Kalimantan Restaurants and Dining

(Kalimantan, Indonesia)

Wherever you are based in Kalimantan, you can be fairly confident that you won't be far from a traditional Indonesian restaurant or local coffee shop (warung kopi). Dining out is a popular pastime in Kalimantan, with local Indonesians favouring simple, tasty meals.

Most restaurants and eateries in Kalimantan tend to serve food just slightly warm and at room temperature, although the accompanying rice is always hot. Coastal resorts around the island are known for their seafood dishes, which are often prepared with coconut milk, peanut sauce, strong spices and chillies, and chargrilled as a satay skewer.

What to Eat

The cuisine of Borneo has strongly influenced the dining on Kalimantan, and this traditional 'Dayak' food does vary greatly. Sour vegetable soup has certainly crossed over from Borneo and is known locally in Indonesia as 'sayur asem rembang'.

In Banjarmasin, the capital city of South Kalimantan, restaurants regularly serve 'pepes ikan', which is spicy fish, baked with lemon grass and tamarind, and served in a parcel of banana leaves. 'Ketupat kandangan' is another regional speciality in South Kalimantan and consists of fresh fish, pressed rice and a rich coconut sauce, flavoured with lime juice.

Tourists staying in Pontianak will find an abundance of Chinese-style restaurants and street hawker food, with Kalimantan delicacies such as seafood noodles, chicken rice (koi peng), fish / beef soup (basko), curried rice (kari peng), pork with soy sauce (siomay), and even dried cuttlefish (tui jiu he).

Those dining out at Palangka Raya, in Central Kalimantan, will likely enjoy the plentiful freshwater crayfish and barbecued fish, while in Balikpapan, a popular branch of the fast-food giant KFC in on hand. In Samarinda (East Kalimantan), giant river prawns (udang galah) are very much the order of the day and found in most local 'warung' restaurants.

Other traditional Indonesian dishes worth keeping an eye out for when dining out at restaurants on Kalimantan include 'ampar tatak' - sweets from Banjarmasin, 'ayam masak habang' - fried chicken with large chillies, and 'soto banjar' - a creamy chicken broth, with mashed boiled eggs.