Thursday, January 31, 2013

Setu Babakan = Bir Pletok

Street sign
Have you ever been to Setu Babakan? Or maybe I should narrow the question down to, "Have you even ever heard about a place named Setu Babakan"? Never mind if you're the latter one, because I ain't no different #grin. If it wasn't because of this article, I wouldn't know that Setu Babakan is even exist in Jakarta. #superlame
Curiosity naturally drove me to "Lake Babakan" which is located in Southern Jakarta; not too far from Depok. Just exactly as I imagined, Setu Babakan is an interesting place. What's so special about it? Well, if a place known as "Betawi Cultural Village" (Perkampungan Budaya Betawi) is not interesting enough to be considered as INTERESTING, then a four legged cat is interesting #tongue
Once you're entering the front gate, Si Doel's impressions as in the houses' architecture, the street, the people and things being sold there are all packed in a perfect set for your eyes. Classic! A wide parking lot is seen a few meters from the gate where buses or cars can rest well while the passengers can start walking down the street to enjoy the cultural village. As for motorcycles, the riders can continue riding down the street until setu, -the lake. But before that, they must pay IDR2000 prior to entering the lake side. Fair enough.
Front gate
Someone was fishing leisurely
Small cafe's empty seats along the lake. Business is rather hard after the mega-flood, eh?

Faraway, there are "bebek air" that you can rent if you're bored enough and don't mind to break your legs #tongue
A bottle of bir pletok
Let's forget about the lake. For a food science student like me, BIR PLETOK that is exclusively made in Setu Babakan is way more interesting. Never drank it? Buy one! Or, make one instead! I already did the first one and maybe I'll consider to make bir pletok later-when-I-have-time #doublegrin. This reddish traditional Betawi beverage is made from the spices such as ginger, lemongrass, and pandan leaves. Whereas the red color naturally obtained from secang wood during hot water fusion. It gives warm feeling and spicy gingerish aftertaste, as well as spices typical fragrance. I prefer have it warm/hot than cold. It's more kickin'. 
If you're interested in buying one, you must ask a small cafe's owner alongside the lake, because bir pletok is never being directly sold at the small cafe itself. After you ask the small cafe's owner, he/she will take your order and get bir pletok from the factory where it is made. It only takes 10-15 minutes of your patience to wait for he/she to get your order. If you buy bir pletok from the factory it costs IDR14.500, but if you buy it via the small cafe's owner it costs IDR16.000 per 600-ml bottle. Totally worth it!

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