Food and Beverages

With 6,000 islands, there are many regional specialties, but wherever you are in Indonesia, most meals, including breakfast, are based around rice. Indonesian cuisine often demonstrates complex flavor, acquired from certain ingredients and bumbu spices mixture. Indonesian dishes have rich flavors; most often described as gurih (savory which equate to umami) and pedas (hot and spicy), and also a combination of basic tastes such as manis (sweet), asin (salty), asam (sour), and pahit (bitter). Seven main Indonesian cooking methods are goreng (frying), bakar (roasting) or panggang (grilling), tumis (stir-frying), sangrai (sautéing), rebus (boiling), and kukus (steaming).

These are some popular dishes in Indonesia which can be found almost everywhere

1. Friend Rice/Nasi Goreng

( / Via

As one of the country’s signature dishes, nasi goreng is definitely Indonesians’ favorite. A plate of stirred fried rice complemented with eggs, prawns (chicken, salted dried-fish, goat meat, or anything of your choice), chili, and veggies will surely make your mouth water. Don’t forget the kerupuk (crackers).

2. Friend Noodle/Mie Goreng

( / Via Flickr: guccibear2005)

Fried noodles is also on top of Indonesian’s favorite list. Mie goreng is usually served with the same complementary ingredients as nasi goreng.

3. Meatballs/Bakso

(Via Flickr: tya)

Bakso is Indonesian meatballs served in chicken broth soup, rice vermicelli or yellow noodles (depends on your liking), sprinkled with fried shallots, celery, and of course sambal.

4. Opor Ayam

This chicken cooked in coconut milk usually serves on a special occasion, as in Lebaran (eid) holiday. It is served with ketupat (steam rice) and kerupuk (crackers).

5. Rendang

Rendang Sapi is one of the most popular dishes from Padang, West Sumatra. Padang is known for its delicious meals made from coconut milk. You can make it spicy or mild, depending on how you like it. I like it because the taste is really strong and aromatic. However, it takes a bit longer to cook so that the beef will be soft and tender. But it is definitely worth a try!

As the population of Indonesia is predominantly Moslem, pork is usually not served except in Chinese restaurants, non-Moslem, and places serving international cuisine. Pork dishes are served in some non-Muslim parts of Bali, Papua, and the North Sumatra highlands and North Sulawesi.


Tap water is not safe to drink. Water coming out of taps may contain bacteria and therefore must be boiled or sterilized before it is consumed. Branded bottled water is readily available for sale in nearly all grocery stores and convenience stores.

Indonesian coffee is one of the finest in the world. You can enjoy the exotic taste of our coffee in the coffee shops commonly available in many entertainment centers or in any commercial area of the cities.

Alcoholic drinks or local beers are available in major supermarkets and hypermarkets. Wine is sold only in major restaurants and hotels.

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