Traveling and Culinary are two things that cannot be separated. When visiting a destination, of course I will taste the local culinary. Each place has a unique taste. Each country and region has its own flavors.
Well…, I was glad that I was born in Indonesia, because we have innumerable varieties of foods. As rich as its nature and as varied as its peoples and cultures, Indonesia is also blessed with an abundant variety of culinary delights. The tastes are also different. From the sweet taste of most of Javanese’ cuisine to the distinct strong spicy flavors of Sumatra’s food.
Here are photos of some of the food from the places that I have visited (Indonesia and other countries).
Empal Gentong is typical food community in Cirebon, West Java . The food consist of meat, intestines and tripe with yellow coconut milk, cooked using firewood (mango tree) in the clay pot. It served with dried chilli milled, fried onion and chives. Empal gentong can be eat with rice or rice cake. It is delicious when still hot.
Tahu gejrot is also a typical dish from Cirebon, West Java. Usually you can find this food on streets. Yes..this is an appetizer, consist of fried brown tofu (bean curd), mixed with raw red onion, garlic and hot green chilli sauce. The making of tahu gejrot is quite unique. First all of the sauce ingredients will be mashed and mixed on the mortar. Then the tofu is added and mixed with the sauce. Its really spicy and hot, but you can make it as your taste.. Hmm .. yummy…
If you want to spend night, hang out, chatting or relax with friends in Yogyakarta, go to Angkringan is a good choice. Angkringan is a unique food stall selling rice, side dishes and drinks at very cheap prices. Located at the north of Tugu railway station in Yogyakarta, the place is famous within Yogyakarta communities. The place is identified with two big containers connected with a bamboo, brazier with burning charcoals, and rows of neatly arranged glasses.
Kopi Joss is the favorite beverage. The coffee served with hot charcoal plunged in it. The superiority of such coffee is lower degree of caffeine after being neutralized by the charcoal. Such finding was resulted from a research done by some students of Gadjah Mada University who often hang around there.
The main menu served in Angkringan is sego kucing that consists of some small amount of rice and stirred-fried tempe and tiny sea fish cooked with chili. Fries food such as tempe mendoan (tempe fried with flour), filled tofu and fried jadah (made of sticky rice) are also available. It does not have to spend much money to taste delicious menu.
Usually people eat sego kucing on banana leaf as the packaging of it. Otherwise, you can ask for plates to put more than one portion of sego kucing. Seat arrangements are available for you to enjoy your meals. However, if you want to be able to have a chat with your friends, it is better for you to sit on the mat spread on the pavement across the street. The spread of the mat reaches as long as 100 meter.
Another nice place in Yogya is Warung Iga Bakar, located at Gejayan street no.22 Yogyakarta. They served variety of ribs dishes such barbecued ribs spicy, honey barbecued ribs, grilled barbecue ribs, barbecued ribs garlic, black pepper and grilled ribs and also ribs soup. If you are concerned with high cholesterol, they provide drinks to neutralize cholesterol, namely Honey Squash (lemon juice mixed with honey), vegetable juice or fruit juice. The price is average, not very cheap but also not too expensive.
“Moorkop Ice” – Tip Top Restaurant, Medan – North Sumatra
Hmmm …looks delicious, right ? It’s true…
You can find the ice cream on the above picture in Tip Top restaurant in Medan, North Sumatra. Tip Top restaurant, located at Akhmad Yani street (formerly Kesawan street), is an old colonial building in the centre of Medan. Established in 1934, this restaurant still maintains its original shape with renovations in some parts of the building. The atmosphere hadn’t much changed. The menu includes a selection of western, indonesian and chinese food. They served variety of hand made cake and ice cream, too.
A perfect location for lunch and dinner. Wi-fi is also available in this building.
Not far from Tip Top restaurant (around 10 minutes walking distance), you can find this delicious highly recommended dish in Medan, bihun bebek Asie (vermicelli coated with duck slices). Located at Kumango street (not far from Kesawan area), the restaurant name was not very apparent, but not difficult to find. You may ask people on street and they will show you the way. It is recommended to eat here during breakfast time, because the place would be very crowded after 10.00 a.m.
The serving size is very generous for one person. But you may not surprised when the bill come. It was expensive (IDR 50.000 per bowl) compared to any noodle or bihun in town, but it is very tasty and big serving. The vermicelli (white noodle) was well cooked, covered with duck meat slices, generous fried garlic, and parsley. They served it with a special homemade chili sauce, chili pickle and the duck meat soup which was very …very delicious. You must try !
Semarang is the capital of Central Java Province with a diverse population, includes Chinese. In Chinatown Semarang, you can find many Chinese food. The one you should visit is located at the famous Semawis area. The area is more time weekend (Friday – Sunday) and open only at night (after 5 p.m).
As many as street food market, you will find various food on offer here. For you who are Moslem, you should be careful when choosing food because in a few stalls they sell food that contains pork. Therefore, it is important to ask first to the seller.
There was a stall that was the most visited, namely Es Puter CongLik. This is a dessert contains of ice with various flavours : jackfruit, coconut, durian, avocado, chocolate, etc. with many kind of topping. Even the durian ice is also served with original durian fruit. The price is quite rational, IDR 15.000/bowl.
If you want to have dinner at this place, you should consider that this place will very crowded above 9 p.m, and you will not get a seat. This area will be very busy when Lunar new year approached.
Es CongLik, at Pasar Semawis-Semarang
Aceh is the farthest province in western Indonesia. It has many beautiful beaches and nature that makes me want to visit there someday. Aceh also offers a wide variety of culinary tasty, one of my favorites is Mie Aceh.
Mie Aceh is noodles that are rich in ingredients and its spices deeply felt strong and very different from the noodles in other areas that are generally tasted a little bit sweet. Mie Aceh usually uses thick yellow noodles.
The thick yellow noodles are served with slices of meet (beef, goat or seafood, such as shrimp or crab). They are served in rich, hot and spicy curry – like soup.
There area two choice of recipes, mie Aceh goreng (fried noodles) or mie Aceh kuah (soup noodles). The ingredients contain a lot of spice mixture such as black pepper, red chili pepper, shallot, garlic, cardamom, cumin, and star anise. Then the noodle and spices are cooked with bean sprouts, cabbages, tomatoes and celery. After cooked, it is served in a plate and usually sprinkled with fried shallot, emping (cracker made of melinjo ~ or gnetum gnemon nut), cucumber and dash of lime.
This is my favorite “mie Aceh kuah” with beef.
Now, you can find mie Aceh warong or restaurant everywhere in Jakarta and other cities. I usually eat at Jambo Kupi restaurant in jalan raya Pasar Minggu. They served variety of Aceh dishes.
6. OTHER INDONESIAN DISHES
One of my family favorite dishes is nasi kuning (yellow rice). It is always served during special occasion such as birthday, graduation or other celebration. I love nasi kuning made by my mom. She always served it on my birthday, my brother’s birthday, even on my children’s birthday.
Nasi kuning is cooked with coconut milk and turmeric. Sometimes it is served in the form of a cone called a tumpeng and is usually served with a variety of side dishes such as shredded omelette, urap (vegetable in shredded coconut dressing), serundeng (relish of grated coconut and spices), teri kacang (fried anchovy and peanuts), fried chicken, shrimp in chili sauce, sambel goreng hati (fried potato and beef lever caramelized in spicy sauce) or potato fritters. It is common to serve tumpeng nasi kuning with kerupuk udang (shrimp cracker) or emping and decorated with slices of cucumber and tomato.
nasi kuning made by Mom