Lombok Food

Not unlike Bali, Lombok has a host of Indonesian, Chinese, and Western foods. Although the word lombok, translates to chili pepper, the food is not particularly spicy. The more developed areas naturally have greater selections. Mataram is the big city located on the west coast where you can find a nearly endless selection of both warungs and restaurants. Ampenan is a small area in the west of Mataram and there many local favorites can be found. Street vendors are all over the place, as is common throughout Indonesia. Some famous Sasak foods include:

Ayam Taliwang

Ayam Taliwang + Fish

Ayam Taliwang – A whole grilled wild young chicken brushed with a unique chili sauce and served with rice, vegetables, and some delicious sambal. The chicken is butterflied then cooked whole, complete with the neck and head. This can come with varying degress of spiciness. Per chicken (with rice and vegetables) will cost around 40,000 IDR.

Sate Sapi (Beef Satay) – In Ampenan and other areas you can find older women, referred to as Ibu in Bahasa Indonesia, cooking beef sate on the side of the road. The meat is of higher-than-usual quality, having very little fat on each skewer. This sate is unique because unlike Sate in Bali, it is served with a coconut milk curry sauce that is simply exquisite. Instead of sambal you are given chili peppers and limes. Sate is usually served with cakes of rice compressed  inside of banana leaves, known as lontong. One portion of sate costs around 10,000 IDR for 10 sticks, lontong is a couple thousand per serving. According to locals, the amount of people cooking this particular kind of sate is getting smaller and smaller every year so be sure to seize the opportunity. About 99% of the time, eating food from the street vendors is totally safe, just be sure to use your discretion.

Sate Ikan Tanjung - Originating from Tanjung in Northern Lombok, this sate is prepared with pieces of tuna or snapper and mixed with lemongrass, garlic, coconut milk, chili and other spices. The mixed ingredients are pressed onto a stick and then grilled.

Ares – This dish is made from the inner stem, or pith, of a banana tree and then combined with coconut juice, garlic and spices.

Pelecing Kangkung – Water convolvulus, or kangkung, is popular all over Indonesia but different from each region. In Lombok it is cooked and then mixed with a sauce of chili, fish paste, tomato, salt and lime.

Mie Teki (also known as Mie Kering) - Although not originally from Lombok, this bowl of noodles is an extremely popular food for locals and only the most well-informed of visitors will know where to go. Manalagi 2 is located on Jalan Pabean in Ampenan, near to the women selling sate on the sidewalk. This Chinese Indonesian dish consists of a bowl of dried noodles on top of which is a fried dumpling (pangsit goreng), chicken meat, a chicken meatball (bakso ayam), crumbly pieces of fried chicken fat and a green leafy vegetable. The bowl is served with an accompanying smaller bowl with chicken broth, known as kuah, as well as sambal. Manalagi 2 has gained so many local followers that their operating hours are condensed. They open late in the morning and close in the early evening. This makes for a great lunch stop on the way up or down the west coast as it is near to Banyumulek.

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