GoTo Lombok is a comprehensive guide to the hotels, restaurants, spas and activities on the main island of Lombok and the smaller Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan.

Eating Out in Lombok

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My first ever visit to Lombok and I was on the search for the perfect Ayam Taliwang. That uniquely Lombok dish of

 

Whenever I met with a local Lombokian my first question was always:

 

… ‘who makes the best Ayam Taliwang in Lombok?’.

 

Strangely the answer was almost always the same….’my mother!’. Unable to find Warung My Mother, I had to look elsewhere. General opinion identifies the best as being available in a string of street-side Taliwang food stalls, set up every evening in Mataram, towards Cakra, after the shopping mall.

 

Taliwang Chicken tastes hot and deeply piquant it has a unique flavor.
The name of the dish is derived from Karang Taliwang, a subdistrict in Mataram where the recipe for this regional specialty has its roots. The late H.
Abdul Hamid is recognized for creating the Ayam Taliwang recipe in 1970.

Lesehan Taliwang Irama -- situated on Jl. Ade
Irma Suryani in Karang Taliwang, Cakranegara, Mataram -- was set up in 1997 by Hamid's son, H. Mahmudin, where guests eat lesehan-style, sitting on floor mats..

The ingredients for this chicken are only chili, garlic and terasi, but the method of preparation and the proportions of these condiments are different, and kept as family secrets. Hamid concocted his spice sauce in the 1970s when he first opened a chicken stall near the Cakranegara shopping center.

 

Now street food, or overly basic warungs are never recommended to the short term visitor to any country, so we had to limit our investigation to restaurant versions at which you expect the use of pristine kitchens. My first ever taste of Ayam Taliwang had been at Warung Enak in Ubud, it was on their original menu and I loved the flavours even though I later discovered that their version had been well toned down from the real Lombok style! I have tried it many times since at warungs and Indonesian restaurants all over Bali, when done correctly it is almost as good as Bali’s betutu, but it can be as fiery as hell!

 

Ayam Taliwang has been adopted in Lombok as their national dish along with Pelecing Kangkung [water spinach as you have never had it before]. Some people say that the concept came from Sumbawa, Lombok’s sister island to the east which also shares the slightly Arabic sounding Sasak dialect that they speak.

 

When they say ‘spicy’ in Lombok; that is exactly what they mean! When they say ‘fiery’ then beware! Dua EM in Mataram is probably the best 'in between' place to experience this unique dish, check their write-up

 

In Lombok, particularly around the popular tourist area of Senggigi, I was amazed to find quite a variety of different cuisines available, although many locally owned restaurants offer the traditional tourist menu with a multitude of ‘cuisines’. But the professionals have also started to arrive in Lombok, and there are many places now with class and style, of which Square leads the way.

 


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