Sumatra Restaurants and Dining

(Sumatra, Indonesia)

All across the island of Sumatra, traditional Indonesian restaurants and outdoor 'warungs' (local eateries) are to hand, offering a selection of tasty morsels and spicy dishes.

In North Sumatra, dining specialities include tasty curries (gulai / kare), along with roasted pork in vinegar (babi panggang) and spiced chicken (ayam namargota). You may even encounter dog (biang) on some restaurant menus, although this is not really a common dish. In Medan, noodle (mie) and rice (nasi) joints are very much the order of the day, as well as Chinese eateries.

What to Eat

The Batak people of North Sumatra are known for liking their food rather hot and spicy, often being somewhat heavy handed with a local pepper known as 'lada rimba'. In West Sumatra, restaurants specialise in Padang cuisine, using buffalo in dishes, such as 'rendang' (buffalo coconut curry).

When dining out in West Sumatra, also keep an eye out for sumptuous delicacies such as 'ampiang dadiah' (buffalo yoghurt with coconut and palm sugar), 'bubur kampiun' (porridge with mung beans and banana) and 'sate padang' (skewered meat and rice, with peanut sauce).

Restaurants in South Sumatra are at their very best in Palembang, which has become something of a culinary capital of this region. Dining establishments in Palembang are famed for their 'pembek' (fried fish and sago dumplings), 'pindang' (spicy fish with tropical durian fruit sauce), 'sambal buah' (fruity chilli sauce), 'srikaya' (sticky rice pudding, with sweet custard / coconut sauce) and 'tempoyak' (shrimp paste, with chilli and lime juice).