Bakmi Gajah Mada

Bakmi Gajah Mada, also known as Bakmi GM, is an Indonesian restaurant chain that specializes in bakmi noodle dishes. It was established in 1959 as a single store on Gajah Mada Street and has since expanded to over 50 locations, mostly in Greater Jakarta. Bakmi GM offers a variety of bakmi noodle dishes and has become popular among locals and visitors alike.

In 1959, Tjay Sioe Tjung and his wife Loei Kwai Fong started a restaurant on Jl. Gajah Mada 77, Jakarta. At that time, the space could only fit four tables and accommodate 15-20 people. The kitchen was in the front and still used an oil stove. They were only open for 2-3 hours before lunchtime. Even though the menu at that time only consisted of chicken noodles, meatballs, and dumplings, the food would sell out by the afternoon. The rumor was that they sold around 100 portions of noodles per day.

The name Bakmi GM started to become known in 1962. By then, they had added 10 more tables. In 1968, there was a widening of Gajah Mada Street, so the houses in that area had to be moved back about 10 meters. Due to the road construction, Bakmi GM had to close for about a year and then relocated to Jalan Kejayaan, West Jakarta. After the road widening was completed at the end of 1969, Bakmi GM returned to its original location with many changes, including adding 30 more tables and installing air conditioning.

In 1971, because many of their customers were from South Jakarta, they received many requests to open a branch in that area. So, the management of PT Griya Miesejati opened a branch in Melawai. The initial location was inside a market but later moved to Jalan Melawai 3. At that time, the branch in Melawai was not as crowded as the one on Jalan Gajah Mada, so the management took the initiative to add more menu options. They started offering fried noodles, fried rice, and chicken noodles with mushroom sauce, which attracted more customers.

Meanwhile, the number of customers at Bakmi GM on Jalan Gajah Mada became overwhelming, so they moved to Jalan Gajah Mada 92, which could accommodate 62 tables. They also added fried noodles and fried rice to the menu. The rumor was that on average, Bakmi GM on Jalan Gajah Mada received around 500 customers per day, while the one in Melawai received around 200 customers per day.

In 1986, the third branch was established in the 21 Cinema Building on M. H. Thamrin Street (now BII Building). In 1989, the fourth branch was opened in Pondok Indah Mall through PT Griya Multirasa. In 1992, the cinema building was demolished and converted into an office building, forcing Bakmi GM branch to close. To serve customers who used to visit there, Bakmi GM opened a branch on Sunda Street with a capacity of 85-90 tables. This branch is managed by PT Griya Mitrarasa and was established with a capital of Rp. 200 million. The shareholders are Ferdy, Lie Kay Hoat, Peily Dian Lie, Wahyu Suryadi, Kristin Nina Sastra, and Rachman Sastra.

In 1992, PT Graha Makmurindo Bogatama also opened a new branch in Mangga Dua. The capital invested was Rp. 60 million and owned by Lie Tjik An, Lie Fiona Limurti, Lie Kok Khian, and Lie Soei Khoen. In 1996, PT Griya Miesejati added another branch in Kelapa Gading. In 1997, PT Griya Murnirasa added a branch in Puri Indah Mall.

Until now, the management of Bakmi GM is still dominated by the family. The active involvement of Tjay’s children includes Yulia Widjaja, Sukendi Widjaja, Peily Dian Lie, Marsudi Singgih, Lie Kay Hoat, Lie Gun Fat, and Jenny Mokhtar. They work together to manage Bakmi GM. Although Yulia is primarily focused on managing the Melawai branch, she sometimes oversees other branches, while Peily, in addition to handling the headquarters, advertising, and promotions, also manages the branches. Marsudi, on the other hand, mainly handles the branch on Gajah Mada Street.

The rumor is that the family actually wants Bakmi GM to be managed by professionals as soon as possible. Moreover, some members of the second generation are already planning to retire. Meanwhile, none of the third-generation family members are willing to take over the management. However, because they feel unprepared, they are forced to continue managing it together.