Many long-standing eateries on our shores have been running for decades yet gone unnoticed. One such example is Rumah Makan Bintang in Pangkal Pinang – an eatery found in the capital city of the Bangka-Belitung province that I came across during my search for pork dishes whilst in town. Despite having been around for 40 years, it still lags behind the likes of Bakmi Lokut and Rumah Makan Mr. Asui in the popularity stakes.
Located in Kampung Bintang right next to Mie Akau, it’s suggested that customers come around at 11am, which is when all the dishes on its menu will be readily available. Its aesthetics are nothing to write home about – it looks more like someone’s house, but with additional tables and chairs – and the place was empty when I got there during the early hours of the evening.
The sight of a deserted restaurant led me to doubt my decision in paying this shop a visit. However, since I was already there, I might as well make the most of it. And so I asked the waitress for their menu, and without a clue as to what to order, she recommended me to have a go at its Babi Kulu.
“It’s basically crispy pork topped with sweet-and-sour gravy, and it should be enough for two to three people,” she describes. I immediately complied with her suggestion. Not long after, I breathed a sigh of relief as more punters beside yours truly began flooding in. By the time my food had arrived, the restaurant was already a little too crowded for my liking.
Brownish in colour, the crispy pork is slathered with reddish gravy and seemed very appetising. There were slices of pineapple, onions, cauliflowers, tomatoes and cucumber cubes found in the concoction as well. The gravy featured the perfect balance between sweet and sour, with the moderate tangy trace making the crunchy yet juicy pork even tastier.
Jl. Kampung Bintang,
Open daily from 8am-8pm
Rp.150,000/US$11.50 per person