Travelling to Bandung would not be completed before you try their culinary. In Bandung, there are plenty of unique foods and drinks. You can enjoy these culinary treats on several culinary centers such as Paskal Food Market on Jalan Pasar Keliki, Braga Culinary Night at Jalan Braga, or throughout Jalan Setiabudi. Here are some popular foods and drinks in Bandung that you might want to try out:

1. Mie Kocok Bandung

Mie Kocok is a kind of noodle soup. A serving of Mie Kocok consists of noodles, bean sprout, beef tendons, meatballs, scallion, fried shallots, and beef broth soup. Literally, mie kocok means “shaked noodles”. It is named that way due to its cooking method. The noodles have to be shaken in a container filled with hot water. Mie Kocok has a soft texture but is rich in flavor. Some people like to add up some soy sauce or boiled chili for their personal taste. The price for a bowl of Mie Kocok is about $1.3 to $1.7.

A Bowl of Warm Mie Kocok (Source: Flickr. Credit: Tommy Christanto)
A Bowl of Warm Mie Kocok
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Tommy Christanto)

2. Colenak

Colenak is a snack made out of “tape”, fermented cassava with sweet and sour flavors. The tape is grilled and served with liquid brown sugar and grated coconut. This sweet snack was found by a Sundanese man named Aki Murdi in 1930. The man had a Colenak stand on Jalan Ahmad Yani.

The stand still exists until today with the name “Colenak Murdi Putra”. The stand has been inherited by Aki Murdi for three generation. Besides this stand, you can also buy colenak in many other stands and stalls at the street or culinary centers. A small portion of Colenak costs about $0.4 to $0.75.

3. Combro

Combro is a fried snack from Bandung made out of cassava. The cassava is grated, filled with oncom (fermented soy cake), and then fried. Traditional combro only have savory and rather sweet flavors. But now, you can find some combro that are spicy as well. This is because spicy foods are more preferred by Sundanese people. Combro is very cheap. It is only about $0.1 to $0.15 each.

4. Nasi Tutug Oncom

In Sundanese, “nasi” means rice, “tutug” means being mashed, and we have already explained what oncom means above. So it is clear that Nasi Tutug Oncom is a serving of rice mashed with oncom. After being mashed and stirred manually, this mixture is then fried or grilled.

Nasi Tutug Oncom must be consumed soon after being cooked, when it is still warm because the taste will change after it cools down. The meal is more enjoyable to eat with sambal and fried side dish such as chicken, fish, or tofu. The price of Nasi Tutug Oncom may vary, depends on the side dish you are choosing. It ranges between $0.6 to $2.

Nasi Tutug Oncom with Sambal and Fried Tofu (Source: Flickr. Credit: Zudi Susanto)
Nasi Tutug Oncom with Sambal and Fried Tofu
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Zudi Susanto)

5. Bandrek

The weather in Bandung is a little bit colder than any other city in Java Island. That is why a warm beverage is pretty popular in the city. There are many kinds of warm beverage in Bandung and Bandrek is one of those. This beverage is made only with traditional herbs and spices. The main ingredients are cinnamon, ginger essence, and palm sugar. Sometimes, it is added with some anise, coconut flesh, cloves, coriander seeds, lemongrass, or even black pepper.

To enrich the taste, milk or coconut milk is sometimes added as well. Bandrek is very effective to warm up your inner body which is very much useful during cold weather. A glass of Bandrek is available for $0.4 only. If you like this beverage, you can buy an instant Bandrek powder so you can make it by yourself at home. This powder is available at supermarket and traditional markets.

Original Bandrek and Bandrek with Milk Addition (Source: Flickr. Credit: Muhamad Robbyansyah)
Original Bandrek and Bandrek with Milk Addition
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Muhamad Robbyansyah)

6. Siomay and Batagor

Siomay is a kind of fish dumpling original from Bandung served with peanut sauce. To make siomay, the fish must be milled first and added with some flour before being steamed until it is cooked. Traditionally, siomay uses wahoo fish as its main ingredient. But now you can find many variety of siomay which was made out of other seafood such as prawns, squids, tuna, and mackerel.

Siomay is mostly served with condiments such as potato, tofu, steamed cabbage, and or gourd. Another variety of siomay is Batagor. Batagor is basically a tofu filled with fish meatballs. It also is served with the same peanut sauce and condiments as siomay. But Batagor is cooked by frying instead of steaming like siomay.

7. Es Lilin

Es Lilin is a frozen dessert traditional from Bandung served with a wooden stick as a handle. It is similar to modern Popsicle with different ingredients and cooking method. Es Lilin is made out of coconut milk and some fruit juice for flavoring.

The mixture is put in a small plastic bag and then it is frozen traditionally using special jar and salt. But nowadays, some people uses modern freezer to freeze it. Some popular flavors of Es Lilin are chocolate, orange, durian, jackfruit, avocado, green beans, and strawberry. To make it tastier, Es Lilin can be dipped in a chocolate sauce. Es Lilin costs only $0.1 each.

8. Ulukutek Leunca

Ulukutek Leunca is a dish made out of oncom and leunca sauted with spices. Leunca is a vegetable which is still biologically related to eggplant. Leunca has many useful healthy effects such as analgetic, diuretic, expectorant, sedative, and antibacterial. It is also high in protein, vitamin A, and some minerals.

Leunca tastes a little bit bitter if eaten raw. But after it is cooked to be Ulukutek Leunca, you can barely even taste the bitterness. It is savory and melts in your mouth, especially if you eat it with warm rice. Ulukutek Leunca is common in traditional food market, street stands, culinary centers, or even in a fancy Sundanese restaurant. The price may vary depends on where do you buy it. But if you get it from traditional market or street stands, it will cost you only about $0.6.

Ulukutek Leunca in a Wok (Source: Flickr. Credit: Putu Trisna Dewi)
Ulukutek Leunca in a Wok
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Putu Trisna Dewi)

9. Cimol, Cilok, and Cireng

The most popular snacks in Western Java are Cimol, Cilok, and Cireng. Basically, the three of them are similar. All are using starch flour batter as its main ingredients. All are also had a basic shape of a round like a tiny ball. The difference between those three is just the cooking method and the condiments.

On Cimol, the batter is fried and served with seasoning powder on top of it. There are several common flavors of the seasoning powder such as barbeque, cheese, and chili. On Cilok, the batter is steamed instead of fried. It is served with soy sauce and chili sauce. Sometimes, peanut sauce is also added on this serving.

On Cireng, the batter is added with some spices and fried. It is served with peanut sauce. Nowadays, there are several new variants of Cireng where they use teriyaki or barbeque sauce instead of traditional peanut sauce. There is also a variant called Cireng Isi where the cireng is not served with any sauce. Instead, they put some fillings inside of it such as cheese, chicken, tuna, sausage, and much more.


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