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Thursday, January 05, 2012

BANDUNG AUTHENTIC FOODS PARADE (part 1): Sundanese Signature Dishes.

Hello Bandung lover!!!

Yep, the title speaks itself. Today, I want to share Bandung authentic foods particularly Sundanese signature dishes. Why they called them Sundanese? People living in West Java are called Sundanese and since they create the foods so we call them Sundanese cuisine or masakan urang Sunda in local.
There's so many on the list but I've decided to just share some of them now and share the rest on the next posts.

The food in Bandung is as diverse as its peoples. You can enjoy western restaurant serving steak, pizza and pasta, European style coffee houses offering fine coffees and pastries and traditional eateries serving up Sundanese foods.

Bandung is famous for its outdoor dining due to its pleasant climate in the evening. Many come to Bandung to pamper their taste buds, so if you decide to visit Bandung, you might also want to try these local delicacy while enjoying the city cool temperature.

I've browsed the pictures  so you can recognize the foods easily when you hunting them along with its brief description to help you imagine their tastes but don't get me wrong just because I didn't snap these foods by myself, I already tasted them all, some even my fav daily food. Yay.

Here you go,

This dish common not only in Java, but also in Bali and Madura  made to celebrate notable event, happy or otherwise.

This ceremonial dish featured a large cone of rice that cooked with coconut milk and  colored with kunyit or turmeric, surrounded by assorted  vegetables and meat which might vary according  on the occasion and  region  and each represent a value.

Tumpeng often served in Tampah ( a rounded bamboo platter) that is covered with banana leaf like you saw above. The rise mountain cone shape is traditional  and it said to represent the importance of climbing  toward life goals.

Anyway, today Locals don't have to wait for a special celebration just to enjoy this dish as they can eat it's simple version that locals prefer to named it, Nasi Kuning instead.
Nasi kuning often served for breakfast like this special Nasi Kuning image below,


One of the famous Sundanese dish, a must try local delicacy.

What set Nasi Timbel apart from others is the unique banana leaves wrap.

Nasi Timbel consist of steamed white or red rice, lalapan- raw vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, coriander leaves, eggplants, cabbages, lettuces, and so on, piece of chicken-fried or roasted Sundanese style, Sayur Asam- sour vegetable soup, sambal dadak- chili and other ingredient grinded together, fried tempe- fermented soybeans, Fried tofu- beancurd, a slice of asin- salted fish. If that's not enough, you can add fried goldfish, pepes ikan mas or gepuk- sliced of beef, mixed in traditional herbs, then fried.

Rice is one of the most staple foods in Indonesia and it's eaten at most meals.  
One of traditional rice recipes is Nasi liwet, made by slowly cooking the rice in coconut milk and some herbs. It is often cooked in a large pot like seen in the picture above.
You can eat Nasi liwet at any of the day asit is often cooked in the traditional way over an open fire, Locals usually cook it when they gather with friends or family on a picnic or in local language, Botram. 
Served on banana or teakwood leaves accompanied by boiled eggs, chicken liver, fried Tofu , fried Tempe , Asin (salted fish) sambal and fresh vegetables. 


Sayur Asem or Sayur Asam is very popular tamarind dish.

Its a must have on the menu of every Sundanese Restaurant. I Bandung I can recommend AA Laksana Restaurant in Bandung- their sayur asam is the best!

Peanuts, young jackfruit, melinjo, belimbi, chayotte, long beans and sweet corn to rich the flavor, all cooked in tamarind based soups.


Similar to sayur Asem is Sayur lodeh- coconut vegetables stew.

The ingredient are quite same, but all cooked in coconut milk soups with sliced tempeh or tofu.

Again I recommend AA Laksana Restaurant for yummy sayur lodeh- they add slice of carrots and red chili make the dish looks prettier and of course rich of vitamins!

Soto Bandung is another Sundanese dish worth savouring.

Its a clear beef soto with Daikon pieces dressed with  fried soybean and chopped celery. It looks and smells good and yummy. 


This is how Pais Lauk Emas or Pepes Ikan Mas (Bahasa) or Carp fish Pepes (English) looks like which also very famous authentic Sundanese food.

The main ingredients is fish, mixed with crushed and blended herbs, folded into banana leaf, then steamed until they're ready to eat.

Sundanese also make pepes with chicken, beef, oncom- fermented food made from nuts or beans, teri- anchovy, Jambal Roti or Peda beureum- types of salted fish, even with Tofu.


Empal Gepuk Sunda or Gepuk is sweet and spicy red beef.

The beef is simmered with spices and then pounded thin and pan-fried. In Bandung, the famous gepuk is Gepuk Nyonya Ong.


Pecel Lele or Catfish pecel also a popular traditional dish. Pecel Lele consist of fried catfish served with spicy tomato sauce.


Bakakak Hayam is Sundanese style grilled chicken. Served as seen in the picture.


Gurame Bakar or Grilled Gurame should be on your must try list when you visit Bandung.

