Nasi Jamblang Ibu Fitri Cirebon

Among the places highly recommended by fellow foodies on our Wiskul Cirebon list, is Nasi Jamblang Ibu Fitri. Located across from Grage Mall Cirebon, Ibu Fitri opens her stall quite late, which is around 6 pm, but its popular dishes like Balakutak are usually sold out by early evening.

Perhaps the most traditional looking one compared with others on our Wiskul Cirebon list, Nasi Jamblang Ibu Fitri sets her food stall in a roadside outlet facing the street. During busy nights their customers would take seats outside on the sidewalk, as the seats inside are full, or uncomfortably hot.

Needless to say, as a port city bordering right to the Java Sea, the temperature in Cirebon tends to be on the higher end. However, compared with Jakarta, the heat was not that scorching or humid. The weather tends to be friendlier, and the nights are cool with occasional cool breezes.

How to Order?

First, the staff will prepare a plate for you, then ask how many rice portions you'd want? This is a common practice in Nasi Jamblang sellers in Cirebon as they individually wrapped the rice in Jati (Teak wood) leaves. In the past, the rough jati leaves were believed to preserve the rice better than banana leaves hence suitable for longer storage. The portions are usually very small though, meaning for a normal person it usually requires four parcels of rice.

Additionally, you can also request sambal, which is also wrapped in jati leaves despite smaller ones. Then, you simply point to the dishes that you want and the staff will grab them for you. A single portion is almost always a piece. So if you want more than one, ask for an additional serving.

Here in Nasi Jamblang Ibu Fitri, you pay for the dish after consuming it, and the staff will calculate the price based on what you informed them. Which is rather challenging for big groups or those with hazy leaky memories, not to mention less transparent.

We counted about 20 bowls of individual dishes to choose from, and while that sounds like a lot, there are places that have even more varieties! 

What to choose? For the conservative, less adventurous eaters, you will find common options like tahu, tempe, chicken, and beef. For the more adventurous ones, as Cirebon is located very close to the sea, be sure to check out the seafood dishes. 

We were aiming for their Balakutak (Cuttlefish) in black ink sauce, which is a rather rare dish to find, especially compared to its more popular sibling Cumi-cumi (Squid). From my upbringing, I recalled treating Balakutak as a special treat, as our mother usually cooked it with its own black ink and a heap of spicy kemangi leaves (Indonesian Basil). 

Unfortunately, it was already sold out by the time we came. We also didn't see any Rajungan (Blue swimmer crab) dishes here, which is another one of Cirebon's specials.

There were some other seafood options like Tongkol (Skipjack), salted Jambal Roti (Manyung), and Sate Kerang (Mussels satay). Those in the mood for Hari Raya dishes should not leave out their Semur Ati Sapi (Cow's liver), so smooth and flavorful!

Among local favorites were also Paru (Cow's lung) cooked until crispy, and Sate Kentang (Potatoes satay) with rendang-like seasoning.

In general, the food in Nasi Jamblang Ibu Fitri was flavorful, and the heat from their chili-boosted dishes is rather moderate, compared to its siblings in Jakarta. For the extra kicks, don't forget to ask for their sambal.


Flavor-wise, Nasi Jamblang Ibu Fitri sits highly in our chart. Thick sauces, flavorful spicy seasonings with just moderate hotness, and plenty of options to choose from. 

Price-wise it's also very affordable, with a budget of 20-30K for three different dishes.

What we found rather frustrating was the queueless ordering system which triggers our anxiety, especially against ibu-ibu who popped out of nowhere and started ordering despite definitely coming later than us.

Parking on the curb is allowed after dark, and there are also metered ones not too far away that are destined for Nasi Jamblang Mang Dul customers. 

Definitely a worthy addition to your Wiskul Cirebon itineraries.

Nasi Jamblang Ibu Fitri

Across Grage Mall, Jl. Cipto Mangunkusumo, Pekiringan, Kesambi, Cirebon City, West Java 45131 

Please visit our Wiskul Cirebon recommendations in Google Maps, for ideas of food destinations to visit in Cirebon. (byms)

Wiskul Cirebon


After collecting references from fellow foodies and stalking through online reviews, we gathered a list of culinary destinations in this port city east of Jakarta, about four hour's drive. 

