Tasting Makassar's Culinary


Last month, I went to Makassar, my birthplace, visiting it for the first time since I was a baby. I took my second solo flight from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport as my husband had been in Makassar for business trip. He showed me a lot of special culinary in Makassar. 

On the first day we ate Coto Nusantara which sold the famous coto Makassar. It was soto that was eaten along with ketupat or special dish named buras. Buras was a kind of lontong cooked with santan. You can choose either meat, paru (lungs), or gajih (lard) as a side dish. To eat coto (and other Makassar foods, later I found), we can add up some lime juice  (I mean, perasan jeruk nipis) and sambal. I must say that the sambal here were very spicy. So, don't add up if you can't handle it. 

When I sipped the soup, it felt like heaven. I didn't know that there was a food from a place far away that matched my taste. Almost all foods from my hometown were too sweet and a little less salty to me. And this one... It came from far away land and it just tasted so good! I almost cried when I ate coto Makassar :"

On the second day, we ate Mi Titi. At first, I doubted to eat it since in my hometown, Semarang, Mi Titi is a noodle cooked with pork oil which is prohibited in my religion. But, as I saw a lot of people wearing hijab eating Mi Titi, I was assured that it was safe. Mi Titi was a dry fried noodle poured with a thick sauce made of water, egg, and maize, along with seafood topping. It was like ifumie but with the best sauce and seafood topping I could ever ask for. 

Makassar is the land of every sailor and fisherman. No wonder that seafood there is the best. The shrimp, squid, and fish fillet that were served as the topping on Mi Titi were so fresh that I thought there were fishermen behind their restaurant throwing shrimps, squids, and fishes right from the ocean :))

On the third day, we ate Sop Saudara. Basically, it was more like soto than soup. Even I think that it was more soto than the coto itself, which should be a variant of soto because there were satay and perkedel (mashed potato fried with egg). The soup, the side dishes, and how you eat them were actually the same. I think that is how Makassar people eat the soup-based meals. But, to me, I preferred coto than this one, since the lard wasn't separated entirely from the meat and I am not a lard person. I didn't like how it tastes.

On the fourth day, we ate grilled squid and otak-otak. The squid was so big that I and my husband became very amazed. It was grilled on charcoal and poured with the squid's ink. For almost my entire life, I never ever ever liked how the squid's ink taste. But, that one time was different since it was sweet. I didn't know if they cooked it with sugar, but it tasted different and better. 

To eat this, again, there were lime juice and sambal. Four kinds of sambal. And one of the cooks there, told us to mix all the four sambals, which were spicy, salty-spicy, sweet-spicy, and sour (this one is actually unripe mango), and ate with that mixed up sambal. It tasted spicy, but salty, sweet, and sour. Or we should say, it tasted fresh just like when you are stranded on an island and you catch a squid from the ocean and you cook it yourself and  you make your own sambals using herbs you pick yourself. 

Even so, I thought that their otak-otak was not the best like my mother ever told me. She said that Makassar has the best otak-otak ever. Well, I must disagree, I still think that otak-otak in Bangka is the best.

On the fifth day, we ate Palu Basa Serigala. I thought that the name Serigala (fox) symbolised something strong or anything great. But when I saw Palu Basa Onta located on Onta Road, I understood that it was just a location. Yes, Palu Basa Serigala is a restaurant which sell palu basa located in Serigala road. Well, until now I still think that as a road name, Serigala is too weird and scary.

It was almost the same like other soup-based dishes in Makassar, but we could choose to eat it with egg or not. And when the seller asked us with or without egg, it meant with or without uncooked egg. I chose without. And here, we could not choose beef/lungs/lard, we got everything in bowl. 

On the sixth day, we ate Konro. Konro means iga in Bahasa or ribs in English. And what was magnificent about eating Konro in its origin place was that the ribs were huge and so many. For example, my husband ate Konro in Jakarta and it was only one tiny rib with a not so different price compared with one in Makassar. It can be served with soup or grilled. We tried both. I liked the grilled one, maybe because I was so fed up with soup. The grilled Konro was actually ribs grilled with peanut sauce like satay. But again, I didn't like how lard attached to the meat.

Besides those foods above, I also tried Makassar's famous snack: Pisang Epe. It was a raw banana grilled on charcoal and poured with caramel sauce and topping that we could choose. I chose cheese topping and ate it on Pantai Losari while watching the sunset. 

I also bought some snacks for my friends in Jakarta, such as banang-banang, kacang sembunyi (hiding peanuts), and kue kurma (dates cookie). Banang-banang was made of flour fried and flavoured with caramel. Kacang sembunyi was tasted like eating-enting because it was consisted of peanuts fried inside rolled flour batter and flavoured with caramel. Meanwhile, kue kurma was dates coated with peanut flakes.

Unfortunately, there were a lot of other snacks that I haven't tried in Makassar, like palu butung, jalangkote, and many others. Cake shop "Mama" in Pecinan was famous for many Makassar's traditional snacks. Next time I come back there, I'll definitely visit it :)

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