Top 5 Foods to eat in Indonesia

Oh.. tis Friday.. I feel like a bit, of BITS! Blogger in the Spotlight today is none other than the lovely Gaby, from Indonesia.

Indonesia cuisine is known as ‘spice and seasoning daredevil’ and is very tasteful! Many of them are influenced from asiatique/european cuisine, but there are so many dishes that are originally Indonesian, and western food is now actually starting to adapt Indonesian cuisine in their menus. Yes, Indonesian cuisine is truly versatile.

Here are my 5 top choices of Indonesia Food and where you can find while you visit this beautiful archipelago on your next gastronomy expedition:

Pic 8-Lotek


1. LOTEK & KAREDOK (Indonesia Green salad with grinded peanut sauce & turmeric)

Gado-gado is known as a very famous Indonesian side dish. Everybody loves it.

But Lotek and Karedok, specialty of West Java are a bit different, and very tasteful too! They both use lots of green vegetables (spinach, cabbage, water spinach, bean sprout, egg plant, basil leaf – oh yum the crunchiness makes me drool as I’m typing this). However, in Lotek, all vegetables are boiled first, while Karedok is all raw and fresh and a strong grinded turmeric flavor is very prevalent.

Pic 9-Karedok


Best LOTEK in Bandung & Jakarta:
Jl. Kalipah Apo no.42
Bandung, West Java
Tel : +62 22 420 5983

Jl. Batanghari no.21
Jakarta pusat
Tel : +62 21 3866139

2. NASI BAKAR (Grilled spicy rice)

We Indonesians, cannot be separated from NASI or rice.

We even say : It’s not eating without ‘Nasi’.

My father and the whole family went to a nice steakhouse one day in Bandung, West Java. With the meat, French fries, dessert, and all the side dishes, once we got home, he asked our kitchen help to cook him some ‘Nasi Goreng‘ ! That’s Indonesia’s most famous dish everyone can make with the left over ‘Nasi’, egg (omelet or poached), chili, and add some vegetable garnish, etc. etc.

NASI BAKAR is not usual, as we normally eat steam or fried rice. At one restaurant in Tuban street, Kuta, Bali, I found this interesting ‘Nasi Bakar’, wrapped in banana leaf. They roll the rice with some shredded chicken, basil leaf and special seasoning mixed into the steamed rice before hand,  and then grill it on a traditional grill over charcoal. The perfect vegetable dish to go with NASI BAKAR is the Spicy chili long bean.

Pic 1-Nasi Bakar

HOT Rice.. HOT!

Find NASI BAKAR at :
l. RAYA KUTA 77 X (30 METER from PLAZA BALI to the north)
Tel: +62 361 803 7575
Become a Fan of Nasi HOT on Facebook


From street peddlers to 5 stars fine dining restaurants, you get the satay. There are so many varieties of sate/satay (chicken, mutton, beef, pork, seafood, etc),with also a variety of sauces (peanut, sweet soy sauce, ‘Padang’/West Sumatran sauce). It’s also easy to eat as all the ingredients are cut into bite size pieces and taste good!

Goat satay – Hadori, Bandung-West Java
Best place to eat this in Bandung, the capital of West Java is behind the “Angkot station St.Hall”. The place is still the same to date since I was a little kid, from 70’s! Although it is located inside or behind a busy a bit slump public transport terminal, famous people, celebrity, army generals from Jakarta all love Sate Hadori. The young goat meat is so tender and juicy, I can’t resist…If it’s not because their savory it’s impossible they keep doing well in the business till now.

Pic 2-Satay Hadori

Satay Hadori

It came in two types of sauce :
–    Not so thick peanut sauce
–    Soya sauce with chopped red onion & green chili called ‘rawit’.

Pic 3-Satay sauce

Satay sauce

Jl. Stasiun Timur 11-12
Bandung, West Java
Tel : +62 22 4232312

Trio Satay – Karma Steakhouse at Karma Jimbaran
Satay in Fine dining? Certainly does exist! Check out what Karma Steakhouse did with : beef,chicken, and seafood satay. I usually avoid red meat, but this time their beef satay looks so tempting, scrumptious. It’s so tender, sweet, and juicy, ohhh…yumm…This restaurant is located in a luxurious villa in front of Jimbaran Bay – famous with its spectacular sunset and grilled seafood. No wonder their mix of tuna and prawn satay combined in the Seafood Satay, described Jimbaran’s best fruit de mer  try also they Jimbaran King Prawn cocktail, mamma mia…C’est bon!)

