Java, as you would have guessed by the name, has excellent coffee. Traveling is tiring so we need it to stay awake and it varies from place to place. After a couple weeks backpacking we’ve gone from the hustle and bustle of Yogyakarta, by bus to the timber fallen mountain village of Kaliurang, an eight hour train ride to the hip design city of Bandung, and another train ride to Jakarta, we’ve also had a chance to eat the varying cuisine the region offers.
In Yogya, we found one of our favorite dishes to date – Bebeck Goreng, or roasted duck. In Kaliurang, an excellent rich and wholesome curry. Bandung was street food and family style local within the young and urban swank. And Jakarta, once you peel back the food layers, you’re left with excellent Chinese food and even camel meat if you want.
We also shared a wonderful moment when we visited Warung Nasi Bancakan in Bandung. The restaurant was recommended to us by some university students we were chatting with in a coffee shop. We asked them for the best restaurant in Bandung for local food. They looked at one another for about two seconds and together recommended one place. Upon arrival, we were shown to a table and then instructed to get a plate. As you can see from the pictures, there is a LOT to choose from. Since we didn’t know what most of the dishes were, we just picked things that looked good. The meal was fantastic. As I went up to take pictures of the food for this very post, the restaurant manager came up to me and began talking to me about the food. It turns out that his mother and sister (see photo) are the cooks. He took Amando and I behind the counter and let us taste everything, passionately and proudly explaining all the regional dishes. He ended up giving us desert (think chocolate popsicle, except very salty) and a roasted coconut cup for coffee to take home with us. We’ve had a lot of personalized attention in restaurants, many managers have asked us our opinion and been grateful for our patronage. But in this case, we had never been so warmly treated, but then again he said he never has visitors from America.