Traditional Sudanese dining is outdoors in a shelter called a Saung. There is usually a Saung in every rice field for the farmers to eat their meals in. At mealtime, the farmer’s wife brings the food out to the Saung for her husband.
Bandung is the center of Sundanese culture, so there are many restaurants that offer a traditional dining experience. Tops on my list is Sindang Reret Hotel and Restaurant in Ciwidey, a suburb of Bandung.
At Sindang Reret (Sundanese for “please stop by and see us”), you can choose to eat in a tropical garden, a rice field, or indoors on tables and chairs.
We chose the rice field.
This Sindang Reret is located on Jl. Raya Provinsi Ciwidey, Kab. Bandung. Phone: 022 592 8205
They have three other locations as well: Lembang – 022 278 6500, Bandung – 022 253 5050, Jakarta – 021 725 4459
In the photo above…
Top left is Terong Seuhah – Grilled Eggplant with Chili. In the center – Sate Kambing – Grilled Lamb with a sweet sauce, top right – Otak-Otak – Fishcake wrapped in banana leaves.
Center – Balibu is in an urban area. They have a small garden, as well as a dining room. The fountain on the left is where they catch the fish you order.
Bottom – On the right is a grilled Gurame fish, and on the left is Karedok – Raw Vegetable Salad.
Balibu is located on Jl.Tangkuban Perahu, Lembang. Phone: 022 278 9582
Kampung Baso is another quality Sundanese experience. It’s has a well manicured garden and a rich night time ambiance. They’re located on Jl. Setia Budhi, No. 316, Setia Budhi, Bandung. Phone: 022 2014628
One thing you can always count on with Sundanese food is rich flavor. It can be very spicy, but usually not overly so. They use a variety of spices that balance the flavors very nicely.
After you’ve worked very hard to learn enough Bahasa Indonesian to order a meal, some Sundanese restaurants will throw you a curve by writing their menu in Bahasa Sundanese. Don’t worry though, they’re happy to explain.
The challenge is not finding something good to eat in Jakarta – it’s deciding what to eat. Jakarta restaurants are as diverse as Indonesia itself. From basic, traditional food served by street vendors to 5-star luxury hotels, Jakarta has it all. As you spend some time here, I’m sure you’ll develop your own favorites, but in the meantime, here are some of my favorite places to eat in Jakarta to get you started.
If you love fresh seafood, head over to Everfresh Fish Market. They have a wide range of fresh seafood, both on ice and in their live aquariums. You begin your dining experience by selecting what you want from the aquariums, or from the displays. Then, they ask you how you want it prepared. After that, it’s just a short wait at your table until your fresh seafood arrives, cooked just the way you wanted it. Be careful though, sometimes one’s eyes can be bigger than their stomach.
The bill usually runs from Rp.50,000 to Rp.100,000 per person.
Locations: Jl. Penjernihan 1 No. 8, Jakarta Pusat. Phone: +62 21 5790 5524 Fax: +62 21 5723 802
It’s easy to find – just head west on Jl. Karet Pasar Baru Timur; about one km. past the Shangri-la Hotel you’ll see a big sign on the right that says, “Polisi.” You’ll have to pass it and make a u-turn – they’re right next to the police station. There’s plenty of parking.
Mall Artha Gading, Ground Floor – Lobby China, Kelapa Gading – Jakarta. Phone: +62 21 3300 1468
Fax: +62 21 4584 3493 Email: email@example.com
I’ve not been to this location, but being in a major mall makes it easy to find.
Traditional Javanese Food
For Traditional Javanese food, it’s hard to beat Warung Mbah Jingkrak. Their slogan is: “When great taste and exotic ambiance meet,” something I think they achieve quite well. Your table is in a traditional Javanese garden, complete with pools and wooded bridges. It’s a bit dark, traditional music is playing, along with the sound of the water fountain – a very nice atmosphere.
Try the Rawon Klewung – a spicy beef stew with a broth created from sautéing a variety of spices in oil and blending them into the simmering soup. The rich black color comes from the main spice – keluak, which is a black nut. Price: Rp.18,000
Location: Jl. Setiabudi Tengah No. 11, Jakarta Selatan. Phone +62 21 525 2605 Fax: +62 21 529 06544
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: (Bahasa) Warung Mbah Jingkrak
(Near The Four Seasons Hotel)
Traditional Sundanese Food
Gurame (Gourami) is a freshwater fish native to South East Asia. Tahu/Tempe Tepung is tofu and tempeh rolled in flour and deep fried.
Dapur Sunda is my favorite for traditional Sundanese food. The Sundanese people are from what is now West Java. Their food is the spiciest of all Javanese food. They mix many more varieties of spices into their food, than do their Javanese neighbors. The Sundanese have traditionally eaten lots of salads and fish.
