The beauty of Lombok Island has been heard around the world. Natural tourism spots like Gili archipelago, Benang Kelambu & Stokel and Senggigi Beach has stunned them without hesitation. It is proven by the facts that about 70% tourists on Lombok are foreigners. But unfortunately, not all of them know that this island also has precious culinary as well. So here we are to inform you about several Lombok culinary worth tasting:
1. Ayam Taliwang
Ayam Taliwang (Taliwang Chicken) is a chicken dish originally from Nusa Tenggara Barat Province. The chicken can be fried, roasted, or grilled in a complicated traditional way. But before that, it needs to be spiced with onion, garlic, chili, tomato, and terasi (fermented shrimp).
They do not use modern stove to cook the chicken. Instead they use firewood from jackfruit tree. To fry the chicken, they use plenty virgin coconut oil and big fire. To grill it, they use coconut coir instead of charcoal. These methods cause the chicken to be more aromatic and appetizing. The price for a serving of Ayam Taliwang is around $3. Best places to eat Ayam Taliwang are
- Rumah Makan dan Lesehan Taliwang Raya at Jalan Ade Irma Suryani 53, Mataram
- Rumah Makan DUA-EM Bersaudara at Jalan Transmigrasi 99, Mataram
- Rumah Makan Ayam Bakar Taliwang Irama at Jalan Ade Irma Suryani 10, Mataram
2. Plecing Kangkung
Plecing Kangkung (Kale Plecing) is a vegetable dish made with Kale as the main ingredient. The kale is sauted with tomato, chilli, and some spices. A serving of Plecing Kangkung also consists of beansprout, fried peanuts, and long beans. The kale used in Plecing Kangkung is different than common kale. The kale in Lombok is planted on a flowing river using special method. This way, the kale would be softer and juicier.
Plecing Kangkung is the best complement for Ayam Taliwang. Thus, any restaurants that sell Ayam Taliwang will indeed offer a serving of Plecing Kangkung as well. If a restaurant serves a delicious Ayam Taliwang, then chances are their Plecing Kangkung will taste delicious as well. So our recommendation to eat Plecing Kangkung is the restaurants mentioned on Ayam Taliwang part above. A plate of Plecing Kangkung is sold for $0.8.
3. Sate Bulayak
A serving of Sate Bulayak consists of two components; satay and bulayak. The satay is made from grilled beef marinated in Sasak-style seasoning. The seasoning is a fusion between mashed roasted peanuts, thick coconut milk, and several kinds of spices. After the final grilling is done, the satay is then added with sambal (chilli paste). The satay in the end, will taste strong and spicy.
On the other side, Bulayak tastes rather bland to neutralize the strong flavors from the satay, making it a balance combination. It is made from rice being wrapped with palm leaves in spiral pattern. The wrapped rice is then steamed until it turns dense. To eat Bulayak, you have to unwrap the leaves first and then eat the rice cake with the satay.
Sate Bulayak is usually available for $1.5 per serving. That includes 10 satay and 5 pieces of Bulayak. The most popular Sate Bulayak in Lombok is available on a street stands located at Jalan Udayana, right at the City Park.
4. Nasi Balap Pucung
Nasi Balap Pucung (Balap Pucung Rice) is a portion of rice with several dishes such as shredded chicken, fried eel, dried prawn, soy bean, and chili. On second, it sounds like a regular meal with nothing special in it. But Nasi Balap Pucung is very much not like regular meal. The special component lies on the seasonings. It has spicy and savory flavors that will melt your appetite.
The most legendary restaurant that sells Nasi Balap Pucung is an old restaurant named Nasi Balap Pucung Cap Inaq Esun. The location is on Puyung Village. To get there, you have to walk through several dark and narrow alleys. But do not worry about getting lost as long as you can ask for directions to the locals. If you do not want to go that far, you can just visit their branch restaurants at Jalan Sriwijaya Mataram or on Plaza Senggigi. A serving of Nasi Balap Pusung costs only $0.5 to $0.8 depends on the dishes you choose.
5. Sate Tanjung
Sate Tanjung is a satay made out of Cakalang fish or Longian fis; two species of fishes that are commonly found in Lombok oceans. Sometimes, they also use Marlin fish instead. The fish is cut to small size and pin it to a stick. It is then marinated with thick coconut milk and a sauce made from chili and spices. The satay is then grilled on a coconut shell.
A portion of Sate Tanjung usually is sold for $0.8. To complement it, you can eat it with a plate of warm rice. The most popular place to get Sate Tanjung is on Tanjung Traditional Market because that is where Sate Tanjung came from at the first place. The stand opens at 14.00 and will close at 22.00.
Bebalung is a kind of rib broth soup. It is said that the food is effective to boost energy and increase vitality. The word “bebalung” itself means energy in Sasak folk language. Cooking Bebalung is not simple. First, you must boil the ribs for about 30 minutes. After that, you mix some spices and marinate the ribs with it. Leave it for a few minutes. And then, you need to boil the marinated ribs again for another 30 minutes.
Due to the long period of boiling, the beef became very soft and the spices are absorbed perfectly to the rib bone. Sambal (chili) can also be added to the soup if you prefer it to be spicy. Bebalung is best eaten with warm rice and Plecing. The price of Bebalung is usually about $2 per serving.
Best place to try Bebalung:
- Depot Kelebet at Jalan HOS Cokroaminoto, Mataram. If you visit this restaurant during lunch time, you will have to queue for quite long time due to the crowd.
- Rumah Makan Ramayana at Jalan Raden Saleh Sungkar, Mataram. This restaurant is quite legendary because it was established on 1976.
7. Sate Rembiga
Sate Rembiga is a very soft beef satay traditionally from Lombok. Just like most traditional foods from Lombok, Sate Rembiga also has a difficult cooking method though it is not as complex as other foods. First, you need to cut the beef to small pieces. And then you need to soak it in spiced water for 3 hours to let the spices to absorb thoroughly. And then, you can pin the beef pieces to a stick and grill it.
The satay is named Rembiga after a village on Mataram. Rembiga Village is a region where the satay started to be made. That is why you need to visit this village to taste the most original version of Sate Rembiga. Warung Rembiga is located at Jalan Dakota 2, Rembiga, Mataram. A serving of Sate Rembiga consists of 15 sticks of satay is sold for only $2. You can also order a plate of rice to complement the satay.
Having a great culinary experience between your tour in Lombok will make your vacation feels perfect. So while you are on the way from one object to another object in Lombok, why do not you just recharge your energy with this appetizing culinary?