We only were in Malang for a few days and had a very busy itinerary, so our culinary adventures were somewhat limited. But, I can say that Malang has some great food for very modest prices. You will not go hungry in this town.
Bakso Bakar Pak Man
Okay, I have to admit I am not a huge fan of the famous bakso in Indonesia. For those who don’t know what bakso is, it is basically a grey-looking meatball that comes in various sizes and meat (chicken, beef, fish). It is a very popular food in Indonesia, which you can find pretty much everywhere. They serve it various local styles in restaurants, warung’s, and kaki lima’s (portable food stalls) all over the country. It’s a cheap and fast meal. Despite its popularity, I’m personally kind of indifferent about it overall.
That said, after eating the bakso bakar at Bakso Bakar Pak Man in Malang, I am a huge fan of the grilled version of the bakso. This was super-delicious and I think in our short trip around Malang we ate here three times. The restaurant is very modest; it is nothing more than a room with some tables. You order by going to the guy at the back and tell him how many bakso you want, which is usually 10 or 15. Afterwards, you grab bowl and help yourself to blue noodles, tofu, vegetables, and some broth.
The meatballs here are cooked and then grilled and this method provided a very crunchy and sweet bite to the meatballs and it was served in a spicy soy sauce (I think), which made it so delicious. The taste was wonderful and something I really miss now.
Bakso Bakar Pak Man’s restaurant was absolutely packed with locals when we went there both times, so you now it is good. The second time we ate there we were very lucky because not long after we ordered our food they ran out of meatballs, so I can only advice you to go early if you happen to want to try this. They close up shop when they run out. First come, first served.
Another place we had a meal at was a restaurant named Rumah Inggil. This was a fairly popular and touristy place. The restaurant almost looks like a museum and is filled, perhaps a bit too much, with all kinds of items from the past. Advertisements from the early 20th century decorate the walls, and there are old photos on display along with pins, masks, wayang puppets, and so much more. It is kind of a themed-restaurant.
The food was ok. I wouldn’t say it was the best food we had on our trip, but it was serviceable and pretty decent for the price. Malang is famous for its apples and you can some interesting apple-related dishes and sauces there. We tried the apple sambal, which was good. Overall, I think this place was quite popular with tourists, travellers, and people having a birthday party. It’s also the first time I tried soda gembira, a mega-sweet combination of soda and syrup that looks like liquid cotton candy. It’s interesting and pretty much the sweetest drink I have ever had. Phew!
Anyway, these are two restaurants you could check out when you are in Malang for a day or three.