For centuries, Sundanese food is well known for its deliciousness. You might or might not have heard about Gepuk, Nasi Liwet, Flying Gourami, Tutug Oncom, Nasi Timbel, Karedok, and Colenak. So here, I will describe some of the most popular Sundanese dishes and I hope this information can help you decide which ones you want to order in the Sundanese restaurant you visit :)
The main course of Sundanese food must include rice. Depending on the restaurant, there are several types of rice they usually serve:
We usually eat rice with fried or grilled gourami fish, fried or grilled chicken, gepuk (sliced beef that is cooked and seasoned for hours until tender then fried).
Sundanese dishes have several popular mixed vegetables, such as Lalaban, Karedok, Gado-Gado, and Lotek. Click here to know the difference between these Sundanese salads :)
Favorite side dishes in the Sundanese restaurant are fried tofu, fried tempe, grilled petai (Parkia speciosa or bitter bean), and stew of jengkol (Archidendron pauciflorum or dog fruit). Although the last two are popular as stinky beans due to their odor.
The soup in Sundanese dishes is Sayur Asem (sour vegetable soup). They use tamarind to make the fresh soured taste. One particular vegetable cooked in Sayur Asem is the nuts and young leaves of melinjo (Gnetum gnemon in Latin).
Another well-liked soup in any Sundanese restaurant is Soto. The most popular one is Chicken Soto. Usually, the ingredients of Chicken Soto are glass noodles, cabbages, shredded chicken, and boiled egg. Plus a squeeze of jeruk limau (Citrus amblycarpa) — a small green orange that we add to the soup instead of vinegar. Although some Soto use coconut milk in their broth, most of the Chicken Soto in the Sundanese restaurant served clear broth, without coconut milk.
Of course, sambal (chili paste) is essential in any Sundanese restaurant. The spicier, the better!
Drinks are varied, from the most standard hot or ice tea (sweetened or unsweetened) to fresh young coconuts. Or try specialty drinks from West Java: Bajigur and Bandrek.
Bajigur is a Sundanese drink made of brewed coffee, coconut milk, and palm sugar. It is served hot with pieces of kolang-kaling (the fruits of the aren palm)
On the other hand, Bandrek is made of brewed ginger and palm sugar. It is served hot with slices of young coconut.
For desserts, you might want to try Colenak. It is an acronym for dicocol enak, which means it is delicious when you dip it into the sauce. Colenak is grilled fermented cassava with a topping of sweetened coconut shreds.
The best place to eat these delicious Sundanese food is in a Sundanese restaurant set up in rural atmospheres. The servers usually wear traditional Sundanese costumes. The dining rooms are in small huts called saung, surrounded by a fish pond, rice field, or garden, accompanied by instrumental Sundanese ensembles called Degung. So, next time you are in Bandung, why not try the experience of dining in the Sundanese restaurant. I have compiled a list of recommended Sundanese restaurants including their specialties!