Food is life and it’s always part of our travel. This article summarizes all the delicious food I had tried before and after climbing 6 mountains in 6 days in Central Java, Indonesia. From Jakarta to Bali, Indonesian cuisine is one of the best I had in my traveling years. It always amazes me how simply they turn a small number of ingredients into a flavourful dish. Okay, I will not make this long so let’s check on this!


Let’s start in Jakarta where I was lucky to be hosted by an incredible family of Pipi. My first day was a big welcome for me since her mother Hening prepared a huge breakfast before heading on my Jakarta city tour. The table was exquisitely filled with hard-boiled eggs, vegetable soup, sauteed bitter gourd, and steamed rice. The taste of the beef rendang was unforgettable. Tender and just perfect amount of ginger and spices.

The hearty breakfast prepared by my host’s mother. Terima kasih Hening and Pipi!
Still the best beef rendang I had in Indonesia. Terima kasih Hening!
Homemade tempe by Hening. It is one of the superfoods in Indonesia made from soybeans under the process of natural culturing and controlled fermentation which binds it into a cake form. It is also called as “Indonesia’s gift to the world”
Pepes tahu. It’s tofu covered wrapped in banana leaves. Pepes is an Indonesian cooking method of wrapping food using banana leaf then secured with a small nail made from a central rib of the coconut leaf. After the careful wrapping, it is then steamed or grilled in charcoal. All the flavors and juice are infused inside.


I was so excited to meet the participants of ASEAN Friendship Trekkers in Surakarta also called Solo in the modern days. It was fast and easy to navigate around Jakarta with the help of Pipi. She even drove me to the train station and made sure that everything was fine. My Couchsurfing host Muhammad and I decided to try some of the local dishes in one of the hippie restaurants in Solo. It was Ramadan so normally, people would prepare a lot of food to serve after breaking the fast. I had a lot of them with mixed nasi goreng, tempe, pepes, and nasi beras merah, chicken sausage, grilled shrimps, and a whole lot more. In Indonesia, you just have to get everything you want in a buffet style and pay.

The typical food scene in Surakarta City and the rest of Indonesia. Pick, pay, and enjoy!
These are the rice (nasi) choices you can have to pair with your viand.


After the exhausting climb in 6 mountains, we deserve to have a big feast in Semarang. We had a great time in a nice restaurant, at the night market and tried some street foods.  Jemmy was a big instrument in this wisata kuliner for I had tried some of the best Indonesian dishes locals would enjoy daily.

Tahua or beancurd soup for 28, 400 IDR a serving.
My favorite in Semarang City! Es Teler. Mixed fruits of jackfruit, durian, young coconut meat, avocado, wax apple in coconut juice, and condensed milk. Available in Pencinan Semarang from Friday to Sunday night only.
An open kitchen is common in Semarang. Fresh ingredients, affordable, simple preparations, and delicious!
Kerang goreng or fried cockle. Kerang is an edible bivalve mollusk that lives in sandy beaches around the world. Perfectly dipped in sambal.
Gulai kepala kakap. Perfect for fish lovers like me. This fish is cooked right in front of you. Like a typical scene in movies and cooking shows. The thing is you don’t need to pay a lot when you are in Indonesia.
Gulai belly kacap. The belly is so yummy that they only prepared a separate part of the fish. How does it taste? Fatty and lemony and a bit sour with the squeeze of lemon and some local herbs.
Batagor. Originally from Sundanese cuisine in Bandung. Made from fried fish dumplings and served with peanut sauce. Super yummy and one of my favorite!
Dawet Durian. Heaven dessert. Don’t leave the Semarang Night Market without trying this sweet treat!
The man behind my wisata kuliner- Jemmy! Terima kasih!


While waiting for my couchsurfing host Dee, I had all the time to enjoy at one of the small scale local restaurants in Yogyakarta. Tried their grilled catfish and freshwater shrimps delicately brushed with sweet fresh sambal. In the afternoon, we booked a museum tour where we learned playing some traditional musical instruments and a hearty dinner was served after. I’m craving for that fat fried catfish. Sweet, spicy, and savory taste. The next day, we visited the holy Borobudur  Temple and another food trip was relished.

