Lombok: Warung Nasi Cim Smak

“The overall taste has a Javanese-meets-Lombok feel to it, with the spicy Beberuk combining well with the sweet and aromaticSemur Daging.

It never occurred to me that I’d end up falling in love with Lombok’s moreish local delicacies and majestic sceneries. Prior to my departure, my knowledge of Lombok merely extended to Ayam Bakar Taliwang (Taliwang grilled chicken). I didn’t even have the slightest idea of its natural beauteous landscapes. All that changed after my recent five-day sojourn on the island. Its vast array of eateries, tantalising local dishes, calming countryside and white-sand beaches undoubtedly rival those of Bali, and I reckon it will only be a matter of time before Lombok will be talked about in the same vein as its world-famous neighbour.

I had the pleasure of dining at a time-honoured establishment located in downtown Mataram called Warung Nasi Cim Smak. Founded by Thio Suang In in 1958, the restaurant’s humble beginnings as a small stall set up at the porch of Suang In’s house is now but a faded memory. In 2005, it became a small roadside warung on Jalan Maktal, and not long after, it moved to a permanent place at a nearby shoplot, which is where it has remained.

A quick glance at the clock on my smartphone showed that it was 10am before I stepped foot inside the joint. Even from outside, I could see that there was already a crowd inside. With its surroundings filled with office buildings, I could imagine how packed it would be come lunchtime. I went in, and immediately made my way to the counter to select my side dishes for its Nasi Campur (mixed rice). I opted for Semur Daging (beef stew), fried tofu, Bakwan Jagung (deep-fried corn fritter), and Beberuk (spicy mixed vegetable salad).

Settling down at a table right next to a wall adorned with pictures of the old warung, I was then ready to make short work of my meal. The overall taste has a Javanese-meets-Lombok feel to it, with the spicy Beberuk combining well with the sweet and aromaticSemur Daging. Despite it ended up being a very pleasant dining experience, I was kicking myself afterwards as a quick chat with one of the employees there following my nosh-up revealed that the Rawon (beef black soup) is actually the shop’s most popular dish.

Jl. Maktal No. 15A
Cakranegara, Mataram, Lombok
T: 0370 622 817
Open daily from 7.30am-8.30pm
Rp.20,000/US$1.50 per person

A die-hard fan of authentic Indonesian delights who loves the idea of travelling to the cradle of those enticing local treats. Yet, you might often find this young lad busy with his guitar – be it alone in his room or, sometimes, on stage.


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