Sunday, March 07, 2010

Janty Noodle - West Covina

If you're a Southern California-residing Indonesian, you already know about this place. Heck, I've been eating and enjoying their noodles for years now.

Janty Noodle, or as Indonesians call it "Mie Yanty" has become a sort of noodle mecca -- about the closest facsimile to the noodles served at a popular Jakarta institution called Bakmi Gadja Mada, which specializes in crinkly egg noodles with a pronounced chew, boiled but served dry, simply dressed in flavored oil.

"Bakmi" translates to noodle in Indonesian, and the dish is largely a by-product from the ethnic Chinese minority. That they're usually served with wontons called pangsit and a clear broth made from chicken, is further evidence of this fact.

For some, a trip to Jakarta isn't considered complete until you've had a mie ayam (chicken noodle) at Bakmi Gadja Mada. It's to the city as Katz Deli is to New York. These days, I hear the restaurants' gotten so popular with multiple locations that they've officially KFC'd its moniker to just "Bakmi GM".

Closer to our neck of the woods, Warung Pojok in Garden Grove also does a rendition of the dish, but there has been at least one other Southern California Indonesian restaurant that attempted to replicate the success of the original. I remember an actual Gadjah Mada restaurant in Cerritos once, but it's history now. They offered a similar dish, but I don't recall what it was like, or if it was very good.

I am certain, however, that they weren't even close to what Janty Noodle produces. Janty makes their noodles by hand. Each chewy, elastic strand you slurp has with it an imperfect crinkle that speaks of its manual process. Lubing it is a sweet slick of oil that contributes as much flavor to the dish as the pieces of chicken and mushrooms that top it.

After you eat a chopstick's worth of noodle, you take a sip of their broth, which is as refreshingly clear as chicken soup can get before it becomes a chicken drink.

Yes, it's in West Covina, quite a schlep from O.C., but trust me, it's closer than Jakarta and a lot cleaner, too.

Janty Noodle
(626) 480-1808
989 S Glendora Ave #14
West Covina, CA 91790

Sophy's Thai & Cambodian - Long Beach


At 6:00 PM, Blogger Exile Kiss said...

Hi elmomonster,

Ah! This is the place one of my Indonesian friends was telling me about. Is their menu in English, or should I print out your recommendations just in case? :) Thanks.

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Dee said...

i LOVE Bakmi Yanti...!!! =D If you're a purist, you gotta get number 1, the bakmi ayam rebus. My husband is not Indonesian, so he thinks it's too bland. He likes bakmi Medan (sorry, I don't remember what number), it includes slices of BBQ pork.

At 4:16 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Exile Kiss,

If I recall, there should be an English menu there as well. But what I had is the Bakmi Ayam Rebus (as Dee mentioned). They also do a variety of other dishes with the same. The difference is just what tops it!


I had it as takeout a few weeks back and yes, I'm still a purist! But I may have to try the Bakmi Medan next. What good thing can't be made better with pork!

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Juliet said...

Dave would love that! I have a a feeling a would, too.
Dave's dad and stepmom used to live in West Covina, but they moved back to Taiwan last year, so we don't have much of an excuse to go out that way when we visit. Bummer.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...


It's quite a ways off for us too. But sometimes some things are worth the trek. This is one of them. Probably not from Michigan though. HAHA!

At 2:01 AM, Blogger Juliet said...

Well, we'd be in Irvine visiting Dave's mom anyway if we went. :-)

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Lati.Ms said...

Ah! This is the place one for la


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