Flores is island located in the Province of East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. The island is famous for its tourism destination objects such as Lake Kelimutu, a series of three crater lakes with different colors that change from time to time. Flores is located very close to the famous Komodo Island with the view just as good. People who visit Komodo Island would likely to visit Flores as well. Marine life and water adventure is also popular in this small yet exotic island. Besides those three, there are still other beautiful destinations for tourism purpose in Flores.

Flores indeed has local cuisine which is various in kinds and unique in tastes. So if you ever pay a visit to this wonderful island, make sure to check out the local culinary to boost your adventurous tour. For your reference, here is the list of Floresian local culinary:


1. Ikan Tongkol Asap Kuah Santan

Ikan Tongkol Asap Kuah Santan means grilled tuna fish served with coconut milk gravy. This delicious culinary is originally from Ende, the town with Mount Kelimutu on it. To grill the fish, they use traditional technique using wooden board or coconut fibers as the grilling medium. The coconut milk gravy is seasoned with several kinds of spices and herbs.

A Serving of Ikan Tongkol Asap Kuah Santan (Source: ita-thediffusionofexperience.blogspot.com. Credit: ika)
A Serving of Ikan Tongkol Asap Kuah Santan
(Source: ita-thediffusionofexperience.blogspot.com. Credit: ika)

Ikan Tongkol Asap Kuah Santan is best served as a dish for warm rice. It is not difficult to find a food stands that sell this food, especially on the southern Ende.


2. Onde-Onde Goreng atau Rebus

In Flores, onde-onde is snack with round shape made out of cassava flour filled with brown sugar and wrapped with shredded coconut. The cassava flour is home-made by mashing the cassava until it gets soft and turn into flour. Onde-Onde. Onde-onde in Flores is originally from Ende. This snack used to be served as a morning snack or to be enjoyed with coffee.

Onde-onde can be cooked by boiling it or by frying it. Fried Onde-onde (onde-onde goreng) has crispier texture and more savory. Meanwhile, the boiled onde-onde (onde-onde rebus) is softer in taste and texture. There is also a snack named Onde-onde in Java. But it is a different snack than Flores. So do not get mixed up.


3. Moke

Moke is a traditional alcoholic beverage from Flores made from sugary fermentation derived from palm trees. There are two kinds of moke; white moke and black moke. White moke tastes sweet and can be processed into palm sugar. Black moke, on the other side, has bitter taste. Black moke is not really black in color. It is called that way due to its taste. Black moke is actually a distillated white moke.

A Man Pouring Moke from Bamboo Tube (Source: Flickr. Credit: jute)
A Man Pouring Moke from Bamboo Tube
(Source: Flickr. Credit: jute)

Even if it is alcoholic, but there is not a case when people gets drunk in Flores by drinking moke. It is because they have local ethics for drinking moke. They drink this beverage not to get drunk, but just to warm up their body and to bond with friends and neighbors.


4. Lawar

If Japan has sashimi, then Flores has a dish named Lawar. Similar to sashimi, lawar is a seafood dish served raw. The raw seafood needs to get through a series of process which does not include cooking. Lawar is usually made from small fishes, sea slugs, seaweed, squids, or jellyfish. To remove the fishy smell, the seafood needs to be soaked in sour gravy made from lime and traditional vinegar. The seafood is also seasoned with a certain combination of spices to add flavors.

Small Fish Lawar (Source: wisata.kompasiana.com. Credit: 17april.net)
Small Fish Lawar
(Source: wisata.kompasiana.com. Credit: 17april.net)

Lawar has refreshing sour and spicy taste. The texture is generally soft. This dish is most perfect to be served with boiled cassava. It is good to be eaten for meal or as a heavy snack. The dish can last to several days due to the fermentation of lime and vinegar. You can buy a jar of lawar and take it home to eat for several days ahead.


5. Jagung Titi

Jagung Titi is a snack similar to corn chips. Jagung titi is very common in Flores that almost every household know and have the tools to make it. Literally, jagung titi means hitting corn until it gets flat. So there it is that they do. People use a stone with the size of a fist to hit the corn until it turns flat and thin. The corn is then deep fried until it gets crisp. It is simple as that.


6. Rebok

Rebok is a unique snack originally from Flores. It is made from shredded coconut and flour. The batter is the fried without using oil. This non-cholesterol snack is unique because it looks like flour but taste like a biscuit. Rebok is perfect as an afternoon side and enjoyed with a glass of warm coffee.


7. Jawada

Jawada is also popular by the name “Kue Rambut” which literally means “Hair Cake”. The cake looks like a bunch of hair mess formed into geometrical shape. If you touch it, it has rough texture and it feels like you are touching a hairy head. Jawada is made from rice flour, brown sugar, starch, and a little bit of wheat flour. This snack is usually served after traditional events or sacred ceremony. It can also be enjoyed as an afternoon snack.

The Hairy Jawada (Source: food.detik.com. Credit: Lusiana Mustinda)
The Hairy Jawada
(Source: food.detik.com. Credit: Lusiana Mustinda)

To make Jawada, the ingredients are mixed and put into a small can that has been holed with small holes. It then will come out of those small holes, creating a thin and tiny batter. The batter is then fried and ready to be served.


8. Arak Jingga

Arak Jingga is another alcoholic beverage traditionally from Flores. It has dull color and is usually served in a huge glass like a beer. Arak jingga taste really bitter. It is made with traditional sake and pineapple. A glass of arak jingga is usually sold for $2.75.


9. Any Seafood Dishes

Flores Island is surrounded by sea which is rich in marine life. Thus, many kinds of seafoods are easy to be found. There are plenty of traditional seafood dishes in Flores that it is impossible for us to mention it one by one. Seafood dishes are much easier to find than meat dishes. If you want the traditional seafood dish, simply visit Flores restaurant. There are plenty of those thorough the island. Several recommended places to eat the delicious seafood dishes traditional from Flores are:

  • Paradise Bar and Restaurant on Jalan Binongko, Labuan Bajo, Western Flores

This restaurant offers many delicious seafood dishes; either it is traditional recipe or modern one.

  • Taman Kota Larantuka on Eastern Flores

The city park accomodates many kinds of street stands where you can get almost any kind of Flores traditional culinaries.

  • RM Makan De on Eastern Flores

This restaurant is located nearby the Larantuka City Park. They offer many kinds of traditional Flores culinary.


Flores has any kinds of culinary products; meal foods, snacks, and even beverages. With this complete combination, we believe that tasting the culinary of Flores will make your vacation to feel much more interesting.