Many people visit Batam in Riau islands for business-related purposes.
Thus, these short-stayers usually lack the time to explore the city’s culture, food or points of attraction.
If you happen to be one of them, do not worry. The Jakarta Post Travel picked five local delicacies that are must-tries, so that you will hardly miss out on Batam’s culinary delights.
They all have two things in common: easy to find and simply yummy.
Mie lendir or mie rebus kuah kacang
If you are staying in the Nagoya area, this is recommended despite the less than appetizing name.
Mie lendir (slimy noodle) owes its name to the thick gravy, made originally from fried peanut and herbs such as galangal, ginger, garlic and red onion.
Slimy as it may be, the taste is sweet and creamy.
The yellow noodles and bean sprouts are boiled together along with egg. Mie lendir is served with sliced chili padi on the side.
Kedai Kopi In Star serves this noodle daily, priced at only Rp 8,000 (70 US cents). They are open from 6 a.m. until 11.30 p.m .
Best to come early before it is sold out, thanks to its pocket-friendly price.
This local dish rich with garlic is so famous that it is available on most menus in the city’s restaurants.
This fried chicken dish is crunchy and salty, without being too oily. The blend of garlic and chicken is almost impeccable.
Ayam bawang is best eaten with chili sauce and warm rice.
The price range is between Rp 30,000 to Rp 70,000, depending on whether you want a whole or half a chicken.
One of the best ayam bawang dishes is served in Xiang Xiang restaurant in the Baloi area. It opens for dinner only around 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Ba kut teh
The Singapore influence in Batam is evident in this dish, perhaps because locals are attempting to cater for the many Singaporeans who come to Batam during weekends.
Ba kut teh, which contains pork ribs, is a good dish for one of those rainy days when you are feeling slightly unwell.
The soup is rich with herbs and spices and looks dark because of the soy sauce.
It is usually served with cakwe (you tiao/ Chinese fried bread sticks) to dip in the soup.
You can find ba kut teh in many food court areas in Nagoya or Penuin.
So far the best ones serving the fare are the Shuang Hong restaurant in Nagoya Hill Mall and Mickey Mouse restaurant in Penuin.
The price range is between Rp 30,000 to Rp 50,000.
Sup ikan Batam
Batam is known for its fresh and cheap seafood.
One of the must-try seafood treats is the Batam fish soup.
They are usually available in two options - just fish or mixed seafood. The fillet used is from the snapper.
If you order the mixed variety, it will come with fish balls and shrimps.
The clear soup has a strong and rich fish stock. Those that have no problem with this sort of aroma will find the soup very fresh and tasty.
Try it at the famous Yong Kee restaurant or Sup Ikan in Penuin food court.
The price range is between Rp 30.000 to Rp 50.000, depending on the portion.
Otak-otak is usually served as snacks or appetizers when you are waiting for your food at an eatery, whether you ordered them or not.
This finger food is made from mackerel mixed with egg, sago flour, garlic and coconut milk. It is usually wrapped in banana leaf and grilled before it is served.
The variety in Batam, unlike many variants in Indonesia, is slightly yellow in color because the mixture contains chili paste. However, it is not that spicy.
Otak-otak is usually served with peanut sauce.
The price for each otak-otak is Rp 2000. One portion of this appetizer usually contains five pieces but it is your choice to finish them all or just one or two pieces of it, and the restaurant will usually just charge you for the ones you ate.