What to Eat and Drink
Sate Ikan Tanjung
Originating in Tanjung, north Lombok, fish satay is made from pounded snapper or tuna blended with spices, coconut milk, small chillies and lemongrass, and grilled on sticks. Fragrant, sour and spicy, it’s a delicious roadside snack. We ate it at a warung (familyrun café) on Ketapang Beach, on the way to Bayan.
Kangkung, or water spinach, is a Sasak staple. It’s blanched until tender, and served with a pungent sauce of tomatoes, chilli, garlic, shallots and terasi (shrimp paste), with a squeeze of lemon or lime. We had ours at Ya Ya Warung, where it comes with a smattering of peanuts and bean sprouts for texture, and is often ordered as a side to ayam taliwang.
Perhaps the most popular dish in Lombok, a lean young chicken is grilled or fried and served with a fiery sambal, or chilli paste. The chicken is quite skinny, which means it stays tender and is exceptionally delicious. Ayam taliwang is served everywhere, but we enjoyed it at RM Nada Alan Nyaman.
Eggplant is popular on Lombok and comes in many guises. Here, it’s stir-fried until tender and almost falling apart, and smothered in a heavily spiced tomato sauce. Try it at any warung.
Hugely popular although not originally from Lombok, bakso ayam, or Indonesian chicken meatballs, was one of our favourite dishes (we loved it at Bakso Beranak). Break apart the tennis ball-sized meatball to find smaller, denser meatballs inside and a quail’s egg at the centre. The meatball comes in beef broth – rich, complex and intensely flavoured with onion, garlic, chilli and pepper – with egg noodles and rice vermicelli. Eat it with sambal, thick soy paste and chilli sauce.