Dapur Sunda is a chain restaurant, so it’s not much on ambiance, but the food is great, and the price is reasonable.
The location I have eaten at is on the second floor of Setia Budi One (the middle building of a three building office and restaurant complex) on Jl. HR Rasuna Said. Any Taxi driver will know where it is.
Chinese Indonesian Food
Another great choice, also on the second floor of Setia Budi One on Jl. HR Rasuna Said, is Ta Wan – A Chinese Indonesian restaurant that specializes in porridge. It not only porridge though – everything is fantastic, and reasonably priced.
If you’d like to explore the village (kampung) near Setia Budi, Matahari Restaurant has very authentic Chinese Indonesian food, at very reasonable prices. It’s a bit tricky to find, but if you’re adventurous, and in the mood for a 10 minute walk, go out the back of Setia Budi past the fountains. When you get to the street, turn left, walk to the curve in the road, and go up the hill to the first intersection – turn right, walk to the next intersection, and turn left, walk to the next intersection, and turn left again. Follow that road about 200 meters and Matahari will be on your right. If you get lost, just ask. Everyone will be happy to point the way. Address: Jl.Anggrek III No.5 Karet Perbanas – Phone:021 98209128/021 52900167
If you get tired of the local food, it’s hard to beat Ya-Udah Bistro. Their food is really good, and reasonably priced. They have steaks, pasta, sandwiches, salads, burgers, and some Indonesian food too. The restaurant is open on the front – there’s no air conditioning so it can be hot during the day, but mornings and evenings it’s a comfortable place to eat, or hang out while taking advantage of their free wi-fi.
Ya Udah Bistro Menteng
Quality…..? An Understantment…..!
Jl. Johar No.15 Gondangdia, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat
Ph 021 3909010 or 021 314 0343 Website
Traditional Food Courts
If you want to eat a bit cheaper, have the flavor of street food, but eat it in a more hygienic environment than on the street, all the malls have food courts serving every traditional dish imaginable.
The food court at Ambassador Mall has nearly 50 food outlets at prices similar to what you would find at street level. It’s good, basic, and cheap eating. Ambassador Mall is on Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio, in Kuningan.
If you’d like a great view of Jakarta while enjoying some pretty average food, Plaza Semanggi has a food court on an outdoor patio on the 10th floor. There is often live entertainment in the evening. It’s located at Jl. Jenderal Sudirman 50.
The best place I have found to eat street food in Jakarta is set-up every evening in Menteng Plaza, next to the Hotel Formula 1, on Jl. Cikini Raya. It draws a huge crowd of Indonesians every night of the week, so it must be good. I’ve always had a great meal there. Just tell the taxi driver, “Plaza Menteng.”
Traditional foods are sold by street vendors all over Jakarta. There are two types of street food outlets to be found.
Warungs are simple, makeshift restaurants on the sidewalk, or side of the road.
Then, there are the roving vendors pushing their gerobak (carts). The food sold from a gerobak is either cooking as the vendor makes their rounds, or cooked at home.
There is a wide variety of street food available in Indonesia – a lot of it combines basic ingredients in different ways. If you know some basic food related words, you’ll have a good chance of figuring out what’s on offer.
Bakmi – a round Chinese wheat noodle.
Bihun – a very thin rice noodle similar in appearance to angel hair but the texture is a bit different. It’s very slightly crunchy when cooked.
Kwetiaw – a wide, flat rice noodle.
Mie – a round egg noodle similar to spaghetti.
Bacem – cooked in a sweet soy sauce.
Bakar – grilled.
Goreng – fried.
Rebus – boiled.
Asin – salty.
Cabai – chili.
Cabai Hijau – whole or sliced green chili.
Cabai Merah – whole or sliced red chili.
Gule – soup with a coconut broth.
Kerupuk – chips made of tapioca flour and fried in hot sand or oil.
Kremes (kremesan) – a dry, seasoned topping.
Longtong – compressed rice cut into cakes – served cold.
Nasi – white rice.
Penyet – mashed.
Sambal – chili sauce.
Sate – Grilled meat on a stick – served with peanut sauce and lontong.
Sayur – vegetable.
Sop – broth based soup similar to Soto.
Soto – broth based soup similar to Sop.
Touge – bean sprouts.
Ayam – Chicken.
Buntut – Oxtail.
Cumi – Squid.
IGA – Beef Ribs.
Ilan – Fish.
Kambing – Lamb.
Sapi – Beef.
Unang – Shrimp.
Hijau – Green.
Kuning – Yellow.
Merah – Red.
Ayam Goreng Kuning – chicken fried in Turmeric (yellow chicken).
Bacem Tofu – tofu cooked in a sweet soy sauce.
Bihun Goreng Ayam – fried bihun noodles with chicken.
Gado-Gado – a mixture of vegetables, dressed with peanut sauce.