volcanic eruption to the limited access to the temples, to the chicken “rambut”. Since I had written about our journey to Candi Borobudur and Candi Prambanan, I will now write about the infamous chicken “rambut”.
After seeing the spectacular sunrise with Borobudur in the horizon, my friend and I decided to head to the temple grounds and have breakfast there. Whenever I travel I always make it a point to try the local cuisine. It is one of the best ways to get to know a country and it’s people.
After fumbling with the menu, which was in the local language, and asking our driver countless questions about the many dishes to choose from, we finally settled on a chicken noodle dish, roasted lamb, roasted chicken and spicy lamb soup.
We were looking forward to the food after having had dinner in one of the top Javanese restaurants in town the night before. We understand that we were just eating in a small hawker area and that there is a big difference when it comes to hawkers and restaurants but we were expecting local Javanese food to be quite tasty and sumptuous to some extent, regardless where you eat it.
Lo and behold the food was not what we expected. It had something in it which we did not expect, rather. There was a strand of “rambut” in our food. “Rambut” is the Indonesian word for hair. Needless to say we lost our appetite. Instead of saying “Bon appetit”, we were bidding adieu to our appetite.
Although this experience was not good, it will not deter me from trying local cuisines sold by roadside hawkers. Who I am to complain about rambut in our food which I had refused to eat when I ate crickets and spiders in Cambodia?
Below are some of the pictures of the Javanese cuisine which we tried at Sekar Kedhaton the night before the chicken “rambut”.