This hot city is known for its Dutch colonial architecture, Chinatown, tidal flood, and culinary, especially the fusion culinary between Chinese and Indonesian flavors. Im gonna tell you about my culinary experience just around Simpang Lima and Gajah Mada street.
1. Lumpia Express
Located at Jalan Gajah Mada 142 AA, Semarang. This is kinda springrolls filled with bamboo shoots, chicken, shrimp, and boiled egg in wet and dried form. Bamboo shoots is a must filling in lumpia. Some of us may dislike bamboo shoots smell eventhough they have reduced a lot that stingy smell. My friend, who accompanied me that time, did’nt like that smell but when he tried to taste it, he succeded to eat that so-damn-good food. It is best served with onion leaves, cucumber pickles, fresh chili, and a special thick-and-sweet lumpia sauce. You can eat it in or take it away.
2. Pong Tofu “Perempatan Depok”
Located in the corner of Depok and Gajah Mada street intersection. The fried tofu is served with rise dish, fried boiled-egg, fermented-shrimp sauce, and radish pickles. You can taste this delicious food by paying only Rp13.000 for the pong tofu only package to 24.000 for the complete one.
3. Nasi Pecel “Mbok Sador”
Located in Simpang Lima across the Ace Hardware building. This is the infamous pecel stall in Simpang Lima.
Nasi pecel is made of rice dish with cooked vegetables (i.e. long bean, kangkung, bean sprouts, sawi, papaya leaves, cassava leaves) and peanut sauce (pecel). You can add rempeyek, kerupuk, satay, fried tempe and tofu, corn croquette, and many other choices.
4. Nasi Pindang Kudus and Soto Sapi “Gajahmada”
Located in front of Petempen street. Nasi pindang is made of rice dish with traditional spicy beef soup. There are some complementary side dishes like potatoe croquette, fried tempe and tahu, kerupuk, and chicken intestines satay. It opens from quite early in the morning until evening.
5. Maduranese Chicken Satay
You’ll find some food vendors sell this East Java dish in Gajah Mada street near to Depok street, but we chose H.M. Hasan satay. You can taste the delicious grilled chicken and egg served with peanut sauce, soy sauce, fresh onion slices, lime juice, and lontong slices (a cylinder boiled and compressed rice cake wrapped inside a banana leaf).
There is also a smashed banana vendor near to the satay vendor. You can choose topping combinations from chocolate sprinkles, cheese, powder sugar, to brown sugar. It only costs Rp5.000 per plate
6. Babat Fried Rice “Pak Karmin”
Located near to Lumpia Express. A mouth-watering spiciy and a bit sweet Javanesse fried rice with beef tripe (babat) that suits to my Javanesse tongue. You can order a plate of babat gongso, beef tripe stir-fried with soy sauce, to get more fat and satisfaction. A plate of fried rice costs about Rp20.000,00 with lots of babat slice.
You will find this kinda food stall in the night in front of Great Mosque in Simpang Lima which you have to sit (in Javanesse “angkring”) on the floor and you can discuss or gosipping as long as you want to. There are mini gudeg rice, or rice with papaya leaves, or rice with anchovies costs as a main dish. A skewered, seasoned, boiled quail eggs satay, sausage satay, chicken intestines satay, meatball satay, fried snack (gorengan) as side dishes that cost very cheap. Don’t forget to order STMJ, abbreviation from susu (milk), telur (egg), madu (honey), and jahe (ginger), a hot traditional drink to warm your body. You’ll find many street musicians come and go, so you’d better prepare some small change for them.
8. Duck Fried Rice
This is an roadside food vendor in Inspeksi Street which sells hot spicy fried duck and hot spicy Javanesse fried rice with duck. It’s so hot, delicious, but a bit expensive for an open stall in Semarang.
9. Meatball Tofu “Cah Ungaran”
Located at Jalan Simpang Lima no. 2, in the corner of Simpang Lima, near to a gift shop across the street from Ace building, this food originally comes from Ungaran, in Semarang highland. Ough goshhh… I do like this steamed tofu filled with meatball. You can fry it first or eat it directly. The fried meatball tofu costs Rp33.000, and the unfried one costs Rp30.000 per box contains 10 meatball tofus. Served with fresh green chili or table sauce.
I love Semarang culinary and can’t get enough of them.