Last weekend we had an office outing. We were all so excited because this time they chose an interesting city for our outing program. This city is located in West Java around 2-3 hours drive from Jakarta.
The name of the city is Bandung. It was nicknamed as Parijs van Java (Paris of Java) by the Dutch for its resemblance to Paris and European atmosphere back at the colonial times.
Bandung has become a very popular weekend escape for Jakartans, who would crowd the city on weekends and national holidays.
Why Parijs van Java?
- Well known for the universities. Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) to Bandung is Sorbonne to Paris.
- Fashionista of its residents. Affordable clothing yet stylish and up-to-date. It doesn’t need to be that expensive to be charming and good looking. With such a long list of factory outlets and distro, are you sure you’re dare to shop till drop?
- Art deco and heritage buildings. About 650 heritage buildings preserve Bandung as Parijs van Java.
- Beautiful landscape. Bandung is located at the altitude of 768m with the surroundings of lush and beautiful mountains makes the climate mild and pleasant. It is also named as the Flower city.
- Culinary heaven. Bandung is famous for its great place for gastronomic adventures. Creative Bandung people provide unlimited array of culinary selections: from sidewalk warung on the nooks of the city, to middle class restaurants offering both good food and atmosphere, and to alfresco dining offering magnificent view to Bandung from mountainous area north of Bandung.
Many people visit Bandung 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 – a real great place for gastronomic adventures.
Out of the so many interesting culinary destinations, here are some examples of Bandung gastronomic delights:
Cilok, simple yet delicious
- It’s a typical cheap starch-based snack ofBandung. Starch dough is formed into ball shape, steamed and then served with spicy peanut sauce. The name ci-lok was acronym of ‘aci dicolok’ which literally means ‘pierced starch’
Cireng, the younger brother of Cilok
- Cireng acronym “aci digoreng” or ‘fried starch’. Similar to cilok, cireng is starch-based. The difference is, cireng is deep-fried in hot cooking oil. It is recommend to eat while it’s still hot or warm because cireng will be tough to chew when its cold.
Batagor, the famous Bandung snack
- This is a very popular street food found around Bandung. Batagor is an acronym for Bakso Tahu Goreng (Fried Tofu Balls) although, it’s not really a ball but more of a triangle shape. Tofu is stuffed with a mixture of savoury minced meat, steamed then coated with batter and fried; served with spicy sweet chilli-peanut sauce.
Yoghurt Cisangkuy, fresh and refreshed
- In this place we can enjoy the fresh yogurt under the shady trees. Different flavors of fresh home-made yoghurts are served here: strawberry, grape, lychee, mocca, and vanilla.
Bebek Van Java (Duck Delicacies)
- Want to try a variety of duck delicacies? we can visit Bebek van Java and taste fried duck with special hot condiment. We can also try duck tongseng (a kind of curry). This restaurant also offers fried and roasted chicken.
Sate Kelinci (Rabbit Satay)
- Visiting Lembang in northern Bandung, not only charmed by natural scenery and fresh atmosphere, we can also meet the funny-cute kelinci (rabbits). For those who are not satisfied just to see or stroke the rabbits, you can also taste them :-(………..which I will never do!
- In Lembang, there are some food-stalls that serve sate kelinci (rabbit satay). It looks similar to chicken satay, but people say rabbit satay has a unique taste. You can also try kelinci goreng (fried rabbit).
Sam’s Strawberry Corner – The Foodie Temptation
- Sam’s Strawberry Corner originated inBandung, the land of swarming factory outlets. With noodles as their specialty and of course Strawberry Juice.
- My favorite is the Sweet Yamin Chicken Noodle. They mixed the sauce right in the bowl; thus causing the bowl to look like it had stains on it. The chicken wasn’t in chunks like it’s normally served, but was very finely shredded in floss
- The best part was the refreshingly Strawberry Milkshake, which tasted like an unabashed Strawberry Juice. A tall glass of this thirst-quenching beverage, wrapped up my lunch perfectly after I had the sweet noodle..
- It is a beautiful place to enjoy delicious dinner in the cool atmosphere of northern Bandung. There are various kind of Indonesian , Western and Japanese cuisines. We can also enjoy the valley of Dago, and in the evening we can see the flickering lights of the Bandung city below. One of the popular dishes at The Valey is Zuppa Zuppa
but my favourite dish of The Valey is Bitter Ballen, a famous dish from the old Dutch recipe:
Don’t leave Bandung without Oleh-Oleh
The phenomenon of ‘oleh oleh’ is basically buying souvenir snacks for family and friends. Since Bandung is one of the richest and most popular destinations for food lovers, people will probably ask you to bring them some of Bandungs legendary traditional snacks. Here follows a few of the most popular ones and where to acquire them:
- Pisang Bolen is a kind of banana pie which is rich in taste and calories. There is another type as well called ‘Tape Bolen’ made of fermented cassava. The place to get them is at Kartika Sari, a traditional snack emporium where you most likely can find all other snacks you wish for as well. Kartika Sari’s original shop is located next to the train station while the newer branch can be found on Jalan I.R Juanda in Dago.
- Brownies Kukus are delicious steamed brownies available in mouthwatering flavors such as tiramisu, chocolate marble and blueberry. The brownie specialist in Bandung is Amanda’s, and this company has 5 branches throughout the city. The main shop is at Jalan Lengkong Besar.
- Kripik (chips). They come in numerous variations such as potato, tempe, jackfruit or banana. There are several markets where you can try and buy all these crispy delicacies such as Cihampelas, Cibaduyut and around Pasar Baru.
The scope of Bandung’s culinary wealth is a blessing to tourists and the local residents. Most people would agree that a trip toBandung is not complete unless you try some of the city’s tasty treats.