What to Eat When Visiting Bintan
What is the one thing you look out for when visiting a new city or country? Well, some travel for beautiful scenery and breathtaking landscapes, some to raid the shops and markets, while still others travel in pursuit of indulging in extraordinary cuisine on foreign lands.
Culinary tourism has consistently been a trend in the past decade. Many people define cuisine to be some kind of artistic expression as well as a reflection of a city or country’s culture and community values. It makes you appreciate the places you set foot in even more.
Bintan is no exception. Other than being a nautical paradise, Bintan is also rich in culinary treasures. The culinary delights on Bintan Island are heavily influenced by Malay and Chinese culture and the area that is surrounded by the sea.
Gonggong, which translates to sea snails in English, is probably one of the most famous delicacies in Bintan. It is a type of sea snail that is most commonly found in the waters around Bintan and can often be found on the menu at many restaurants on the island. They are typically boiled and served with a chilli sauce dip.
To enjoy this dish, simply use a toothpick provided to spear the flesh and remove it from its shell. In terms of texture and taste, it is somewhat similar to squid but it is most delicious when dipped into the accompanying chili sauce.
Otak-otak, a grilled fish cake made of ground fish meat mixed with spices, red chilli and tapioca starch is a traditional snack that is widely found in Malaysia and Indonesia. On Bintan Island, cuttlefish, also known as sotong, is processed as a base for otak-otak, giving it a more interesting texture and flavour. When wrapped in fragrant banana leaves and slow-grilled over charcoal embers, otak-otak sotong packs an aromatic punch that we are sure culinary tourists will appreciate.
Asam Pedas Sembilang
Asam Pedas Sembilang which roughly translates to sour and spicy fish is a classic Malay dish. It is tangy, fiery and absolutely delicious. On Bintan Island, chefs put a local twist to this spicy sour dish by using Sembilang fish which is sourced from the sea surrounding the island instead of the traditional Spanish mackerel.
From tamarind, turmeric and dried chillies to curry leaves, tomatoes and dried shrimp paste, the vibrant colour of the gravy and its robust flavour can be credited to the multitude of spices and ingredients that go into it. A generous piece of Sembilang fish is then stewed in this gravy, absorbing all that goodness such that every bite is a burst of flavour.
Tarempa noodles are one of the most famous noodle dishes from the Riau Islands. Originating from the coastal town of Tarempa in the Anambas Islands, Terempa noodles was so named after the village it came from. Made with flour and eggs and typically stir-fried in a concoction of oyster sauce, tomato sauce, sweet soy sauce and soy sauce, Tarempa noodles are usually enjoyed with seafood like squid and shrimp.
The sweet and sour combination of the sauces pair perfectly well with the chewy texture of the noodles for a delightful mouthfeel that makes this particular dish a favourite amongst not just locals, but tourists as well.
Laksa is a peranakan soup dish that consists of noodles made from sago flour, making it a little chewy. These noodles are blanched before it is ladled over with a thick, full-bodied broth made from coconut milk, tamarind, shredded mackerel and fragrant spices. For an extra kick of flavour, diners may choose to mix sambal into the soup. Fresh prawns and fishcakes are usually added as toppings to elevate this yummy dish.
Out of these five dishes, which one is your favourite?
Stay at The ANMON Resort Bintan
Complete your vacation experience on Bintan Island by staying at The ANMON Resort Bintan, a desert-inspired glamping resort that offers both comfort and luxury for its guests. Enjoy the best glamping experience right here at The ANMON Resort Bintan, where soulful experiences meet wanderlust.
This self-contained resort offers extensive facilities that will revitalise the mind, body and spirit of its visitors. Guests will find themselves treated to a modern comfort inside a soft-white teepee tent with an en-suite bathroom that will guarantee an exquisite and wonderful stay. On top of that, The ANMON Resort Bintan is a hop, skip and a jump away from the Crystal Lagoon.