The Jakarta Post Travel asked foodies and bloggers about their most favorite pork dishes in Bandung. This is what they came up with.
Grilled pork at Lapo Siagian
Jakarta-based food and travel writer Marchellinus Hanjaya claimed to be a foodie by accident. His blogging journey, like many others, started out as a hobby.
He has five legendary dishes on his list: Bakut ahon (a local-styled pork rib soup), siomay sien sien hien (steamed fish shu mai rolled in several options including pig skin), rica-rica (Manado-style cooking) noodle dish on Jl. Kejaksaan, or juan lo (a shabu-shabu like dish) from the Queen restaurant.
He finally decided which was best - the grilled pork from Lapo Siagian at Jl. H. Hasan 19.
“It’s one of the best Karo [a North Sumatra ethnic group] grilled pork dishes around. You can’t find the same quality elsewhere. Not even in Jakarta. The smoky aroma, crispiness and perfect seasoning will blow you away,” Marchellinus said.
“Don’t forget to put some green chili paste and blood sauce on the plate,” he suggested.
Babi Hong from the Queen International Restaurant
This old but still happening Chinese restaurant at Jl. Dalam Kaum No. 79 is raved about for its signature Babi Hong pork dish.
Priced at Rp 105,000 (US$8.68), the dish consists of a very tender Hokkian-styled braised pork meat in sweet and rich herb sauces.
Valentina Limbong, a foodie and food stylist and writer, applauded the dish and described it as “love at first bite”.
“Given the restaurant’s ambiance in a vintage classic Chinese avant garde, eating this dish in the Queen will give you a great memory, like the first time your parents took you out on a special occasion and tried delicious pork dishes. The meat is so tender and rich in Chinese ngo hiong spices and herbs,” Valentina said.
The Babi Hong dish with Yang Chow-styled fried rice is a match made in heaven. The salty fried rice, sprinkled with tiny bits of crispy bacon, gives balance to the sweet pork dish.
It’s perfect for sharing and eating it at Queen’s heightens the experience as the restaurant's service and atmosphere are excellent.
Grilled samcan at Hongkong Restaurant Akam Style
This particular dish is recommended by a Bandung’s foodie and blogger Shasya Pashatama, known for her blog surgamakan.com. The grilled samcan (a Chinese-styled pork belly dish) is top of her list when talking about pork dishes in Bandung.
“In many places, samcan is usually served cold, but in this restaurant, grilled samcan is served warm with just the right crisp and dryness. Perfect, “ Shasya said.
Pair the dish with the stir-fried capri (kapri) with garlic for the best taste, she suggested.
Nasi campur bintang
The nasi campur (mixed rice) stall at Jl. Kelenteng No. 40 is legendary place.
Shasya loves the mixed rice and suggests ordering the stall's pork skewer and fried meatball with your mixed rice.
Samcan cabe garam from Pokatiam
“This dish is in my top three pork dishes to try in Bandung because it’s so good,” said Shasya, who started her blogging journey in 2005.
Pokatiam on Jl. Pasir Kaliki Bandung is always full and lively, adorned with kung fu and pig pictures, wooden chairs and tables, which reminds customers of the traditional stalls in kung fu movies.
She recommends Chinese-style grilled pork belly in chili paddy and salt. Shasya said the dish was so crispy and the accompanying sauce of hot and sour really complemented the pork.
“Usually, if served in nasi campur, samcan will be served thinly sliced, but the one here is sliced really thick and chunky,” she said excitedly.
Her favorite companion for the dish is stir-fried baby kailan with garlic, which Shasya remarked as one of the best kailan dishes she’d ever tasted.