Makassar: A Hidden Culinary Heaven for Foodies


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:



Add an egg yolk to your Pallubasa and you’ll be pretty much in culinary heaven.

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.


Palbas Serigala is a popular go-to place for this local dish. You’ll find it full of locals during lunchtime.

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

Es Pisang Ijo

Es Pisang Ijo is a favourite dessert for the locals.

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.


These are definitely for those with a sweet tooth.

Muda Mudi | Jl. Rusa No.45 A, Kec. Makassar, Kota Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan 90142, Indonesia


It may look like a curry puff, but the Jala

It may look like a curry puff, but the Jalangkote is not spicy at all.

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.

Sop Rawon

Stews like Sop Rawon are common in Makassar.

Stews like Sop Rawon are common in Makassar.

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.


About Author

Katherine Goh is the managing editor and co-founder of Asia 361. On days when she is not writing, she spends her time dreaming of becoming a travel photographer. For editorial matters, she can be reached at email: [email protected]

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