Thousands of people flocked to the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta, this weekend for the annual Bango Culinary Festival.
Yuniaty, 40, of Tuban, East Java, said she brought her family to the festival to enjoy a feast of cheap food.
“I just happened to be in Jakarta and heard about the culinary festival from a relative who works as a server at a satay booth here,” she told The Jakarta Post.
Fifty-eight booths competed to attract customers with delicious, reasonably-priced dishes.
The menu included Indonesian foods such as satay, mie jawa (Javanese noodles), sop konro (Makassar beef-rib soup) and slawi tempe (soybean cakes).
Warung Leko sold iga penyet (smashed ribs) for Rp 25,000 (US$2.75) and Warung Ngalam sold Javanese noodles for only Rp 10,000.
For the first time the festival organizers invited Warung Ngalam, a restaurant in Menteng, Central Jakarta, to participate, restaurant manager Ida said. Bango, the local soy sauce company, waived the restaurant’s application fees, she added.
“We just needed to buy ingredients from them, which cost only Rp 150,000,” she said.
Ida also said Warung Ngalam’s booth earned more than Rp 2 million at the festival.
“Rain has slightly reduced the number of visitors at the event,” she said, adding that she hoped Warung Ngalam would be invited again next year.
The festival is part a corporate initiative to promote Indonesian culinary diversity, PT Unilever Indonesia director Handrianus Setiawan said.
The Bango Culinary Festival was aimed primarily at Indonesian mothers, Handrianus said.
“They are agents who continuously work in the kitchen and play an active role in preserving and passing on Indonesian recipes within families,” he said.
Aurora Tambunan, Jakarta’s deputy governor for culture and tourism, said she hoped the festival would communicate the importance of preserving Indonesian recipes and appreciating mothers.