Pic 4-Trio Satay

Trio Satay

at Karma Jimbaran
Jalan Bukit Permai, Jimbaran, Bali, 80362
Tel: +62 361 708 800
Email: [email protected]

4. RUJAK (Indonesia fruit salad with peanut & vinegar sauce)

Rujak (read : roojak) or the malaysians/singaporeans pronounce/spell it ‘Rojak‘ is Indonesia most favorite healthy snacks/dessert! Every region on the country has its unique and specialty in terms of what fruits used, and the kind of sauce they make. And they’re all deliciously fresh!

RUJAK CUKA – Balinese vinegar fruit salad
Balinese prefers thin liquid vinegar with sugar sauce to their Rujak instead of grinded thick javanese peanut sauce. They even have this strongly smell ‘Rujak Kuah Pindang’ where fermented fish & prawn paste is added to the sauce, and not everyone likes it (I do!). Most favorite fruit for this type of sauce : young raw mango….sour and hot!

Pic 5-Rujak Cuka latest

Rujak Cuka

As above : this is what mostly indonesian (or javanese) like for their Rujak sauce : lots of grinded palm sugar, added by chopped fried peanut, and colorful fruits : ripe yellow mango, guava, young papaya, star fruits!

Pic 6-Rujak Uleg

Rujak Uleg

Now look at this :
RUJAK BANCI aka sissy rujak
Why do they call it sissy? According to the owner of Lotek Kalipah Apo in Bandung, because of its inconsistency, they name it that way. The sauce is ‘in between’ Rujak Cuka and Rujak Uleg – not thick or thin…Hmm..that explains all. What’s in it? : bean sprouts, bangkuang, pineapple, young grated papaya. Get Rujak in street peddler, restaurants that serves vegetabel dishes, warungs, food courts.

Pic 7-Rujak-Banci

Rujak Banci

5. AYAM GORENG SAMBAL MANGGA (Fried Chicken with Mango Sambal)

Ayam Goreng Sambal Mangga. We all know fried chicken.

But the unique thing about this dish has a contradictive flavor between : a savory fried chicken and the sourness of grated Mango Rujak. Sweet, sour, and freshness all well blended, you can yet feel each different flavor in every chew, yum! You can choose the spiciness level of the Mango Rujak Sambal, they use Lalijiwo Mango – known as its distinguish character in mango family as crunchy, dry, not too sour. The fried chicken will melt in your mouth once you bite it with the Mango Sambal! Delightful!

Pic 10-Ayam Grg Mangga

Ayam Goreng Mangga

Find Ayam Goreng Sambal Mangga at:
at Mal Bali Galeria Simpang Siur
Denpasar, Indonesia, 80361
Tel : +62 361 7417169
Follow Warung Warung on Facebook

Pic 11-BeeAbout Gaby, this week’s guest writer:

All good things come in small packages and this is totally true with Gaby. Do not let this petite sized girl fool you. She is a bundle of excitement and energy that will not quit! Gaby is Keith’s (of Velvetescape) good friend and I had the pleasure of getting to know her through him. What I like most about Gaby is her intense passion for food! She describes herself as, a Javanese living in Bali and enjoy the island lifestyle so much. Blogging about Bali and its beautiful beaches on  and yummy blog posts on the bi-lingual culinary blog

Gaby is also a Sushi, ice cream, chocolate, and music lover.

Follow her on twitter @gabybali & @BaliYummyBlog

Gaby’s website: Bee Amazing & Wisatakulinerbali


  • Oh but what about ayam penyet? Or mee baso? Or the lovely chocolate apukat drink? And so much more… Maybe a top 50 foods to eat in Indonesia can cover more… Just too many delicious eats! 😉

  • worldwindows says:

    I spent alot of time in Indonesia and yes its foody goody land. I look forward to lay my hands on these food too.

  • jotting this all down, lets see what i can find in jakarta n bandung next week!

  • bartcatapult says:

    How Gaby’s described each food make me starving right now 🙂 I love ROOJAK!!!! pedas pedas pedas, cabe cabe cabe :).

    mmm nice to have NASI BAKAR on my lunch today…Yummy!!

  • minchow says:

    This is amazing!! I have had some exposure to Indon food but none of them looked anything like the dishes here. This is the ultimate guide!

