Dining with Natalie: Jajanan

As a native of culinary melting pot Malaysia and the daughter of a restaurateur, UG student Natalie Voo knows her food. Every other week, she reviews Groningen’s student-friendly dining scene. This time: Jajanan.

I often don’t believe Asian restaurants in Groningen that claim to be authentic, as the majority of the time, flavours are altered to fit the Dutch palate. But fear not, for I possess a culinary sixth sense, and this time it pointed me towards Jajanan, beckoning me with promises of true Indonesian flavours.

The restaurant itself was simple – no frills and no fuss. We kicked things off with cuanki, a hearty blend of bakso (Indonesian meatballs) and tapioca balls served in beef broth. The bakso was well-seasoned and bouncy, just as it should be. The tapioca balls were like little flavour sponges, soaking up all that delicious broth and offering a delightful chewiness. Service was quick and friendly, no complaints here.

Next up, mie gacoan – spicy noodles that challenged my scepticism. Many claim heat but few deliver. Jajanan, however, meant business. The noodles packed a punch, leaving me extremely grateful to have ordered the delightfully refreshing cendol (pandan jelly, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup). Despite the noodles being a tad clumpy and the pangsit clearly not fresh off the fryer, it was still a winner in my book.

Now, onto the star of the show: mie ayam, the chicken noodles that stole the spotlight. They were a delightful mix of salty, savoury goodness with a nice limey brightness. Every component of the dish was just downright yummy. If I had to nitpick, the chicken could’ve been a touch more tender, but overall, it’s definitely one of Groningen’s best dishes.

We had the klepon (rice flour and coconut balls) and piscok (chocolate banana lumpias) for dessert, a duo of modest sweetness. They were alright – nothing too special.

Still, if you’re after tasty and affordable food, Jajanan is your spot. It’s also the most authentic Indonesian food I’ve come across in the city. It’s just a shame they’re only open on Sundays. But hey, perhaps it’s for the best. If they were open every day, I might find myself there often, and even with their reasonable prices, my wallet would never forgive me for it.

Jajanan, Carolieweg 21

Jajana is an Indonesian pop up restaurant that is only open on Sundays. This place is perfect for students, offering delicious authentic food at an affordable rate. For two persons, we paid 39.50 euros.


Food: 9/10
Presentation: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Ambience: 7/10


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