RIAU ISLANDS – Recognized as an archipelago in Indonesia, no wonder if there are over 3,000 islands nestled from the south of Singapore to the Sumatra eastern coast. Even though its existence came in 2004, it becomes the center of Malay-Indonesian community as well as the existence of modern Malay language. Because of the interconnected geographical facet, several of the culinary traits are influenced from Malaysia.
Many Indonesians have known Warung Bu Kris, one of foremost Indonesian restaurants established in Surabaya, East Java. Its modern concept of warong (Indonesian’s traditional food stall) , appetite-increasing menus, and yellowish-red color mottoes will be a tremendous hit for both connoisseurs and epicures. Besides, several photogenic Indonesian food pictures hung on the wall, boosting the ambiance. In most East Java cuisine, sambal penyet or spicy crushed chili paste becomes one of food staples along with a plate of rice. The chili is squeezed or smashed using a pestle served on a plate of mortar. Because of this uniqueness, no wonder if sambal penyet has crossed its region boundary outside Java Island.
The more the day is getting darker, the more there are food tends scattered across the street especially while visiting Paramount modern market at Gading Serpong, South Tangerang. As Tenda Mahkota Cobra offers exotic food consisting of reptile meat, I and my friends dare to experience how they will be served on the plates.
NORTH SUMATRA – Stretched across the island of Sumatra between the Indian Ocean and the Strait Malacca within 70,787 sq km width, making this province at the fourth rank of the most populous provinces after West Java, Central Java, and East Java. As it has heterogeneous ethnic groups derived by varied cultures such as Indian, Arabic, Chinese, and Malay, it is no wonder that the food is influenced and accentuated by those traits as well, emphasizing its existence of traditional cuisine that should be experienced.
NANGGROE ACEH DARUSSALAM –Indonesia’s special region located at the northern end of Sumatra covering more than 22,000 square miles. It is closed to Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India separated by Andaman Sea. Not only Baiturrahman Grand Mosque is Aceh famous of, but also dynamic Seudati and Saman dances, picturesque beaches, heterogeneous tribes and culture, and most importantly its culinary journey involving abundant herbs and spices boosted by the influences from Arab, Indian, Siamese, Malaya, Dutch and Spanish.
Harapan Island, July 2015
The previous year’s Eid Mubarak holiday was really worth-remembering as I planned to explore Thousand Islands located in the Bay of North Jakarta. Prior to D-day, I and my 9 friends were busy looking for recommended travel agencies that offered affordable and economical price for 2 days and 1 night. After finding a great travel agency, all the schedules were set and I utterly could not wait for it. At 6.00 am in the morning, I arrived at Kali Adem harbor, Muara Angke in the Northern part of Jakarta for 45 minutes by grabbing 2 taxicabs. I truly felt surprised witnessing the sea of humans queuing behind the entrance ticket. Around 1.5 hours waiting for the boat to Harapan Island, eventually it arrived at 7.30 am. Before heading off to Harapan Island, an announcement said that it would take 4 hours.