  • utary says:

    Yummmm, the nasi bakar – must try tonight but those rujak make my saliva running slurp… I need rujak now.m

  • Sean says:

    mmm, all that seems a lot tastier than most of the indonesian food available in kl! the nasi bakar looks like it’s worth traveling to bali and back for (especially since i’ve still not eaten balinese food in bali before!) 😀

    • cumi&ciki says:

      sean, u eat so prolifically.. i’ve seen u try most all the Indonesian joints in KL. Must get u to the REAL Java to try their food – see what u think. Awaiting ur thesis ;P

  • BaliYummyBlog says:

    Cumi+Ciki, and everyone who left comments here are invited for a round of : NASI HOT + AYAM GORENG SAMBAL MANGGA when you are in Bali, it’s on @BaliYummyBlog/@gabybali ! And Anyone who comes to Bandung,West Java between 1-15 June will get a complimentary ‘petite size’ driver who will take you to LOTEK KALIPAH APO to try the crunchy & scrumptious LOTEK, KOLAK, RUJAK BANCI aka sissy rojak….
    Kenny/Lifeforbeginners is right : I should’ve written Top 50 Food to eat in Indonesia (that includes : appetizers, main course, dessert, snacks), and ‘Bart’ will be exhausted and drooling taking pics of all the dishes.
    THANK YOU ALL, appreciate it! Thanks so much Cumi & Ciki!!! <3

  • Ken says:

    Wow! The food looks delicious! When I get to Indonesia (eventually) I’m going to definitely try your recommendations!

  • Yovie Setiawan says:

    Hi Gaby,
    really nice article and informative… 🙂
    Reading your article make me starving again ….! wkwkwk
    really enjoy to read your blog a lot …
    Thanks also for promoting our “Nasi Bakar” @Warung Nasi Hot Kuta

  • foodbin says:

    these fav, put me on cloud 9.

  • BaliYummyBlog says:

    @YovieSetiawan is the owner of NASI HOT, Tuban Street – the famous Kuta, Bali.

    Hey…Pak Yovie….this is not my blog!!! This is Cumi & Ciki’s……You must haven’t had lunch yet…Get the NASI BAKAR laa…your vision will be clear again to see my guest post here….hahaha!!!

    Ciki, you really made my day, I almost in tears when I was having lunch at NASI HOT today (YES! Even I was drooling reading my own post!!!) to read people’s comment here, after a 2 months hiatus, it is such a joy to write again, and it’s an honor to write a guest post on yours.

  • Keith says:

    OMG! Yum, yum, yum…. Great post Gaby! I’m soooo hungry now! That ayam goreng mangga looks absolutely divine!


  • Dear Gaby thank you for the positive plug on the Karma Steakhouse.. and the photography is also extremely good..Cheers The Karma Team

  • Eka jegeg says:

    Bee, two thumbs up!! i love those food beside Ayam Goreng Sambal Mangga, but I am sure it tastes delicious too!
    Roojak? who doesn’t like Roojak?? non-stop drolling to only see the picture!! meh!!
    and Karedok?…..heaven!!! Dutch says…..erg lekker!!!

  • vidyaputra says:

    starving…the food the photo… love the satay and sambal mangga

  • Daniel says:

    Nasi bakar top 5 food?!? Thats saying alot….will be in bali this may and will try and find this place. Top 5. WOW.

    Also heading to bandung…if this is the best goat saty….Must give it a try.

    Btw I’d like to add two dishes thats utterly unbeatable in the world. They are pork dishes though.

    -Ibu Oka Babi Guling in Ubud. Main reason of going to bali.
    The best roast pork ever. it blew my mind when i tasted it the first time. It has a great reputation and the food was even better in real life.

    – Sate Babi krekot in jakarta. Pork Sate…using all kinds of porkmeat.
    The Sate ati is totally unbeatable.Till ibu oka…my must eat place when in Indo.

  • Tiwi says:

    Dear Gaby, I think lotek don’t have turmeric in it’s ingredients, it’s kencur that bring the strong nice taste. For nasi bakar…… Oh it is so yummy. I suggest to try nasi bakar at Alas Daun resto Jl. Citarum. Delicious yellow rice “nasi bakar” to die for. Unfortunately it’s only served on weekend days.

  • Rujak Ulek I want to try it, I think that so nice 🙂

  • tomase says:

    not really yummy all of these foods are second world

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