By: Emma Kwee
Why do I always gain 5 kilos when I’m in Indonesia? Isn’t the hot sun supposed to burn of calories? Well…In the Indonesia context ‘no’ often means ‘yes’ whereas ‘yes’ turns out to mean ‘no.’ So as a result ‘Yes, I’m full, will lead to another full plate’ as will ’No thank you, I had enough.’ By no means an easy mechanism to come to terms with. But you can say yes, yes, yes wholeheartedly to these 5 popular Bandung snacks!
Snack attack: A quick guide
Fitting in with the majority of the Indonesian population requires eating a lot of food and eventually not fitting your wardrobe anymore. Not only do you need to eat to live, but in Indonesia it also plays an important role in social interaction and maintaining relationships. The phenomenon of ‘oleh oleh’ basically entails 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 a list of the most popular ones and where to acquire them:
Batagor is one of the most well known Bandung creations, it stands for baso tahu goreng, tofu and fish dumplings wrapped in batter and then deep fried. The ultimate batagor seller isn’t easily pin pointed since there are several places claiming to be the first/best. You can never go wrong at Batagor RiRi at Jalan Burangrang, as the daily crowd who waits patiently for their turn proves.
- Pisang Bolen is a banana cake which is rich in taste and calories. 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 flavours such as tiramisu, chocolate marble and blackberry. 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.
Cendol is an overly sweet concoction of coconut milk and jelly with palm sugar syrup. Indonesians with a sweettooth tend to love this drink. The original cendol can be found at Elizabeth’s at Jalan Otista in Tegallega.
- Kripik or krupuk are dried and roasted shrimp crackers. They come in numerous variations such as tempe, banana peels, fish, shrimp and different nuts. There are several markets where you can try and buy all these crispy delicacies such as Cihampelas, Cibaduyut and around Pasar Baru as well as in the beforementioned Kartika Sari.