All the time in the world would never be enough to accommodate a conversation regarding the wealth and diversity of Indonesia’s worlds of culture and culinary. In the same manner as most other areas in the country, the people of Belitung also practise the unique tradition of eating communally. Known as “makan bedulang”, it sees enough food prepared for four individuals that are served on a dulang (large platter) that would then be eaten together.
However, this custom has begun to go the way of the dodo with the passing of time – almost to the point of being forgotten completely. Ruma Makan Timpo Duluk has been trying to reverse this decline and promote this age-old tradition to the general public by offering a feast. Sporting a signature Belitung decor, the restaurant gives regular folks the opportunity to sample delicious local dishes and share them with others.
Five different dishes were served on the dulang, with its Gangan Ikan (yellow soup with fish and pineapple) taking centre stage. Using wrasse, Gangan Ikan features a very refreshing flavour, with the combination of the intense spices and the sweet-and-sour pineapples resulting in a very tantalising broth. At first glance, you’ll notice that it shares a few similarities with Palembang’s Pindang Ikan (steamed and salted fish).
The other four dishes – Pepes Ikan-shaped Sate Ikan (fish satay), Tumis Kacang Panjang (seared long beans), Opor Ayam Kering (dry chicken stew), and Sayur Daun Singkong (cassava leaves) – were up to scratch as well, accompanied by a dollop of hot sambal. In my opinion, I felt that the fish satay suited my palate perfectly with its soft texture and delicious taste. Add a dab of its Sambal Terasi (shrimp paste sambal) to make every spoonful an unforgettable one.
This joint also caters to those who want to experience makan bedulang for two. Other Belitung dishes that are made using recipes that have been around since 1918 are also available. Ruma Makan Timpo Duluk is the ideal place for both local and foreign tourists to get familiar with the Belitung cuisine.
You also can read the article on The Jakarta Post: Enjoying The Near-Forgotten Act of Communal Dining.
Jl. Lettu Mad Daud No. 22,
T: 0791 922 3242
Open daily from 11am-10pm
Rp.120,000/US$17 per small platter