Malang city (Malang) is my hometown where my big family members have been still living there. Instead of staying in Malang, I have been leaving Malang since 2002. Have no idea when I will be back for good (my beloved cousin keeps asking me this question). Sometimes some friends ask me “how is it the culinary in Malang?” Well for me, Malang is one of the best culinary ever in Indonesia. So, I will try to give you some of my recommendation which I ever tasted and which I have not yet (recommended by my friends). One more thing, I’m afraid that maybe one or two place(s) could have been moved / closed already by now, so I suggest you to check it first. Any correction, comment and revision would be welcome.
Different city you will find different menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks or supper. For instance, when you’re in Yogyakarta, you will find Gudeg (Yogyakarta’s authentic menu) for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper, while in Jakarta you will find Nasi Uduk (steamed rice with coconut milk), Lontong Sayur (steamed rice in banana leaf with vegetable soup) and chicken porridge for breakfast. In Malang you will find Rawon (Beef stewed in Black Soup), Soto (chicken/beef stewed in turmeric soup), Pecel (steamed vegetables with peanut sauce) for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper.
So, let’s start our culinary journey in Malang!
1. Nasi Buk (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Supper – depends on restaurant)
“What’s that?” that’s a common feedback when I recommended this menu. Well, Nasi Buk is commonly sold by Madura's people who live in Malang or some other cities in East Java Province. This meal has become an authentic Malang’s culinary because it’s very difficult to find outside Malang even in Madura itself.
Nasi Buk is a steamed rice served with jangan (vegetable soup) from tewel (jackfruit vegetables) or jangan manisa (squash) or jangan bung (bamboo sprout), with kebok/paru (a fried cow’s lung), dendeng sapi (beef jerky), dendeng kelapa (coconut jerky), empal (traditional fried beef) or ayam goreng (fried chicken) or babat sapi (beef tripes) or limpa (beef lymph) or jantung (beef heart) or other beef offal, mendol (soya bean patty with spice) and special sambal balacan.
You will easily find Nasi Buk around Malang (especially in the morning) like in Pulosari Street (nearby Kawi/Ijen Street Area) à this one is my favorite. Also, you can taste this meal near Malang Train Station and in Soekarno Hatta Street in evening.
2. Depot Nguling – Rawon, Pecel, Lodeh, etc (Breakfast and Lunch)
Lodeh is a vegetable soup with coconut milk.
This restaurant is located in Zainal Arifin Street No. 62 and nearby Malang Plaza (nearby Alun-alun (Square) Malang Area) behind Gloria Restaurant, next to the Christian Church. You will find Rawon, Pecel, etc in their menu. My favorite is Nasi Pecel Lodeh which is a steamed rice with a little bit of lodeh and pecel served with fried baby shrimp, empal and sambal. So yummy.
If you dine in this restaurant, in every table you will find a plate full of additional side dish like empal, tempe (fried soya bean original patty), mendol, babat, paru, etc. Those side dishes are not for free and you have to inform the cashier/waitress when you settle your bill.
3. Warung Rajakwesi – Rawon, Pecel, etc (Breakfast and Lunch)
The restaurant is located in Rajakwesi Street; a block before Pulosari Street.
4. Warung Pak Jenggot – Rawon, Soto, Nasi Campur (Dinner and Supper)
Located in Kawi Street, you have to be patient here with the queuing line. It’s a very famous traditional yet simple restaurant.
Nasi Campur in Pak Jenggot is a steamed rice with orek (chopped caramelize soya patty), tahu bali (fried tofu with hot spicy sauce), fried noodles, and other side dishes you can order.
5. Depot Brintik – Semur Daging (Breakfast and Lunch)
You can find their tiny restaurant in KH Ahmad Dahlan Street (nearby a fine restaurant, called Dragon phoenix) and Diponegoro Street.
Semur Daging is a beef stewed and chopped potato with plenty of sweet soya sauce in it and commonly served with steamed rice.
6. Rujak Cingur (Breakfast and Lunch)
Rujak Cingur is steamed mixed vegetables and sliced fresh fruits with sliced fried tofu, fried tempe and, of course, cingur (cow’s nose) and also for some customers ordering this dish, they will add some sliced didih/saren (steamed chicken blood). These ingredients served with petis sauce (petis is made from shrimp patty with plenty of spices). You will find this extreme culinary (for some people) in an alley called Mentawai Street which also offers kolak (dessert with banana, cassava and some sweet potato boiled and serves in coconut milk soup à it’s taste sweet). This menu can also find in Siberut street (in same area with Mentawai Street), Tennis Street (near by Gajayana Stadium) and Sarangan Street (in field of Sarangan Elementary School).
