Must Eat

One of the benefits of a small city is that many kinds of food are still made by hand at home (simply because factories that mass-produce them don’t exist). Also seafood in Sabang is produced locally, which means that it doesn’t have to go through preservation and refrigeration processes. Similarly, fruits you see in the market are grown organically and come straight from a local farm.

Despite its freshness and quality, there’s a lack of information on food in Sabang. We hope our list below helps you find your favourite Sabang food.
Fresh homemade noodles

Grilled Fish

In fact you can't go wrong with any kind of fish dish, such as chilli fish or asam manis (sweet and sour) fish. Fish in Sabang is incredibly fresh – it really does taste better than fish from the rest of the country. If you to go  Rubiah Island for snorkelling or diving (highly recommended), you can enjoy a grilled fish during your break for Rp 80,000.

Satay Octopus

Continuing with seafood theme, Sabang’s satay octopus is unique and delicious. You can have it with lontong (rice cakes) or rice, accompanied by either peanut sauce or the more savoury Padang sauce. One serve of satay octopus costs Rp 10,000. You can find satay octopus in various places near the city centre – such as Taman Wisata Kuliner (Culinary Tourism Park) – and Rubiah Island.

Satay trivia:
  • Indonesians usually have their satays with lontong
  • Padang is an Indonesian town known for its unique satay sauce flavour

Martabak Telor (Egg Martabak)

Martabak in Sabang is different from the kinds that are commonly found in Indonesia and Malaysia. Unlike other martabak varieties whose main feature is either curry or sweet flavour, Sabang’s is eggs. Martabak Telor (Egg Martabak) is beaten eggs pan-fried with roti-like dough, spring onions and butter, served with pickled shallot and chilli. Make sure you have your martabak with the pickle – it’s an important part of the dish.

A martabak made with 1 egg and 2 slices of dough costs a mere Rp 5,000, or you can “upsize” to 2 eggs for Rp 8,000. You can get a very yummy martabak (or two!) from a street-side stall opposite of Hotel Citra in the city centre.
If you can't deal with spicy food feel free to skip the chillies,
but the shallot pickle is highly recommended

Nasi Kuning (Yellow Rice)

If you’re getting martabak from the recommended stall above, you must also get Nasi Kuning (Yellow Rice) from its neighbouring stall. For a small price of Rp 5,000 you’ll get one small serve of yellow rice and a choice of chilli fish or curry chicken. If you’re a little reserved about consuming yellow-coloured rice, don’t be. The rice is cooked with natural ingredients – namely turmeric and coconut – that give it fabulous fragrance. The delicious rice is what makes this food special.

Sirsak (Soursop Fruit)

Compared to Jakarta, sirsak in Sabang is fresh, very cheap, big and firm (not soggy). It’s so good that some visitors from the nation’s capital refuse to fly back without taking a few Sabang sirsaks home!

You can buy sirsak from the traditional market in the city centre for about Rp 7,500 each. You can also get sirsak from fruit street vendors.
A perfect blend of sweet and sour gives sirsak its nice taste

Fruit vendor preparing
to sell sirsaks in the market

Pisang Ayam (Banana)

Sabang’s pisang (banana) is another fruit that is fresher and tastier than other regions’ counterpart, because Sabang farmers grow bananas naturally without using chemicals. It is recommended to get the banana variety called Pisang Ayam as it tends to taste better. You can get a bunch of pisang ayam from the city centre’s market for about Rp 10,000 to Rp 15,000 depending on the size of the bunch. You can also find bananas from fruit street vendors.

Fresh Bread with Srikaya (Southeast Asian Spread)

Popular in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Srikaya is a sweet spread made from coconut, eggs and brown sugar.

If you’re after a nice Southeast Asian breakfast, the Aneka Ria coffee shop on Jalan Perdagangan serves fresh bread with homemade srikaya. The shop owners have been making srikaya for 2 generations.

The friendly folks at Aneka Ria will happily serve you 2 pieces of srikaya bread for $5,000 and a nice cup of coffee for $3,000.
Traditionally prepared bread with Srikaya spread and coffee

Mie Rebus (Boiled Noodles)

This is another food item that makes the list for being homemade. For Rp 10,000 you can get a plate of egg noodle soup with delicious fish cakes, bean sprouts and pickled chilli – all of which are homemade – from the Mie Rebus (Boiled Noodles) stall in the alleyway between Kedai Kopi Jogja and Toko Cahaya Baru on Jalan Perdagangan. The stall is open for breakfast from 6 am to 10 am.

If you find noodles too heavy for breakfast, don’t worry, you don’t have to miss out. You can have noodles for lunch or dinner at Toko Pulau Baru on Jalan Perdagangan, a noodle shop that is hugely popular with local Sabang residents. Known as Mie Jalak (Jalak Noodles – named after its cook Jalak), the noodles and its ingredients are similar to the recommended breakfast stall: homemade egg noodles with diced fish cakes in tasty broth. A plate of noodles sets you back Rp 12,000, or Rp 15,000 if you add an egg.
Noodles made with fresh ingredients

Kencana Cafe

Last, but not least, you should definitely try having lunch at Kencana Cafe. It has a big selection of tasty dishes to choose from (soup, vegetables, seafood, meat) and is very reasonably priced. What’s more, this is where Mr. President Jokowi ate when he visited Sabang in March 2015. So that should dispel any doubt you may have about this restaurant’s food.

In Kencana Cafe you go ahead and collect your own food buffet style, as much or little as you want, and a staff member will take a quick look at your plate and calculate the price. A plate of rice with generous servings of dishes costs about Rp 25,000.

Kencana Cafe is on Jalan H Agus Salim, about 2 kms from the “CBD” on Jalan Perdagangan.
Kencana Cafe provides a clean and open eating space