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Beautiful post. Thank you!


That's really interesting that it would be the Chinese shops with the best coffee. In mainland China I never found anything but instant (barring upscale hotels) until I got to Kunming, where there was a Vietnamese-influenced place that had great coffee and French rolls.

So I wonder why the Chinese outside of China would be the coffee experts.


That tofu looks great! (And they're normally just plain old blocks to me.)


Thanks Jennifer - and you're welcome.

Kitt, that's something that's stumped me for a few years now. The only time we ever had decent coffee in China was on Hainan island, at a little eatery run by folks from Guangxi. They made it bag-style too, as did unfriendly restaurant at the state-owned guesthouse (was there any of type of guesthouse, back in 1985) where we stayed. It was very Vietnamese-style, thick and strong with sweetned condensed milk.
Most of the Chinese in SE Asia are originally from southern and SE China, but I never found a decent cup of coffee in Guangdong, that's for sure.

Yayie - super fresh tofu like this is just the best!


Sorry, i thought the soup looks like turtle soup to me..the signboard also written turtle in Chinese..


Robyn, I think the correct name of the street is Jalan Pancoran.


Hi yat - they were dishing up from two pots and one may well have contained turtle soup. Ours was chicken though .... I know the texture of turtle meat and this didn't have it.

Albert - noted and thanks.




Hi Robyn,

I am sorry to burst your bubble but it is most definitely turtle soup that you have there. First of all, that shop is famous among Chinese Indonesian for its turtle soup. They don't sell anything else and when supply is low, they even close shop.

Secondly, scrutinizing your photograph, note that the round yellow things are turtle yolk, not young chicken eggs (a delicacy in Indonesia but I'm not sure about other parts of Asia).

Thirdly, the white, gelatinous things you had in the bowl (almost squarish in the foreground) is turtle skin which has a texture between a firm jello and well.. rubber :D.

Fourthly, as someone pointed out, the signs said Turtle Soup, Turtle in fermented soy-bean, and Frog Soup.

I used to hang out in this place (by force, of course) on Sundays when I was young with my parents. Thanks for taking such good pictures of my memories :D

PS: My reply will be way too long but if you're interested in finding out why the Chinatown in Jakarta is so different from the rest of Asia (or the world), it's something to do with the history of Chinese in Indonesia.


Hi Venny - thanks for your comment but I can't quite make out if your tone is deliberately cheeky or just tongue-in-cheek?

I stand corrected (and surprised, bec. this would be the first turtle meat I've ever had that wasn't sticky/gummy. I generally dislike it immensely). No bubbles burst here though. I usually don't invest a great deal of ego in my posts. ;-p

And no worries on the length of your comment. There have been longer. But, c'mon - give me some credit. I'm very aware of the history of the Chinese in Indonesia and I understand why they have assimilated there more than Chinese populations in other SE Asian countries. The differences I note in the post (betw. Jakarta's Chinatown and others) are observations only ... not commentary.

Thanks for tuning in.


Hi Robyn,

Oops, I didn't start off trying to be cheeky or anything. I hope you won't take it the wrong way. As for the history of Chinese in Indonesia, my apology. I didn't realize it was just an observation.

Thanks for the reply :D.


Hi Venny - seriously, thanks for yr comment and hope you'll comment on our upcoming Jakarta posts. Our knowledge of Indonesian food is patchy.

Handy Chan

Hi Robyn,
I like the photograph of that pi-oh soup.
I'm currently making article about this tak kie coffee shop, may I used 3 of your picture for my article, thanks


re SEA Chinese & their coffee: IMO it's because a good number of Chinese immigrants were involved with coffee plantations & trading in the new world. In fact, all the coffee merchants here are Chinese Indonesians.

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