It could be from an economical point of view – large portions tend to be a bit expensive than the tiny ones ergo the cash register might ring lesser than expected. Or it could be from an aesthetic point of view. Little things have that cuteness factor. Or it could be from an aesthetic point of view coupled with convenience and economics – it’s easy popping in the not-so-pricey bite-size versions of pastries. Whatever the reason is that’s pushing entrepreneurs in Kalimalang, Bekasi, to peddle miniaturized sweet stuff it’s proving to be a big hit with its denizens.
I first spotted Roti Unyil at Mega-Bekasi but I ignored it for some reason I can’t remember. The stall was next to the escalator leading to Cinema XXI. Oddly enough, its kiosk at Cyber Park Bekasi caught my full attention. Perhaps it was because my friend was so focused on choosing which flavour to put on his tray that I was swayed to help him decide. Tongs in hand, I filled his tray quickly with: kelapa (coconut), coklat (chocolate), nanas (pineapple), pisang (banana), keju (cheese), pisang keju, jagung (corn) and strawberry. At Rp1, 000 per mini bun, it’s a bargain and completely addictive that you’d finish a box of 15 roti unyil without noticing it especially when you’re in front of the TV or marking papers.
Crossing over to Metropolitan Mall (MM), the mini J Co Donuts are proving to be very popular with the residents. They make for good hospital-visitation gift like what I received during my three-day confinement at a hospital in the Semanggi area. I couldn’t eat them then at the hospital but I’ve had them prior to my confinement. Cutely christened J Pops Baby Donuts, they’re quite addictive with each pop gone in one bite and a quaff of your favourite drink. A box holds 24 little babies and costs less than Rp50, 000. J Co has two outlets in Bekasi – Mega Bekasi and MM – so getting a box is not a problem unless you’re a Dunkin’ Donut or Krispy Kremes fan.
Over at Jalan Caman, at the entrance to hyper mart Giant, is a more difficult to find mini pastry stall in the area. It’s called Indo Pukis and I had a first taste of it when my boss was gifted with a box and she offered me a few pieces of the pisang—flavoured pukis. The texture is similar to pancakes except that pukis are more compacted and stuffed with fillings of pisang, keju and coklat. I’ve yet to try the nanas from the stall I frequent at Giant. Like Roti Unyil, one piece is not enough and, before you know it, a box of 12 pieces – priced at Rp12, 000 – is gone in minutes. It took me quite a while to get used to the name pukis because, from a lexical view point, it translates to the plural form of the women’s genitals in my language, Filipino.
Roti Unyil, J Pops or pukis and whatever reasons you hold on to, these mini bites provide quick and tasty munchies to tide people over until the big meal. The only problem is they have a tendency to stay forever on the hips.