All of us know there are many small islands (Gili) around Lombok Island. Some of the Gilis have been so famous because of its beauty and attractions, one of them is the Gili Air. Most tourists who come to the island are looking for its amazing beauty, white sands, waves and sunset. But, we have to tell you that in Gili Air, you can find something different, which are traditional foods. Maybe, for most western people, the taste of the local foods is quite strange or even bizarre, but actually those foods contain so much philosophies and coming from the way the Sasak tribe live.
If you want to give something different to your vacation, then you have to try these local menus below:
Ayam Taliwang or Taliwang Chicken Taliwang Chicken has become one of the most popular foods, not only in Gili Air and Lombok but also in the whole country. Many tourists said that Lombok tour will not be completed if they are not trying Taliwang Chicken. The uniqueness of Taliwang Chicken comes from its chicken; local people always use fresh and young chicken. The chicken can also be served in various versions, such as fried chicken, honey roasted chicken or spicy roasted chicken. If you try this traditional menu, you will find that most restaurants in Gili Air serve it with Plecing Kangkung, rice and local spicy chili sauce.
Coming from Sasak language, bebalung means ribs. This local food is made of cows or goats ribs which are cooked until the meat becomes very soft. This menu is very popular among the local people because it is including one of the most special menus which is can be found on special occasions. When you order this menu, you will find it with plain rice, chili and slice of lemon to make it fresh and full of taste.
Originally, this local menu is coming from Sasak’s traditional village called Tanjung, which is located in Northern Lombok. This fish satay is special because it is made of fresh tuna or snapper mixed with coconut milk, garlic, lemongrass, spices and chili pepper, and wrapped onto bamboo stick before grilled. Some restaurants in Gili Air have this fish satay and the taste is similar to its original version in Tanjung.
This satay is made of coconut, meat and seasoning which are mixed together and grilled on coal. Unfortunately, the number of restaurants in Gili Air where you can find this traditional foods is not many because it is not as famous as Satay Tanjung.
Ares is just like curry but it is made of the inner of banana stem. To make it tasty, local people seasoning the banana stem with special local herbs with coconut milk. They usually mix the stem with fresh meat. This menu is quite hard to find because local people serve it only on special celebrations.