Besides being known as an ‘abdi dalem’ or Royal Servants’ village, Kampong Wijilan (Wijilan village) is also labeled as the center of Gudeg

Andi Rosita Dewi   10 November 2015 15:00 - Kampong Wijilan or Wijilan Village, located in the east of Yogyakarta palace’s north square, is popular among locals and tourists alike for being the center of ‘Gudeg,’ Yogyakarta’s traditional dish.

Walk along Wijilan Street and you will find rows and rows of ‘gudeg’ stalls, where most customers are already regulars at their favorite stalls.

Once known as ‘jeron beteng’, the village is part of Yogyakarta’s sprawling sultanate palace, which earned its reputation for serving mouth-watering ‘Gudeg’ from families of servants who used to cook the dish for Royals. “’Gudeg’ is one of traditional dishes for royal families so the abdi dalem’s wives were skilled in making the dish,” said Susantri, a ‘Gudeg’ seller in the village to, Thursday (27/8).

The existence of this village even dates back prior to Indonesia’s declaration of independence. In 1942, a woman named Mrs. Slamet opened a ‘Gudeg’ restaurant for the first time in the complex. The restaurant received a favorable response from society, following which; other ‘Gudeg’ stalls began to set up shop. Other famous stalls include Bu Djuwariah’s ‘Gudeg’ stall which is also known as ‘Gudeg Yu Djum.’

But business has not always been booming for ‘Gudeg’ stalls in the village. In 1980, ‘Campur Sari Gudeg’ shut shop. In fact, it took a long 13-year period to get the stalls up, running, and popular. It was only in 1993 that business truly began to flourish, and tourists who visited Yogyakarta flocked to the village in droves to get a bite of the sweet-and-savory-tasting food.

Increasing customer demand then compelled sellers to innovate, leading to the creation of a dry version of the dish, one that sellers were able to put in a can and store over longer periods of time. Today, visitors can not only eat the famed dish at Wijilan village, but they can also take it home with them.

Those looking to sample a taste can get to the village after a 15-minute ride from the city centre by riding a becak (pedicab) or an andong (horse-drawn carriage). If you’ve got plans to visit Yogyakarta, do stop by Wijilan village for a taste.


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