“The Lontong CGM was drenched in a tasty coconut milk broth, topped off with beef rendang, urap, shredded ayam pelala, and ayam opor.”
If I could only choose one eatery in Lombok that I could revisit in the future, it has to be Rumah Makan Ramayana. No, it doesn’t specialise in Ayam Taliwang and the likes, yet its Es Kacang Hijau and Lontong Cap Go Meh are just heavenly. Calling Lombok’s Chinatown its home, Rumah Makan Ramayana was packed to the brim with people at the time of my visit. Pages from its menu adorned one of the walls of the eatery, and in them one can find food that comes from all corners of the archipelago, including, among others, Sop Buntut (oxtail soup) and Rawon (beef soup with black nuts). I was slightly flabbergasted at first by the amount of choices that was on offer, but after I regained my composure, I settled with Lontong CGM (Cap Go Meh for short), Sop Buntut, and Es Kacang Hijau (mung-bean porridge served with ice).
The dishes came in huge portions. The Lontong CGM was drenched in a tasty coconut milk broth, topped off with beef rendang, urap(mixed vegetables), shredded ayam pelala (spicy chicken), and ayam opor(chicken cooked in coconut milk). Each of these elements was cooked to perfection. I know that Sop Buntut is quite a common Indonesian dish, but Rumah Makan Ramayana’s version trumped every other Sop Buntut that I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. The chunky oxtail was cooked in a clear soup that was peppery, salty, and spicy. The Es Kacang Hijau provided the ultimate bookend to my meal. It wasn’t too sweet, but it had a hint of saltiness that came from the coconut milk. The mung beans were larger than the ones that they would use in Jakarta.
Upon completion of my splendid repast, I had a quick chat with Ci Elmin, the owner of the establishment, before our conversation abruptly grinded to a halt as she had to tend to a few to-go orders that came in during our confabulation. “I set up shop in 1976 nearby the cinema. In 1979, we moved to our current location,” she reminisces before dashing back to her workspace. I was somewhat disheartened, but still very much satisfied after that sweet Es Kacang Hijau ending.’
By Jessicha Valentina
Jl. Saleh Sungkar No. 23,
Ampenan, Mataram, Lombok
Nusa Tenggara Barat
T: 0370 637 674
Open daily from 8.30am-6pm
Rp.35,000/US$2.40 per person