Lombok means "chili" in Sasak, so it's no surprise that traditional Sasak food is often fiery hot. Lombok is a melting pot of cultures and this is reflected in the styles of food available, ranging from Dutch-influenced breads and martabak to authentic Chinese cuisine, spicy Padang food from Sumatra, and traditional Indonesian fare.
Sate pusut is a delicious local satay, with meats, spices, and coconut pressed onto flat skewers and grilled. Satay tanjung is a tasty specialty from the Tanjung in north Lombok, but also found in the cities, featuring fresh fish and spices wrapped on skewers and grilled. Lemper are small parcels of sticky rice filled with shredded chicken or beef and spices, wrapped in coconut leaves. Lontong are small conical shaped cakes of rice that have been wrapped in leaves and steamed. Some satays will be served with Lontong.
Another kind of famous local satay in Lombok
Lombok is famed for its specialty chicken dish ayam taliwang (small, free-range village chicken), which actually originates from the neighboring island of Sumbawa. A whole ayam kampung is grilled over coconut husks and served with sambal. Pelecing ayam is grilled chicken broken into pieces, added to the spicy and piquant sauce, and slowly simmered, turning the marinade into a delicious red coating.
|Taliwang Chicken and Plecing Kangkung|
Being a Muslim island, pork is not readily available except in the tourist areas and at Chinese restaurants and lamb is rare. Goat (kambing) however, is very popular. A whole young goat cooked on a spit is the meat of choice for celebrations, parties, and festive occasions, especially the Islamic festivals of Idul Adha and Eid-ul-Fitri. Beef is also freely available on Lombok and a staple in Lombok diets (unlike their Hindu cousins in Bali).
Large tuna, snapper, Spanish mackerel, barracuda, and a huge variety of shellfish are found in the seas off Lombok. Ikan (fish) are generally served whole and baked, fried, or more often, grilled on outdoor barbecues over a fire of charcoal and coconut husks. Local cumi cumi (squid) and udang (prawns) are cooked in fiery sambal, braised in oyster sauce, or deep fried.
|Fish Dish at Cianjur Restaurant|
Pic Courtesy: Derrick Chang
Particularly popular in Lombok are pelecing kangkung and pecel, sold from kaki lima and warungs everywhere. Pelecing kangkung is locally grown kangkung (a type of leafy water spinach) boiled and served with fresh bean sprouts and topped with a fiery red chili and tomato sauce. Pecel is a variant that combines kangkung, cabbage, and other vegetables, fresh bean sprouts, and sometimes tomato with spicy peanut sauce and prawn crackers. Lalapan is a plate of fresh cabbage, snake beans, and cucumber served with spicy sambal. Beberuk (or Beberuq) is a typical Sasak side dish of finely diced snake beans and small, round eggplant, with tomato, chili, shallots, lime, and spices. Ares is a unique dish made from the inner stem of the banana tree and mixed with coconut milk and spices. Olah-olah is made from the heart of banana tree flower mixed with coconut cream, mild spices, and finely chopped snake beans. Rujak is unripe fruit such as mango or papaya, mixed with ripe apple, guava, or pineapple, coated in a hot and sweet and sour sauce of sweet soy, palm sugar, and chilies.
|Mixed Rice (Nasi Campur)|