Please mind about traditional Indonesian chili that you wish to add in petis sauce.
Note: in evening you will find Pecel in field of Sarangan Elementary School.
7. Bakso Bakar Trowulan (Lunch and Snacks)
Original bakso bakar was introduced by Bakso Bakar Trowulan before it has become a massive famous meal and one of authentic Malang’s culinary. Bakso bakar is a steamed meat ball grilled with a hot spicy sweet soya sauce. It is served with a glass of noodles and steamed tofu in a beef stock. Ketchup, chili, sweet soya sauce and vinegar can be added to this dish. This simple restaurant is nearby my College, called Malakuçeçwara College in Trowulan Street.
8. Gado-gado Alun-alun Batu (Lunch)
Gado-gado is a mixed vegetables and sliced tofus, tempes, potatoes and a boiled egg (if preferred) in a light peanut sauce. It’s like one of Indonesian traditional salad. Gado-gado peanut sauce in Malang (East Java) has a different texture and taste with gado-gado peanut sauce in Jakarta or Yogyakarta. Gado-gado peanut sauce is different with Pecel peanut sauce. You can find this dish in Alun-alun Batu (Batu Square) which is about 30 to 45 minutes from Malang Downtown, in front of KUD Batu in cart. While in Malang you can try also to taste the dish inside of Ororo Dowo Traditional Market.
9. Ketan Bubuk Alun-alun Batu (Supper and Snacks)
Ketan bubuk is a sticky rice with koya (sweet powder) and a little bit of melting palm sugar. You can also find this snack in Alun-alun Batu during evening in a very very simple place.
10. Depot 29 – Ayam Bumbu Rujak, Sop Kambing, etc (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Ayam bumbu rujak is of some chicken in hot spicy coconut sauce, while sop kambing is goat meat soup.
It is located in uptown Malang and you would need to drive about 30 to 45 minutes to Raya Randu Agung Street No. 83 Singosari in your left side. The thing that you should not miss is to try their appetizer which is a fried tofu and a fried tempe in a big chunk served with green Indonesia traditional chilies and petis.
11. Bakso Malang (Lunch, Snacks and Dinner)
Another of authentic Malang’s culinary is of course bakso. Bakso is a meat ball (boiled) served with tofu, fried dumpling, noodles and some beef offal in some restaurant. Ketchup, chilly, sweet soya sauce and vinegar can be added to this dish. You can try to taste it in:
- Bakso Solo | A. Yani Street (open after 12 pm) à kosher
- Bakso Kota Cak Man | Ruko (shops) Ciliwung Compleks à kosher
- Bakso Samut | Tidar Street à non kosher
- Bakso Subur | Wuni Street and Simpang Borobudur Street à non kosher
12. Griya Eskimo (Snacks)
Located in Gresik Street No. 3, this cafe served ice cream, snacks, pastry, and light meals. The ice cream is a homemade and taste good.
13. Pecel Kaliurang (Dinner and Supper)
The tent is located in intersection of Kaliurang Street and Tretes Street.
14. Soto Lombok (24 hours restaurant)
Located in Lombok Street No. 1, this 24 hour’s restaurant serves Soto Ayam (chicken stewed in turmeric soup with glass noodles, boiled sprouts and sliced boiled potato). You can change your steam rice with boiled potato for your Soto.
15. Kupang Keraton (Lunch and Snacks)
Boiled of thousands of mini remise/mussels are the main ingredient in this Kupang dish (the same name of remise in Indonesian). Served with their stock, lento, shells sate with petis paste, Kupang can be found in Candi Bajang Ratu II (second) Street. Some people see this dish as an extreme dish, because in traditional way, this kind of mini remise is usually obtained from the bait used among faeces, but for Kupang lovers (like my self hehehe) the story would not make us lost our appetite because the taste is so light and good with the fresh lime.
16. Pujasera GODZILLA – food hall (Snacks, Dinner and Supper)
There’s many menus offered in this food hall. Mostly the menus are served ala java’s dish like ayam bumbu rujak, soto ayam, tahu telor (fried tofu in omelet with boiled sprouts and peanut sauce), ronde (boiled rice cake with peanut or palm sugar in it served with sweet ginger soup), etc.
