Cipete, South Jakarta’s latest up-and-coming hip neighborhood, is now more crowded than usual thanks to the new MRT. People are flocking to Cipete Raya Street to explore the many food and drink options available, since the venues here are, in general, within a more affordable price spectrum compared to other trendy areas like Kemang and Senopati.
Enter Wo Ai Mie, a new gourmet mie ayam (chicken noodle) spot that just recently opened last week. As mie ayam enthusiasts, we were instantly intrigued. Plus, their name is clever, too, so that’s a plus in our book.
It’s not hard to spot Wo Ai Mie, as the store has a striking façade and is located in between es kopi shop Toko Kopi Tuku and gelato parlor Skups. The restaurant is under the same group as South Jakarta’s latest burger obsession Byurger, and if you’ve been to that spot, then you’ll notice a similar aesthetic here at Wo Ai Mie.
The layout is essentially the same, with the cashier downstairs. Customers must order at the counter first before taking their seats at the dining area upstairs, and the food gets delivered to them once they’re seated. The interiors are dominated by yellow, red, and teal. The meals are served in tin bowls — a kind of “Pop Art, but make it humble” concept.
Wo Ai Mie offers two varieties of noodles, the thick mie karet (“rubber noodles”) and mie keriting (curly noodles), the latter of which is the thinner of the two. All menu items are halal, as they don’t use pork and lard in the kitchen.
The other items in the noodles menu include Oriental Fare, which resembles the North Jakarta-style mie ayam with Hainan-style poached chicken; the Shanghai Staple with ground beef; and the Vegetarian Delight with blanched kangkung, tofu, and tauco (fermented soybean paste).
The Sidekicks part of the menu — the side dishes — is also worth checking out, and includes ngoh hiang (ground chicken wrapped in tofu skin), fish cakes, as well as fried and boiled wontons.
The Baso Goreng (IDR25,000/US$1.76) is a bowl of deep fried ground chicken meatballs. They’re not too crispy and not soggy — it’s just what we expected of fried bakso. We thought the sambal pedas manis, sweet and spicy sambal, was a good companion to the fritters, and made for a great way to kickstart our meal.
The Local Favorites (IDR30,000/US$2.11) takes its cue from South Jakarta-style mie ayam, with diced chicken and mushroom cooked in sweet soy sauce. It reminded us of mie ayam that’s usually sold in street carts — or mie ayam gerobak, as we usually call it. Unfortunately, the chicken and mushroom mix can be too sweet to unsuspecting tongues (like ours), but there’s a slight pepper taste to it that cuts through that sweetness a bit.
We also tried the Wildfire (IDR52,000/US$3.67), spicy noodles with fermented ground chili paste topped with scallion and beef slices. Yes, it’s spicy, and the flavor profile reminded us a bit of gochujang, or Korean red chili paste — so it could be too much intensity if you were to add more chili sauce into your bowl. The beef slices, which uses the part that’s commonly found in beef bowls, or yakiniku, were a nice, sweet balance to the noodle’s spiciness. But — the more we ate it, the more we felt that Wildfire lacked a certain “kick,” as it tasted flat and became a bit monotonous after awhile.
While Wo Ai Mie specializes in noodles, we found that theirs were actually still a bit overly al dente for our liking — they lacked the chewiness we look for when eating noodles of this kind. We also appreciated that each bowl of noodles came with an accompany bowl of kuah (broth), but we did find the broth rather bland. We get that the main function of the broth is to help wash down the soup-less noodles — a little more flavor wouldn’t have hurt, though.
Perhaps it could be too early for us to judge, as Wo Ai Mie just recently opened — but overall, we felt that the food we had on our visit had potential, but juuust missed the mark in being truly good. If you’re in the area to check out some of Cipete’s great dessert shops, though, then we do think that Wo Ai Mie would make a worthwhile stop to mix up all the sweets with something on the spicy and savory side.
Wo Ai Mie is at Jl. Cipete Raya No. 7B, South Jakarta
Open Mon-Fri, 10am-10pm; Sat, 10am-midnight and Sun, 9am-9pm
Phone +62 812 8030 1059
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