by Gianluca Tucci
Gianluca Tucci is a Club Med G.M who shares his experience of food in Indonesia with Club Med.
“Nasi” means “rice” and “Goreng” means “to fry”… Together they make “fried rice”. The dish includes vegetables and egg, and, in some instances, meat is used.
This delicacy originated close to Java, an island at the economic and geographic centre of Indonesia. It is also home to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia and where you will find more than half of the nation’s population.
Nasi goreng is pronounced [NAA] + [SEE] + [GUH] + [RENG]. With a name like that it’s no wonder it is one of the most popular dishes in Indonesia.
The taste in Bintan
The dish is generally made up of sweet soy soup (caramelized kecap manis) and shrimp paste (ground, powdered terasi). This results in an aromatic taste that is authentic and characterised by the culture and ever-popular use of rice in Indonesian dishes.
The first time I tried the dish was at the Club Med village of Bintan Island.
With the wide array of culinary options at the Club Med village (or resort) from the Waterfall buffet restaurant to the incredible Terrasse restaurant on the beach, you are never short of options (or a full stomach, for that matter).
What I appreciated most about the village was the opportunity to try local delicacies and immerse your taste buds in unfamiliar recipes – tastes that leave you smiling and enriched.
Nasi goreng was one of these dishes for me. It very quickly became a dish I tried more than once in the morning, especially before a run or paddleboard. The ingredients ensured the energy I needed and the taste resonated with the vibrant days I had on the island.
When it was available, I wasn’t shy to indulge in it in the evenings as well. I soon learnt that the dish was one of the most traditional meals in Indonesia and is used to compliment many of their dishes.
The beauty about food is that when you experience different kinds of it in different places, it becomes a symbol of that place and a delicious memory of an experience.
A boat trip and a braai in the mangroves
Speaking of food memories, I fondly remember a boat trip and delicious fish braai we enjoyed in Indonesia. While staying at Club Med Bintan Island we organised a boat excursion as a group, facilitated by the Club Med G.Os. We left in the morning, with the sun out, on a beautiful speed boat that took us onto the small yacht that would help us explore the South China Sea.
Surrounded by many islands, our first stop was a remote location for snorkelling (our gear was provided) so we set out into the waters.
Once our energies were spent exploring the amazing waters and sea life, we ventured into the mangroves to a local fish market. As we stepped off the boat, we were welcomed to a fish barbecue (or braai, as we call it in South Africa) and we indulged in a number of foods including crab, squid, beef, salads, and steamed rice. It was nothing short of delicious.
The trip back allowed us the time to enjoy the ocean views, digest, and set foot back onto the beautiful village of Club Med Bintan Island.
Club Med Bintan Island is definitely an island paradise that speaks to the right mix of relaxation, fun, and adventure. With its super friendly G.Os and endless activities, the village will have you embracing all the right elements of a holiday…especially the delicious local food.
Speak to a Club Med sun specialist at the Travel Agency by Club Med to book your own family on an All-Inclusive holiday.
Read more from a different Club Med G.M about their time in Bintan Island here.