Its a must have on the menu so it wont be difficult for you to order it at any Sundanese Restaurant.

In the picture above is how Cibiuk Restaurant serves Gurame Bakar.


These many types of Sate or Satay in Sundanaise cuisine, one of the most well known for its delicacy is Sate Maranggi from Purwakarta.

Goat, Lamb can be made as Satay in Sundanese style like Sate Maranggi. Other than that, chicken, beef and even Rabbit- which I never tried and likely will never try hehehe.

My favorite satay is lamb satay which also my Dad and his Dad fav.
Lamb Satay or Sate domba in local, is a must serve on our family gathering and my step grad mother was the best satay maker. I loved her peanut sauce. Yum!


Lotek is Sundanese traditional salad, made from mixed boiled vegetables with  peanut sauce.

Its very popular in Bandung from generation to generation. Locals prefer to serve the dish for lunch, which seems to be the perfect time to enjoy it. You can eat it with rice, or just add lontong (rise cake) into it, like the one ordered.
I can recommend Lotek Kalipah Apo at Jalan Kalipah Apo if you want to try it. In my case, anywhere I order it or made it myself, like most people in Bandung, I like it really spicy! :).


Karedok is another Sundanese signature dish. Unlike Lotek, this type of salad food is a raw vegetables salad in peanut sauce.

Made from cucumber,legum, small green eggplant, bean sprouts, cabbage leaves and Thai basil. Its the lesses galangale and oncom which gives unique aroma and taste to the Karedok make the food different from Lotek.

Best time to enjoy Karedok is definitely during a hot day, its refreshing taste just perfect- and local likes it spicy, to raised your eating appetite.


When you talk about Sundanese signature dish, you can not miss Ulukutek Leunca.

Ulukutek Leunca main ingredients are Oncom, Leunca- small green eggplant, young tomato and Padi chili

If Javanese has developed their fondness with Tempe, Sundanese has developed the fondness with Oncom. Both are fermented product but the different is ,Tempe made from fermented beans while Oncom made from fermented peanuts.


Another side dish in Sundanese cuisine is Urap or commonly known as Urap sayur

Urap is cooked vegetables like long green beans, bean sprouts, water spinach, white cabbage, chayote, dressed with spiced grated coconut.

This is really old dish but still a favorite for many people. If you are a vegetarian, this is a best choice too.


Ohw I can not not post this one haha! and Sundanese will know why I say this!:)

Jengkol or Jenkis  in local slank or dogfruit in English. 

Despite of its strong smell, the beans are popular in Sundanese cuisine and among Sundanese itself, especially for my Dad generations. They fried it, grilled it or make as spicy rendang like shown in the picture above.

Some hate it some like it or you crazy about it? ah well you decide hehehe. I already decided, No way! to this one LOLOLOL! Its so stink when they eat it and even after! oh my God!

BUT if you ever want to try it, why not just don't forget not to leave the stink on your toilet after you peed. Smh. LOL and also do not eat too much even when you get addicted to it coz Jengkol can cause you djengkolism- noooo that's not  a band name, its means jengkol bean poisoning, the beans are mildly toxic due to the presence of the djengkolic acid an amino acid but no worry its a safe food just need to know how to eat it.


Look how Sundanes likes spicy foods made sambal most important and most common condiment in Sundanese cuisine.

Sundanese often said, 'whatever you eat as long as with sambal, anything goes!'


These deep fried crackers made from starch and other ingredients are very popular-Indonesia has perhaps the largest variety of kerupuk.

Above are the most popular types of Kurupuk or Kerupuk in Bahasa.
Kerupuk kampung also well known as kerupuk putih- Cassava starch craker on the first image. Prown based kerupuk on the second image..

The Sundanese cuisine characterized with its freshness, with simple and clear taste ranged from savory salty, fresh sourness, mild sweetness, to hot and spicy. It is one of the most popular food in Indonesia.

Sundanese has traditional dine style called lesehan: seating on the straw or bamboo mat. It is also common also to eat with one's hands there for a bowl of tap water or in local Kobokan, with a slice of lime in it to give a fresh scene always served. Kobokan is used to wash one's hand before and after eating.

This tradition dine style still can be found in rural village or at Traditional Sundanese Restaurants. Other dine style is dine at Saung- small eating pavilions near or over the fresh water fish ponds might be featured by some Sundanese restaurants.

On earlier time, saung was build near of rice field, a really modest place for farmers enjoying their lunch or resting during working in their rice field.

Stay tune for Bandung food Parade part 2!


Text source
 Personal knowledge & experience
Image credit by


  1. Hi Dita,

    Thanks for introducing these wonderful Sundanese dishes. They look really nice. I would like to try these and would love to see some recipes. :)

    Spoon and Chopsticks

  2. Oh thank you SC, yes you should try them and hope you like them too. Oh you right I should share some of their recipe, well maybe on my next post.:)

    Thank you for dropping by and your feedback. I like your simple yummy recipes btw,keep them coming!^^

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