“If you prefer a rather spicier affair, then follow my example by dabbing the chicken on to the hot Beberuk.”
Lombok is one of a kind. My recent culinary escapade on the island brought me the sight of breathtaking vistas and the opportunity to make the acquaintance of its kind and gracious inhabitants. They made for unforgettable stories that I could tell to my grandchildren in the future. Of course, one aspect of the island that endeared it to me the most was its local foodscape, while one dish that significantly captured my imagination, my heart, and my tummy is Ayam Bakar Taliwang (Taliwang grilled chicken).
Amongst the many eateries in Mataram that specialises in this iconic Lombok dish, RM Taliwang Pertama stands out the most. Established in 1967, it has two outlets in town and is currently run by the second generation of its founder’s family. It is housed in a permanent building and is capacious enough to hold up to 60 customers. A number of local tourists could be seen noshing down on some Ayam Bakar Taliwang when I got there, as I overheard – or eavesdropped, depending on how you would perceive it – them exchanging their thoughts on its taste.
I ordered its Ayam Bakar Madu Taliwang (Taliwang honey grilled chicken) after I sat down, and then I waited. After twiddling my thumbs for almost 20 minutes – my guess is that they prepare their food only after an order is placed – it finally arrived, served with Beberuk (spicy mixed vegetable salad) and Pelalah (coconut milk sauce) on the side.
The chicken was really fresh and juicy, with the sweet zest of the honey combining well with the spicy flavour of the grilled chicken and the creamy Pelalah sauce. If you prefer a rather spicier affair, then follow my example by dabbing the chicken on to the hot Beberuk. I ended up sweating like a pig and gulping down three glasses of iced water afterwards.
Jl. Ade Irma Suryani No. 20
T: 0370 648 507
Open daily from 6am-10pm
Rp.90,000/US$6.50 per person