Indoeuropa: Tempe Made in Belgium and Other Goodies

When I arrived in London in May last year from Australia, I immediately was looking for two essential food items: kecap manis (sweet soya sauce) and Indomie (instant noodle) – both uniquely Indonesian, both I’d terribly miss if I can’t have them, and I had doubts that I could find them in London. So yes even after more than a decade out of the country, I need kecap manis and Indomie desperately for my regular intake.

First destination was Chinatown! Fortunately Indomie is so popular that it’s easily found in London Chinatown (and possibly anywhere around the world actually).

But the kecap manis was a bit tricky. I did not find it on my first visit to Chinatown.

Then I found this small bottle of Ketjap Manis in Mark & Spencer food section. Notice the old spelling of kecap! I’m guessing that it must have taken the product idea from Netherland.

M&S Ketjap Manis

M&S Ketjap Manis: use this sweet & aromatic Indonesian sauce in Asian cooking, marinades & for dipping

Then another product by M&S (absolutely love their food hall!):

Indonesian prawn crackers

M&S Indonesian prawn crackers: the authentic Asian snack, made with a daily fresh catch of prawns from local fisherman in Indonesia

The M&S Ketjap Manis wasn’t so bad, but it’s not as thick as the real thing, more like in the middle of sweet and salty soya sauce in terms of taste and consistency. Luckily I found the real ABC Kecap Manis on my next visit to Chinatown, after going around more shops and looking further:

ABC Kecap Manis

Aah you never know what you have until you lose it…

Another interesting item I found also when venturing to Chinatown was this Tempeh, which is not just any tempe, since it is made in Belgium:

Tempeh made in Belgium

Tempeh – Product of Belgium

How fancy does that sound, eh?! :)


The Traveling Reader
I left home when I was 17 and never stop exploring the world since. Most days I'm a digital technician at one of the London's biggest visual effects studio. My alternate persona writes and travels and dreams of doing these as a living. I alternately call myself Indonesian or Australian whichever is more beneficial at the time, and I've been a Londoner since 2011.