Over the past few years Lombok has become a favourite destination in the culinary world. The food is unique and has several influences from the Balinese culture who occupied the island before the Dutch colonisation.
The Balinese have had a major influence in the culture of the island even until now, and this can be seen not only by the food, but also through dance and music – the Sasak dance and music is very similar to the Balinese dance and music.
There is still a large population of Balinese living in Mataram the Capital City of Lombok and you will also find many Balinese Temples dotted around the island.
Lombok has two signature dishes – Ayam Taliwang and Plecing Kangkun. These two dishes are generally served together as Plecing Kangkung makes the perfect accompaniment as a side dish for Ayam Taliwang.
- Ayam Taliwang – Freshly barbecued chicken, marinated with a spicy Sasak sauce which consists of garlic, onion, red chili and shrimp paste. It originated from the village of Karang Taliwang in Mataram back in 1970.
- Plecing Kangkung – This dish is a local variety of boiled water spinach covered with Plecing Sambal, which is a spicy tomato based sambal sauce made from tomato, chili, shallots, garlic, candlenuts, kaffir lime, shrimp paste, salt and sugar. It is then topped with roasted peanuts, dry coconut, and soy bean sprouts.
Water Spinach in the Indonesian language is ‘kangkung’ and is very popular around the Archipelago, however the water spinach from Lombok has the reputation of being the ‘best’ in Indonesia and for this reason is exported all over the Archipelago.
Chef Gianluca Visciglia