There was a four days long weekend and everyone was available, so the timing couldn't be better. Besides, the image of having nasi campur has been residing in my mind for a couple of weeks, and Nasi Jamblang Cirebon would be the perfect cure, right? 

Besides Nasi Jamblang, Cirebon as a port city, and closeness to Central Java also the birthplace of numerous unique dishes and products, like Empal Gentong, Docang, Mie Koclok, Yamien, and Empal Gentong less known sibling Empal Asem, among others.

Cirebon is also known for amazing condiments like Kecap Oedang Sari, shrimp-infused sweet soy sauce, with its ticklish savory sweet flavor. 

Here are the highlights from our recent wisata kuliner (culinary tour) in Cirebon, West Java, in no particular order:

  • Nasi Jamblang Ibu Fitri
  • Nasi Jamblang Mang Dul
  • Nasi Jamblang Ibad Otoy
  • Nasi Jamblang Ibu Nur
  • Mie Koclok Gombang Pak Rasita
  • Mie Koclok Jatimerta Mas Eko
  • Empal Gentong dan Empal Asem Amarta
  • Docang Pak Kumis 

Individual review coming up, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can browse through the complete list (46 places) in Google Maps here.

By the way, Cirebon in the Sundanese language loosely means "Shrimp waters", as in the older days harvesting and processing rebon (tiny shrimps) was the local's main income.

Cirebon is also one of the few cities in West Java that has keraton, or palace, as it used to be the capital of a couple of ancient kingdoms.

During the Dutch occupation, its name was also changed into Cheribon, hence nowadays you'll still find businesses there using "Cheri" as part of their name.


Less known delicious Thai foods you should try

Before living in Thailand, what we know about the country's culinary scenery is very limited to Pad Thai, Pandan Chicken, Thai Mango Salad, and surely the superstar Tom Yum Goong with its sibling Tom Kha Gai. 

After arriving, we discovered early on that most locals don't eat Pad Thai, they're more prefer a dish called Pad Kra Pao. Khao Man Gai (chicken rice) is everywhere and ridiculously cheap, most of the street food lunch spots provide free drinking water, there are tons of variants of Som Tum, and the street food on most parts is well thought out and managed.

After one and a half years of discovery, we strongly feel that there are traditional Thai foods that needed more exposure due to their amazing taste, so be sure to include these foods in your eating itineraries.

Halal-wise, all options mentioned here are non-pork, though cross-contamination might occurs.

1. Pla Dook Foo

This is a "cotton" crispy fish made of ground catfish meat deep-fried in batter. The result is a texture play that begins with crispiness as you bite the dish, but then after some while, turns into a pleasing chewy texture, packing a punch of umami from the fish meat and the batter. Depending on the variant, you would either get a Pla Dook Foo with sweet and sour sauce, Nam Pla Dook with fish sauce and mixed with raw shallots and raw mango, or Yum Pla Dook with raw mango salad on the side.

2. Som Tum

This dish is so amazing that Red Hot Chilli Peppers made a song about this, ",,, Som Tum I feel like I don't have a partner, som tum I feel like, my only friends..." 

Joking aside, what's commonly known as Thai Papaya Salad, turned out to have endless variety. Everything can be turned into Som Tum, from raw papaya (i.e. the original version), green mango, sweet corn, fermented crabs, seafood, salted egg, and century egg. If you can think about it, then there's probably a Som Tum version of it.  

Our favorite version is the Som Tum Mamuang (green mango) for the contrast of spicy savory sour taste, and Som Tum Khao Pod (sweet corn) for its sweetish flavor.

3. Larb

Imagine Som Tum but done with meat instead of vegetables. A definitely must ingredient of Larb is khao kua, or toasted sticky rice. It adds a crunchy texture to the dish, moderating its spiciness, and adds a nice roasted aroma.

The most popular version of Larb is definitely pork, however, the chicken version is also very popular. Beef and lamb version is quite rare, while the less common version but definitely worth trying is Larb Ped or Duck Larb (left one on the previous photo).

Don't be discouraged by its pale looks, because the taste is definitely awesome. So awesome, KFC Thailand decided to have their own version of fried chicken larb, sold as Spicy Chicken Rice Bowl, another definitely must try if you ever encountered one.

