The Biggest, Sweetest, and Ugliest Street Pancake.

We lined up one Sunday evening, along with many other locals of a middle class suburb of Jakarta, to order a large, sweet pancake cooked over coals. We order a Martabak Manis Special – basically a big, sweet pancake with the lot – completely unaware about what ‘the lot’ entailed.

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First the pancake batter is poured into a largish pan and cooked slowly over glowing coals. When almost ready, a cup of sugar is sprinkled over the top. The cooked pancake is then moved to a bench, where a cup of more of Blue Band margarine is slathered over the top. As the hot pancake absorbs the margarine, more is added.  ImageImageImage

Then comes a thick layer of grated chocolate, then some grated kraft cheese ( !!), then a ground peanut layer, followed by a toasted coconut layer.  The monster is then rolled and sliced and lands in a box. It costs a hefty AU$10.00, not cheap by Indonesian standards.

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The moment of truth arrives back at B’s sister’s house. We take a piece, and then a tiny bit more. Unbelievably sweet, rich, and just ridiculously fattening and nauseating. Once in a lifetime for this sweet treat.

6 thoughts on “The Biggest, Sweetest, and Ugliest Street Pancake.”

    1. No, I didn’t like it much, but it had to be tried- one of those travel things. There are lots of cakes in Indonesia where they use cheese with chocolate. Most of the modern Jakartan cakes are all far too sweet for my taste, but the old trad ones are lovely.

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      1. We wonder how asians got themselves to the point of liking such ‘exotic’ food. When in Malaysia, we tried durian, ‘the king of fruits’, as they call it, and it was far beyond what we use to call fruits…

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