Lombok means chilli in Bahasa Indonesia, which may explain the spicy local food found on this island. The culinary icon of Lombok is definitely the ayam taliwang, a spicy chicken dish. This dish is basically grilled or roasted chicken in a spicy sambal paste made from chillies, garlic, shallots, tomato and shrimp paste). This dish is available in literally all eateries and popular with locals and tourists alike.
Another popular dish is plecing sayuran which is usually served together with ayam taliwang. It is made up of blanched spinach (kangkung), bean sprouts (taugeh), fried peanuts, grated coconut mixed together with peanut sauce.
A dish similar to ayam taliwang is pecel ayam. This version is made of fried chicken eaten with a spicy sambal sauce accompanied with raw salad such as cabbage, cucumber and tomatoes. I personally find that the sauce used in ayam taliwang and pecel ayam tasted the same.
Grilled fish is also common in Indonesian menu. In this Lombok version, the fish is grilled with a spicy local sauce that gave the fish more flavor.
We went to Taman Restaurant, which has good reviews on Tripadvisor for dinner. This 2 storey restaurant has good atmosphere and there was also live music. We sat upstairs for better view.
The food was nice but not outstanding. Price wise, let’s just say it’s more catering to tourists. I had chicken satay with rice. The chicken was marinated well and tender.
On our final night, we decided to have Western instead for a change. We went to Bumbu Café, another restaurant I found on Tripadvisor. As expected, the clientele are mostly tourists.
We had Caesar salad as starter. For mains we had grilled fish with rice and grilled black pepper chicken. The black pepper chicken tasted better than the grilled fish as the fish was a too dry.