17. Angsle (Snacks)
“What is angsle?” it’s the common question when I told my friends about the sweet taste of angsle. Angsle is a bowl sweet light coconut milk with sticky rice, petulo/putu mayang (traditional pastry from rice powder), green bean, chopped plain bread and grilled peanut. This snack or dessert is served hot. You can’t find this dessert outside of East Java and my recommendation in Malang is in Taman Krida Budaya in Soekarno Hatta Street in traditional cart.
18. Cwie Mie Malang (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Cwie Mie is also one of the authentic Malang’s culinary made from boiled noodles with chopped meat and boiled dumpling for its side dish.
One of the oldest restaurants is a tiny restaurant, called Cwie Mie 51 located in front of gas station in Ciliwung (in Ciliwung intersection) and also Pangsit Mie Ayam Pak Meh in Kalimantan Street (nearby Pecel Mbok Jo à one of the famous pecel in Malang). Both of Cwie Mie 51 and Pak Meh is non kosher.
19. Warung Subuh (Dinner, Snacks and Supper)
Warung Subuh is the pioneer of food hall which is open until dawn in Malang. Located in Raya Langsep Street No. 11A, they have many counters served many dish like Chinese food, angsle, sate, cwie mie, tahu telor, pizza, etc.
This food hall also has become a popular place to hang out for various people in Malang.
20. Nyik Sun (Dinner and Supper)
Located in Gajayana Stadium Complex, this tent restaurant served various meals which is authentic java like urap-urap (steam vegetables with spice coconut), lodeh, bali tahu (fried tofu in bali spicy hot souse), usus panggang (grilled intestine), ayam panggang (grilled chicken), etc.
Gajayana Stadium Complex is one of the culinary popular places in the heart of Malang with many tent restaurants including Nyik Sun, offering hundreds of authentic east java culinary like chicken sate, east java’s gudeg, tahu telor, nasi rames, etc.
21. Ayam Goreng Pemuda (Dinner)
Ayam Goreng (fried chicken with no flour) Pemuda is one of the oldest restaurants serving ayam goreng in Malang. This restaurant since built and open, as far as I could remember, has become and always been my family’s favorite restaurant for ayam goreng. The chicken is so tasty, tender and moist. You would never have enough for just a quarter chicken here. My other favorite menu here is cumi-cumi goreng mentega (baby squid in margarine sauce).
22. Tahu Campur (Snacks)
This other authentic east java dish is very difficult to describe. The ingredients of it are chopped lettuce, sliced tofu, glass noodles, sliced steam potato, sliced cassava ball, sliced steamed rice in banana leafs, kikil (cow’s food) with beef stock and petis. You can find this meal around Malang like in Rajakwesi Street named Tahu Campur Pak Kumis.
23. Jagung Bakar (Snacks)
Jagung bakar means Grilled Corn but it’s served with flavor margarine like hot spicy, sweet, salty and chocolate. Well, you can also mix all the flavors or just a couple flavors. My favorite is Jagung Bakar Manis Asin Pedas means grilled corn in sweet, salty and hot spicy flavor margarine. The authentic jagung bakar in Malang is from original corn, not sweet corn like you will find in Jakarta. You will find this snack in Pulosari Street with many other snacks like roti bakar (grilled toast and sandwiches), tape bakar (grilled fermented cassava) and beverages are offered. My favorite is in Tawangmangu Street – heavenly.
24. Cenil, Lupis and the buddies (Snacks)
These sweet traditional snacks are made from many ingredients, such as rice flour, sticky rice, coconut, cassava powder served with melting palm sugar and coconut. I’m not able to describe you precisely about this snack in English, but please try these snacks in J. Agung Suprpato Street beside Sari indah Foto Shop and Kawasaki Motor Dealer, in front of Dunkin Donuts and not far enough from Cor Jesu High School (one of oldest high school colonial buildings in Malang, built in 1900).
Additional from my readers (Dimas):
- Lontong Kikil Splindid (kikil with lontong in coconut sauce), located nearby Pasar Bunga Splendid (Splendid Flower Market)
- Pecel in Sempu Street
- Tahu Telor in Nusa Kambangan Street near by Gedung Kesenian (Art Building)
- Nasi Mbok Resek in Kacuk
- Cwie Mie Hoklay (also served the famous spring roll)
- Mie Gajah Mada
- Lodeh Wak Run (Dr. Cipto Street)
So, are you ready for new culinary adventure in Malang?
You can reach Malang by bus, train and plane from big cities in Indonesia.
Thank you for Patricia who helps me to complete this articles and Resviana for my English translation review.