[4 MIN READ]
WHERE IS IT?
Located almost 730m above sea level, Bandung is the capital city of West Java, Indonesia. It is located about 180km southeast of Jakarta, the nation’s capital.
HOW TO GET THERE?
I took a train from Gambir Station in Jakarta and it’s very convenient, took only about 3 hours, with zero traffic 😉 There are also van services that pick up from several malls and areas in Jakarta but they will be more expensive and you might get stuck in traffic for hours. The train is definitely the way to go! The Gambir Station could be quite packed in the morning. This is how it looked like:
HOW MUCH DID IT COST?
For transportation, we bought our roundtrip train tickets from Traveloka and it cost ~USD 11 in total (economy seats) for Jakarta – Bandung – Jakarta. You can also get it directly from the train station, but often times they’re sold out during the weekend or sometimes even weeks in advance, so it’s really recommended to book early.
For accommodation, there are many beautiful and affordable hotels and villas you can book online from Agoda or Airbnb. Price could start as low as USD 12/ night or less.
IS IT WORTH IT?
If you’re an Indonesian citizen, I thought it was a nice destination for a quick getaway. It was different from the busy capital, where’d you see tall buildings everywhere, and the journey to Bandung itself is quite scenic. The temperature is also cooler because of the altitude that’s located more uphills. Do note that the traffic in Bandung is quite bad nowadays.
If you’re a tourist visiting from far away, Bali or Komodo Islands are better places to visit, unless you have unlimited time in Indonesia and would love to explore as many cities and islands as possible.
CAN YOU GO BY YOURSELF WITHOUT A GUIDE?
Absolutely. It’s just a 3-hour train ride away from Jakarta and you can use a service like Grab (something like Uber) to get around the city. We rented two cars including drivers since there were 10 of us and we wanted to go to many places on one of the days.
A CULINARY WEEKEND IN THE COOL CITY
Since it was a short weekend trip, we didn’t get to try everything that is popular in Bandung, but we did get a chance to go to some of them and check if they’re really worth the hype. Here are the 6 places we went to:
I got the green chili spaghetti and thought it was just subpar. Tried a few random dishes our group ordered and didn’t find anything exciting. BUT OH MY GOD, the layered cakes were to die for. They were extremely soft, so rich in flavor, and melted perfectly in your mouth. We had the durian layered cake, thai tea layered cake, milo layered cake and they were all perfection. We also got the salted egg lava bomb, and I really liked it. I say come here for desserts after you’ve had your meal elsewhere. Man, they were good and made the 45 minutes queue worth it.
Address: Jl. Pasirkaliki No. 176, Pasirkaliki, Bandung
Phone number: 022-2052-4850
Opening hours: 7AM – 10PM
Martabak Nikmat Andir
I’m not really sure why I didn’t think this martabak was that amazing. Probably because I ate it when it got cold. Nevertheless, I still think it’s worth to try because they had some unique flavors that aren’t very common. We got the pandan jagung keju martabak which means a combination of pandan leaf, corn, and cheese martabak. If you didn’t know already, martabak is a type of stuffed thick pancake (street food) that’s very popular in Indonesia.
Address: Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 413, Pasir Koja, Bandung
Opening hours: 4PM – 11PM
Se’i Sapi Lamanera
Another joint that wasn’t my favorite. This place was so crowded and was rated as one of the best places to eat in Bandung, however I was starving when I got here so I ordered two regular plates all for myself. I got the Se’i Sapi Sambal Matah and the Se’i Iga Sapi Sambal Ijo. I thought they were just okay. The meats were a little too hard and thick so it took some time before I could completely chew and swallow them. The sambal (hot sauce) was subpar as well.
Address: Jl. Bagus Rangin No. 24A, Dago, Bandung
Phone number: 0821-1550-7836
Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM
This was some good food! I ordered quite a lot from them and got the Batagor and Siomay plus the fried tofu. They were all really good, but then I’m quite biased towards tofu. It’s one of my favorite food and I think anything that has tofu in it is good. For Bandung food though, I thought the price was a little too steep.
Although the overall eating experience and the taste weren’t excellent, this is a place I would come back to and recommend. The texture of the noodles was quite interesting, almost like that of spaghetti’s. The spices were also quite nice. The best thing about this place though was its generous portion. I came really hungry and left with a food coma. It had quite a range of selection but I decided to go with the Rica noodles because that’s what the restaurant was named after, so it has to be the best dish on the menu, right?
Address: Jl. Kejaksaan No.7, Braga, Sumur Bandung, Bandung
Phone number: 022-423-1268
Opening hours: 8AM – 2PM and re-opens again at 4:30PM – 8PM
Located in Lembang and quite far from the city center is Kampung Daun, a must visit restaurant in Bandung. I didn’t think the food was amazingly good, but the entire eating experience in a gazebo made the trip quite worthwhile. The menu ranges from local Indonesian food to Western food, but of course, I wouldn’t recommend any international dish and you would be better off ordering something local. This restaurant’s setting is quite unique that each gazebo is located individually so you won’t really see other people eating, though you might hear them. The place is also very forest-like and some gazebos are located higher than the others.
Address: Jl. Sersan Bajuri No. 88, Sersan Bajuri, Bandung
Phone number: 022-278-7915
Opening hours: 11AM – 11PM (on Saturday, it closes at midnight)
Overall, I think Jakarta has so many more options and selections, and I didn’t find Bandung’s culinary that special. Maybe it’s just me because I’m quite hard to impress when it comes to food, but hey taste is quite subjective so I’d still recommend you guys to come to these places and try. You might love them!