Kepala Manyung Bu Fat in Cinere, South Jakarta, A Wholesome Restaurant for Bold Spicy Taste

Sunday, 22 November 2020 | 15:06 WIB
Since 1969, Kepala Manyung Bu Fat serves its iconic dish Kepala Manyung Bumbu Mangut that becomes a sensation nationwide,

Kepala Manyung Bu Fat started as a humble diner in the owner's house in 1969. Fifty years later, it has expanded into four branches in Semarang and Jakarta.

Kepala Manyung Bu Fat in Cinere is a great restaurant that neglects a critical thing: safety measures - On one fine afternoon, I was sitting on a restaurant terrace with one of the owners. We still didn’t manage to snag an indoor table, although it was past lunchtime and I had the owner with me. It turned out a local YouTuber was shooting a video, and they took time more than expected. A young waitress convinced us that they would’ve gone shortly.

I have restrained blasting tons of questions around just how the owner, who’s a year older than I am, had established two successful branches in less than a year. Banik Yoandanny started her story at the very beginning, when her grandmother started the hottest restaurant in the capital city right on her house terrace.

“It was a modest diner in our home terrace back in the day. We only provided a rug for the guest to sit on,” said Banik while reminiscing over the days long past.

Kepala Manyung Bu Fat started in 1969 in Semarang, Central Java. The "Kepala Manyung" was from her restaurant's signature dish, which we'll be discussing later on. The last two words came from the founder's nickname, Bu Fatimah.

Fatimah passed away in 1999, leaving behind a priceless legacy: the family recipes. Her children expanded the business by making two branches in Krobokan and Banyumanik; both regions are in Semarang. Twenty years later, Bu Fat's granddaughter expanded the business farther to Jakarta.

And here I am with Banik Yoandanny, the granddaughter of Bu Fat in Kepala Manyung Bu Fat's branch in Cipete, South Jakarta.

Kepala Manyung Bu Fat boosts gardeny design with wood tables and indoor plants.

Very Gardeny, Very Outdoorsy

From the outside, the bright restaurant looks compact and slightly small. The vast parking lot creates an optical illusion that it uses a lot of plot. When I entered, it shocked me how spacious and open it feels. The building consists of three parts: the outdoor area where I am currently sitting, the indoor space, and a VIP room on the back. Facilities like a praying room and a toilet are also comfortably spacious and clean.

On some walls display wood panels and windows as decoration. Some indoor plants also bring a lot of natural ambiance to the restaurant. Surrounding inside are wooden tables and chairs that I’d someday like to have on my house terrace. Kepala Manyung Bu Fat exhibits a gardenlike concept contrary to the typical ocean-themed seafood restaurants out there.

Genuine Beach Dish in the Middle of City

I mentioned earlier that Kepala Manyung is the major signature dish of this restaurant. You can find it in other restaurants, as a matter of fact, since it is a traditional food from Central Java. Kepala Manyung Bumbu Mangut is a popular dish across the north coast way (Pantura) Semarang.