Beef stew and sate udang (shrimp). Perfectly paired with steamed rice.
Lele goreng or fried catfish
Sate udang madu (shrimp satay honey) with rice and some fresh cucumber and sambal.
Another lele goreng that was served right after the musical lesson at the Museum of Yogyakarta.
A typical dinner called pastel. This is rice, hard-boiled egg in peanut sauce, fried noodles and tempe wrapped in paper. Super yummy! Thank you CS Yogyakarta especially to Dee & Lili for the dinner!
This is it guys! Welcome to Candi Borobudur! Stewed beef organ meats! Sweet, spicy, and meaty! Perfect meal before starting the temple walk.


I spent a few days in Malang before heading south of Java. Staying with a Couchsurfing host Ikhsan and discovered some local dishes in town. Oh, I loved the sate and the sweet treat we had while walking on the streets of Malang.

Nasi rawon. A strong rich tasting traditional Indonesian beef black soup originally from Surabaya in the Indonesian province of East Java. It uses black nuts/keluak (Pangeum edule, fruits of kepayang tree) as the main spice which gives the strong nutty flavor and dark color to the soup. For 11,000 IDR (75 cents USD).
Es teler. You can find this along the streets in Malang City. A mixture of wintermelon, wax apple, avocado and lavishly swimming in young coconut juice & meat. Sweetened with condensed milk. Perfect for a hot afternoon. For 10000 IDR.


After the tiring hike in Mt. Bromo, I decided to spend the rest of my holidays in this touristic yet magical island. Probably the happiest place in Indonesia. For non-Muslims, this is the only place in Indonesia where you can enjoy pork meat. Majority of the population embraced the Balinese Hinduism.

Kare Ayam (Chicken curry). Original Indonesian chicken curry served with steamed rice & shrimp crackers. For 55,000 IDR.
My first babi guling in Bali. Complete meal composed of the ff.: babi guling (roast suckling pig); Lawar (coconut milk, jackfruit, sambal, and pork strips), Be goreng ( fried pork); Oret ( sausage made of egg and flour); Daun singkong ( cassava leaf cooked with chilis, turmeric, salt, and pepper). Topped with Teh Sariwangi. It reminds me of home eating lechon during the weekend. Sedap! 33, 000.00 IDR
Fish head in sweet and sour soup. I tried one of the restaurants in Kota Bali. Super yummy but less meat!
Sate Lilit Ikan (Minced seafood satay). Made from the delicate flavors of prawn and fish, spears of lemongrass, cooked over the fire of coconut husk. A local Balinese cuisine. 35,000 IDR.
Sapi lada hitam (beef with black pepper sauce) Tangy taste of beef with zucchini and fresh pineapple slices. For 29000 IDR in one of the restaurants in Ubud.

Back to Jakarta

Before heading to the airport, my host Pipi promised a nice lunch so I can try more local dishes. It was a success and had a great time hanging out with her despite her busy schedule. I will never forget the nice and tender fried young duck I had plus the sweet treats.

Coto Makassar (Organ meats soup) for 35000 IDR. Perfect to start lunch! Rich in protein but high in uric acid!
Bebek Muda (Young Duck) for 22500 IDR. My most favorite in Jakarta. Crispy, juicy, and tender. Highly recommended!
Sop Buah (mixed fresh fruits bathed in strawberry juice) for 11500 IDR.
Es Campur for 11500 IDR. Another sweet treat of mixed shredded young coconut, corn, jackfruit, and black jelly topped with ice.

I can’t wait to be back in the wonderful Indonesia!

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I live my life everyday celebrating. An easy go lucky guy. Always hungry for adventure and learning different cultures. If I'm not at the summit, I'm at the sea. Traveling is my way of life. Deeply in love with mountaineering, swimming, skinny dipping, island hopping, fishing, and cycling. Loves good food, beer, music, and good human conversation. At home, I used to cook, do yoga, and meditate. A coffee lover. Stay most of my time at the outdoors, breathing the cold air, tasting the saltiness of sea breeze, watch the waves swiftly caressing the sand, listen to the flowing water of the river, pitch my tent or hang my hammock and sleep under 5 billion stars. I hate manicured places (resorts). Adores sunrise and sunset which gives me extraordinary energy.