Indonesia is the world’s largest island country, with more than 13,000 islands and a population of 260 million people. It would be myopic to think Indonesian cuisine is limited to the usual nasi goreng or sate you find in restaurants. If you consider yourself a bonafide foodie who loves to try local food, skip the been-there-done-that destinations like Bali and Jakarta and plan a visit to the lesser-known Makassar instead.
Makassar is a culinary heaven and certainly lives up to its reputation as one of the food capitals of Indonesia. There are so many local dishes that you may not even be able to finish trying them in a week. But, what exactly is Makassar food? Here are some of the food we love in the port city:
This is probably our favourite among Makassar cuisine. Pallubasa is a traditional dish from Makassar. The broth is made from boiling the offal of cattle or buffalo for a long period of time. After the broth is done, it is added to a bowl of meat, usually beef. The soup reminds us of sup kambing back in Singapore, except that it has a tinge of sourness to it.
You can even request for an egg yolk to be added if you want. While the soup is already flavourful on its own, some of the locals like to add shredded coconut and chilli to enhance the taste further. What’s more delightful is that all these deliciousness cost just 14,000 rupiah a bowl.
Palbas Serigala | Jl. Serigala No. 54, Kec. Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan 90132, Indonesia
Es Pisang Ijo
At first glance, it looks like the ice kachang we are so familiar with back home. However, Es Pisang Ijo tastes nothing like ice kachang. This dessert essentially is made up of banana wrapped in a pandan-flavoured rice flour layer and served with condensed milk, shaved ice and syrup. If you have a sweet tooth and loves pisang (banana), give this dessert a shot. We got ours at 22,500 rupiah for one serving.
Muda Mudi | Jl. Rusa No.45 A, Kec. Makassar, Kota Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan 90142, Indonesia
Jalangkote looks like the Indonesian rendition of the curry puff, but it certainly does not taste like the spicy snack we have back home. This Makassar snack food is a fried pastry and filled with minced beef, egg, potato, vegetables and glass noodles. You can get one for around 7,000 rupiah a piece.
Meat stews are popular in Makassar. Rawon, which is Indonesian black beef soup, is another stew you can try. Made with various spices such as keluak, galangal, candlenut and many more, the rich stew is served with beef rump and often together with egg, bean sprouts and crackers. At some places, you may even find the soup to be almost black in colour; the colour actually comes from keluak as the main spice ingredient.