Breakfast and Work From Anywhere (WFA) recommendations in Bintaro, South Tangerang.

As my youngest is now enrolled in an elementary school in Bintaro, both me and wifey have been doing a couple of explorations of the neighborhood. 

The goal is to find a comfortable place for me to do a couple of works while waiting for my boy to finish school at 11 am. Not too far from Bintaro Plaza so we don't get stuck in traffic, also as his school starts at 7 am, then we need options that are already open by then. As for food, we'll be opting more for coffee, but good food wouldn't hurt.

Turned out it was quite hard.

Most coffee shops in the Bintaro open after 9, and the fancier ones at 10, which doesn't fit our needs. Meanwhile, those that open early are quite far away. 

After seeing we have very few options, we found it's better to reduce the requirements to open at 8 am instead of 7 am, thus we're able to expand our list a little bit. Here they are: 

  1. Kedai Kopi Kani (Sektor 1)
  2. Pigeonhole Coffee (Sektor 1)
  3. Stuja Coffee (Sektor 1)
  4. Omnikopi
  5. Blue Korintji
  6. Kopi Manyar
  7. Dandy Bakery 
  8. Dua Coffee @Bintaro
  9. Kedai Western
  10. Alaric Coffee
(The third one is not a coffee shop but it opens early). 

So what should we do between 7:15 and 8:00? We figured we'll just look for breakfast. 

In the next post, we'll be sharing snapshots of the places on the list. Do you know other places we should explore?

p.s.: You can also find the updated list here:

Halal Thai Cuisine at Home Cuisine Bangkok

While Tom Yum could be considered as the face of Thai food, along with Pad Thai, personally I found Tom Kha more exciting. It's a creamy sour soup with a strong hint of galangal and usually served with chicken. It's delicious, refreshing, and fits really well to be labeled as comfort food.

A big surprise I later discovered was to find this shrimp version of Tom Kha, in Home Cuisine, one of the oldest halal Thai restaurant in Bangkok. It has all the goodness of Tom Kha Gai, plus the sweetness of the shrimps, a must try for shrimp lovers!

Home Cuisine,
Halal Indian and Thai Cuisine,
In front of the French Embassy,
186 Charoen Krung 36 Alley,
Bang Rak,

Mid-Eastern Halal treats at Al-Hussain Bangkok

A Mid-Eastern/Indian food festivities at Al-Hussain near Nana, Sukhumvit.

The restaurant location made me feels like being teleported into "Arabic Kuta", due to the narrow alleys and the presence of small restaurants and cafes, just like Kuta, Bali. The difference is that instead of westerners and Balinese, here you have Mid-Eastern patrons and visitors.

As with the quality of the food, the mutton Kabuli is to die for, and other dishes we ordered was simply gorgeous. The whole eating experience itself made me feels like singing that Lego Movie song, "Everything is awesome..."

Sukhumvit Soi 3 ("Soi Arab")

Foodscape & Food Tourism Blueprint di Indonesia

Berikut ini sedikit catatan mengenai draft dari blueprint pengembangan foodscape daerah tujuan wisata Indonesia, sebagai hasil diskusi kelompok dalam acara Dialog Gastronomi Nasional 2017, yang mengusung tema “From Food to Root – The Rise of Gastronomy Tourism” diselenggarakan 29 Maret 2017 oleh Akademi Gastronomi Indonesia (AGI) bekerjasama dengan Kemenpar:

