We missed the turn off the expressway Starbucks so I just waved at Starbucks when we passed by. No biggie for the rest of the passengers on the car who were not big Starbucks fans. Their pit stop was just coming ahead and there was no way they were missing it. On a scorching day, stopping for drinks en route to Sentul, Bogor, is a must to quell the dry out sensation building in the mouth. Traffic was smooth but the intensity of the heat was slowing increasing as the minutes ticked by.

“You have to try it! It’s the best cendol ever!” exclaimed a friend, as we looked for a parking space in front of the tented kiosks lined up just after exiting the expressway.

Elizabeth's cendol is the best in Bogor

Cendol (pronounced chendol) is said to be a very popular drink-dessert in Southeast Asia. It’s an ideal refreshment or dessert in Singapore; it’s a staple on the menu and all the more made popular during the hot months. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, it’s a revitalizing drink anywhere you go and Bogor seemed to have cornered the cendol market. An article in http://www.ifood.tv said cendol is quite popular in the Philippines. I have yet to taste cendol in the Philippines. What we have which is similar to the es campur of Indonesia and es kachang of Singapore is halo-halo, a concoction of red beans, sweetened yam, macapuno, and kaong with shaved ice that’s drizzled with evaporated milk and topped with a scoop of ice cream (ube seems to be the popular flavour-partner) and leche flan. I supposing – stretching the similarity – halo-halo and es cendol are both cooling refreshments to stay the hot summery period.

The best tasting cendol in the whole of Bogor is, apparently, from the Es Cendol Elizabeth Bogor stall with the promise of tanpa bahan pengawet dan kimia (without preservatives and chemicals) and cocok dicamput ancha buah segar (can be combined with any fresh fruit). Elizabeth’s ice-cold creamy concoction is a blend of rice flour, coconut milk and sugar palm. Giving it that distinct taste and sensation on the mouth is the elongated green jelly that – unglamorous as it sounds – resembles a worm.

“You want one?” asked my friend, making a beeline for Elizabeth’s stall.

For expatriates in Indonesia, it becomes a favourite fast especially when you’re not suffering from lactose intolerance. I declined the offer politely.

Cendol to go

The three cups of es cendol were packed and ready to go in five or so minutes. Having the reputation as the best es cendol and reasonably priced at Rp6, 000 per cup, it’s a purchase cendol-drinkers will not miss for the world.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by john on August 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I made cendol too, maybe you may tray some other time, in semarang city .I’d like to introduce my cendol in singapore then some one give me oppurtunity to make this baverage on there or I’ working there. my phone no +6281225239653 or email to jsiekhokkuang@yahoo.com


    • Posted by rgarcellano on August 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Hi, John. Thanks for reading and I’ll definitely try your cendol when I find myself in Semarang. Cheers


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