Specialty Grocery Stores
Have you ever had the urge to try to recreate a special dish you've eaten in one of Jakarta's finer restaurants, but then you discover that you can't find the ingredients anywhere? A discouraging search of supermarkets may lead you to believe that you'll have to wait till your next overseas trip to find the ingredients or do without that special dish.
In fact, Jakarta has several specialty grocery stores which cater to expatriates looking for ingredients from home and the ever-growing community of Indonesians who enjoy foreign cuisines. Kem Chicks began importing foodstuffs for expats in the early 70s, and even Indonesia's largest supermarket chain, Hero, has increased the number of imported products in stores which they identified as having a large expatriate customer base. Ranch Market and Grand Lucky are 2 other choices that have been popular with expats for years with a good mix of products. Now with the convenience of Apps such as Happy Fresh, or companies that are willing to deliver groceries such as Sayur Box, Club Sehat, Namaste Organic, Javara, and Luxofood Indonesia your ingredients can be ordered with a few clicks and delivered to your door.
Ethnic grocery stores cater to their national groups, and the larger expat community, smaller Japanese and Korean markets like Papaya and Cosmo, and Indian grocery stores in Pasar Baru. Hero also features ethnic food sections in select stores. Read more about ethnic grocery stores in Jakarta. Many of these stores are now offering delivery services eliminating the long trip through Jakarta traffic to shop there. Even if the store does not have a delivery service, options such as GoJek and Grab will pick up your items for you and bring them to your home.
Yet, as many Jakartans will attest, the problem of finding certain
ingredients still exists. Where can you find that absolutely gotta-have-it
brand of Jamaican salsa, or a choice of 15 foie gras products or scrumptious
Australian crumpets? For these and other gourmet items, you will have
the best luck at a specialty grocery store. Indonesia's specialty grocery
stores are doing their best to carry on the tradition of excellence that
comes out of such famous delicatessens as Dean and Deluca, Zabar's and
Balducci's in New York but often experience extreme difficulties and expense from the Badan POM (Food and Drug control Board) when trying to import rare items. Often the license fee is too expensive and will make the item grossly overpriced or not worth the effort to the importer in comparison with the volume of product they can expect to sell.
Dijon Food SpecialtiesOur readers in Bali won't be disappointed by their distant location, since Bali has its own specialty grocery store too in Dijon Food Specialties. Opened in 1999, and owned by Intoek Scherer, Dijon offers hard-to-find foods from overseas to the expat and local communities in Bali. By its very nature the store is customer focused. To ensure that customers can find what they are looking for. Dijon Fs has gone beyond importing and offers an impressive product line of deli counter items, special spice combinations, jams and preserves. Dijon Fs opened The Corner Café across from the store for delicious sandwiches, salads and a quick cuppa.
Dijon offers delivery services throughout
southern Bali, and the store's location is easily accessible from Sanur,
Kuta, Nusa Dua and Denpasar. The store is at the heart of the expat community
as events and services are promoted on a community bulletin board and
the staff serves as a helpful resource to assist newcomers to Bali get
involved in various community groups and find needed services.
If you live outside Jakarta or Bali, don't despair, these stores can also arrange refrigerated shipments around the archipelago, thereby catering to the needs of Indonesia's widespread expatriate communities and gourmet aficionados in remote locations. Just send an email to receive their product listing.
So if you hankering for some food from home, or want to experiment
and cook something new, visit one of these specialty grocery stores for
the start of a palate-educating adventure.
Photo Credit: Dijon Food Specialties
Last updated January 29, 2020