  • Di dalam blueprint pengembangan foodscape, perlu ada strategi yang tepat untuk memposisikan millenial customer dalam konsep bisnis suatu usaha makanan, mengingat potensinya di masa mendatang, sekaligus tantangan-tantangan yang muncul di masa kini (cenderung pelit, banyak tuntutan, dll.).
  • Sebelum bicara foodscape lebih luas, perlu dipikirkan bagaimana cara supaya makanan Indonesia kembali dikenal dan digemari oleh konsumen Indonesia, misalnya jenis inovasi yang bisa dilakukan, pengemasan, branding, dan pengubahan persepsi secara nasional oleh Kemenpar.
  • Dalam pembangunan foodscape, perlu ada program yang jelas untuk mendapatkan feedback mengenati motivasi, pain points, dan trigger dari sasaran pelanggan, sehingga bisa dijadikan insight untuk mengubah kebiasaan konsumsi mereka, sekaligus memperbaiki kualitas layanan suatu bisnis makanan.
  • Diperlukan adanya pengikutsertaan kaum millenial dalam promosi foodscape, misalnya menjadikannya agen promosi foodscape melalui kapasitasnya sebagai Key Opinion Leader (KOL). Usaha juga perlu ditargetkan kepada para idola kaum millenial (penyanyi, bintang film, atlet), untuk berpartisipasi aktif sesuai bidangnya, misalnya menciptakan lagu pop bertema makanan tradisional.
  • Dalam melestarikan foodscape perlu diadakan pembakuan formula untuk menjaga otensitas suatu masakan, konsistensi kualitas, serta cara untuk memodifikasinya menjadi hidangan yang disukai masyarakat luas. Misalnya: SOP, standardisasi, serta sertifikasi berjenjang yang dikeluarkan lembaga kredibel.
  • Untuk mendukung pengembangan foodscape, pengusaha bisnis makanan memerlukan panduan untuk brand identity, service model, hygiene, dan product development. Product development termasuk bagaimana caranya memanfaatkan bahan pangan lokal, serta mendorong terciptanya sinergi antara stakeholders foodscape di suatu daerah tujuan wisata.
  • Dalam menciptakan kenyamanan bagi pelanggan, perlu ada pendekatan holistik dengan memperhatikan panca indera, misalnya: faktor ergonomis untuk kursi dan meja makan, jenis lagu yang cocok untuk diputar sesuai jenis masakan dan selera pelanggan, suhu ideal dan cara menciptakannya, cara mengeliminasi bau yang mengganggu, warna lampu dan ruangan yang memberikan rasa nyaman, dll.

Digital Marketing for Branding Semarang National Seminar Semarang

If you're in Semarang on Saturday, 9 September 2017, head over to IMA Undip's event where I'd be presenting about Digital Marketing for Semarang Branding on Food and Tourism. See you!
INDONESIA MARKETING ASSOCIATION (IMA) sub chapter Universitas Diponegoro proudly present:

"Digital Marketing for Branding Semarang"


1. Trenggono, S.IP, M.Par
Kepala Bidang Pemasaran Pariwisata Dinas Kepemudaan, Olahraga dan Pariwisata Jawa Tengah

2. Hero Wijayadi
Founder Herosoftmedia Digital Agency

3. Bayu Amus
Food Blogger and Head of User Experience OLX Indonesia

Date and Place:
📅 Saturday, 9th 2017 September
⏰ 8 a.m
📍 Telkom Building, 8th floor Semarang
⚫ Student : 45k
⚫ Public : 55k
- Knowledge
- Seminar Kit
- Lunch
- Snack
- Sertificate
Registration Format:
Registration and Contact Person:
📞 Mirza (085733123159/Line: mirzarahmaniar
📞 Sindy (081327140928/Line: nursindyoktavia)
More info:
Instagram : @todays_marketing
Line Official : @zvm9215h
#visitsemarang #exploresemarang#semarang #semarangevent#epicurinaSMG

3257 Traditional Indonesian Dishes Discovered

On her latest research on Indonesian Gastronomy, Prof. Dr. Ir. Murdijati Gardjito managed to discover 3,257 traditional dishes!

She also identified 34 culinary regions in Indonesia, which are based on ethnic similarities instead of provinces.

The 3.257 discovered dishes are consisting of 208 main dishes; 1,805 side dishes; 1,013 desserts; and 147 drinks.

As with Indonesia's 34 culinary regions, Sumatera has 9, Java has 11, Sulawesi has 6, Kalimantan has 3, and the rest are Bali, NTB, NTT, Papua, and Maluku.

The result is a whopping update to previous Indonesian Culinary Bible "Mustika Rasa" which managed to document 1,600 dishes back in 1967 after a 7 years research.

Initially, there's Groot Nieuw Volledig Oost-Indisch Kookboek by JMJ Catenius van der Meyden, which was published in 1902. It documented 1,300 dishes of Dutch-Indies targeted for Dutch women.

As presented at Dialog Gastronomi Nasional 2017 in Jakarta.