6 Apr 2008

Indonesians Eat

Most Indonesians eat rice as the main dish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact some Indonesians feel they don't eat a meal unless it is rice. There is a joke that says, even if you have eaten a loaf of bread, you are still hungry. It's gotta be rice! Other Indonesians are fine with bread or noodles. For those Indonesians who have been abroad, they got used having breakfast with bread.

Indonesians eat rice a lot. Lunch, for example, you'll see people with a plate full with rice and a piece of chicken, or fish, or eggs and "sambal" (chillie souce). Indonesians like to eat hot (as in spicy) food. I mean really really really HOT. I would say it is hotter than Mexican food. Even we put chillie in pizza!!! (It's wierd to me. But then again, I am the wierd one ... I cannot eat spicy/hot food!.) If you order food, make sure you say no chilly or no spicy. Otherwise, the default is HOT! There was a friend from Netherland who think that he can handle hot food. (The Dutch like spicy food too.) Boy, he was wrong. He spent two days in his hotel to recover the stomachache.

Each area in Indonesia has its own traditional food and custom. Here is a list of some of them.

  • Sundanese ("orang Sunda") in West Java likes to eat fresh vegetables and sambal. There is a joke that says you can leave them in the garden and they will be fine. Sundanese like to drink tea without sugar. So don't be surprised when they offer you tea but not sweat. Ask for sugar.
  • Javanese likes to eat sweet. Tea will be sweet.
  • Padang (West Sumatra) likes to eat hot/spicy food. They are famous for their spicy food and fast delivery. The waiter can bring dozens of plates with various dishes with his two hands (like juggling) in one trip. You'll eat whatever you like and at the end of meal the waiter will calculate the price. You'll find "Rumah Makan Padang" (Padang restaurant) everywhere in Indonesia. We think that there must be a Padang restaurant on the moon.

Most of the above food are available from restaurants. They are cheap compared to western standards. (I'll gather up some prices in the next update.)

We do have fast food like Mc Donalds, KFC, Wendy's, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Arby's. Other restaurants include various Italian restaurants, Tony Roma's, and others. You name it. Expensive restaurants are also available. Once, I went to a restaurant that serves Kobe steak. It costs US$100/plate! Whoa!

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