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Bandung Culinary Guide

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Many people visit Bandung, the capital of West Java province, to pamper their taste buds. You'll be amazed with what Bandung has to offer. From various food sold on street vendors to haute cuisine, every visitor will be able to find something to their liking here, in Bandung.

Sundanese (the people living in West Java are called Sundanese) has tempting refreshments. Sundanese food tends to be bland yet tasty unless you add sambal dadak (chili and other ingredients grinded together) to your food. If you're looking for more spicy taste, just add this sambal dadak with nasi timbel (steamed rice formed into a roll inside a banana leaf) and other specialties. This mouthwatering treat is too good to be missed! Usually sour vegetables soup (sayur asam) is accompanied by nasi timbel.

Sundanese people eat vegetables a lot. Sometimes they even eat raw vegetables (called lalap or lalapan) like cucumbers, tomatoes, coriander leaves, eggplants, cabbages, lettuces, and so on. Lalapan is usually accompanied by sambal dadak.

Probably one of the most well known dish, timbel, consists of nasi timbel, lalapan, sambal dadak, a piece of chicken (fried or roasted Sundanese style), fried beancurd, fried tempeh, a slice of jambal (salted fish). If you want to, you can add gepuk (slices of beef, mixed in traditional herbs, then fried), pepes (main ingredients such as fish, chicken, mushroom, etc. mixed with crushed and blended herbs, folded into a banana leaf, then steamed until they're ready to eat), sauteed greens, and others. Nasi timbel is a favorite among locals and visitors. Batagor baso tahu goreng (literally means, fried meatballs & beancurd) is one of the most well-sought specialty. Made from blended fish and beancurd, with a special peanut sauce, batagor's popularity remains constant.

People with sweet tooth might fancy pisang molen, an Indonesian traditional pastry filled with banana and cheese. For a variation, try brownies kukus (steamed brownies). Es cendol, made of blended/grinded rice, palm sugar, and coconut milk, is delightful on a hot day. While for a colder day, you might want a taste of bandrek or bajigur.

Bandung also offers various milk products most notably, yoghurt. Basically there are two kinds of yoghurt in Bandung the thin one, and the thick one (French style).

Hot snacks ala Bandung are widely sold throughout the city. Among them are gehu-toge tahu- (beancurd with beansprouts and vegetables filling), pisang goreng (fried banana), cireng-aci goreng- (fried tapioca), and many more. You might be interested in trying other snacks such as, nangka goreng (fried jackfruit), peuyeum goreng (fermented cassava, fried), nanas goreng (fried pineapple), and so on. Ketan bakar (roasted sticky rice) and jagung bakar/rebus (roasted/boiled corns) are also recommended.

Nasi goreng (fried rice), although not originally from Bandung, is always the locals' favorite. The ingredients vary, according to people's preference. Sometimes the rice is mixed with seafood (usually shrimps, pieces of cuttlefish, pieces of crab's flesh), chicken and vegetables, mutton and vegetables, salted fish, and so on.

Cakue, a dish made of flour dough then fried, is also worth a try.

Bandung also has other kinds of restaurants, like Padangese (food from West Sumatra, very spicy in taste), Javanese (sweeter in taste), Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Western, Indian, and so on.


To Eat, To Buy, To Stay,

Bandung has it all, cozy little inns to five-starred hotels. Just click the Find a Hotel button. Or see our Travel Directory (West Java --> Kota Bandung).

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  • If you plan to go to Bandung often, buy a complete map in major book stores. It's a great investment. That way you might save some money. Instead of renting a car, for instance, you can maximize the public transportation to bring you anywhere you want to go.
  • If you're not certain of local customs, language, menu, etc. don't hesitate to ask!
  • It is advisable to learn a few important phrases in Indonesian. Not all Indonesians can speak English well.

Getting There and Around

Get Around

If you have multiple destinations in mind, you'd better rent a car for a day (or two). There are taxi services in major streets and malls. Other parts of the cities mostly use public transportation called angkots, which are only recommended if you actually live in Bandung.

Get There

Fondly called Parahyangan meaning, Land of the Gods, Bandung has both metropolitan and homey atmosphere at the same time. Full of eateries, factory outlets, and malls, many people find going on a trip to Bandung both enjoyable and memorable.

Ways to reach Bandung from Jakarta may be as many as to Rome, so to speak. You can ride trains, buses, or use the many shuttle services with hourly schedules. Flights are less favored because the time it takes to travel to Jakarta's airport (Soekarno Hatta) and check in may take longer than travelling by car.