A trip to Semarang wouldn’t be complete without bring home a box or two of ikan bandeng (milkfish). As one of the city’s culinary icons, locating this delightful delicacy is as easy as pie, what with many shops in town offering various brands for you to choose from. However, the best – and the most long-lasting – is Bandeng Juwana Elrina.
First established in 1981, Bandeng Juwana has developed to become one of the most acclaimed ikan bandeng brands/shops in the capital city of Central Java. It operates two huge outlets along Jalan Pandanaran, while another one can be found on Jalan Pamularsih. There’s quite a number of versions for you get a hold of, including Bandeng Pepes (steamed milkfish), Bandeng Otak-Otak (milkfish cake), Bandeng Dalam Sangkar (crispy fried milkfish), Bandeng Asap (smoked milkfish), and Bandeng Vacuum (milkfish in vacuumed-packaging).
I hadn’t a clue as to which Bandeng brand to opt for before I went to Semarang. My first attempt, which I did by picking out a shop randomly, ended terribly. Luckily, an employee there directed me to Bandeng Juwana Elrina instead. He also told me that it is the only brand that sells Bandeng Vacuum that can be kept in the refrigerator for up to six months. Each box contains six pieces of Bandeng, along with a few packs of its special sambal. The only downside is that the sambal only has a lifespan of three days before it becomes inedible.
Jl. Pandanaran No. 57,
Semarang, Central Java
T: 024 831 1488/024 831 3164
Open daily from 6am-11pm
Price: Rp.108,000/US$8.20 per pack