So after exploring the majestic Tangkuban Perahu volcano, dipping our feet in Sari Ater’s hot springs and taking in the sights at Ciater’s tea plantations, our tummies were well and rumbling – high time for lunch! :) Tucked into the mountainside is a scenic resto called Gubug Makan Mang Engking, which serves traditional Indonesian cuisine.
Instead of a typical restaurant, the place cleverly incorporates its surroundings, so that diners can enjoy the beauty of nature while tucking in to their food. There was a pond in the middle, with walkways and dozens of smaller attap roofed gazebos. In the middle was the main hall for large functions, with a couple of decorative boats. Loads of greenery everywhere.
Everything was very nature-themed: structures were built out of bamboo, wood and leaves.
There was even a small natural stream cutting across the area :)
Kids feeding the fat koi fish swimming in the pond.
We settled ourselves down in one of the gazebos. They have a space underneath the table for guests to place their legs, with a bamboo leg rest at the bottom. The place was cooling enough so we didn’t need fans or air conditioning. Nothing like dining close to nature – the air was refreshing, and we could hear the sounds of birds chirping and insects buzzing in the trees.
Having little to no knowledge of Indonesian cuisine, we didn’t know what to order – but lucky for us, we had our guide Mr Yoga with us! We got fried cumi (squid), honey fried chicken, stir-fried vegetables and soy-sauce fish. The meal was served with a basket of rice.
The chickens that they serve at restos in Bandung are tiny. They use ‘kampung’ or village/spring chickens rather than farm fattened ones pumped full with steroids. Although healthier and tastier, those with big appetites might find that one chicken is not enough. It really is more the size of a pigeon lol.
The one we ordered was quite tasty. The honey-basted meat was firm, juicy and sweet.
My other favourite was the fried squid rings. They were light, airy and crunchy, almost like eating snacks.
If you throw bits of rice in, the fish will flock to your feet.
Our guide said: “You can throw any food into the pond. They even eat fish.”
We tried throwing some fish in. #evil
Prices at Gubug Makan Mang Engking can be slightly pricier than your usual resto, but considering the settings, I’d say it’s worth the price.
Jalan Raya Tangkuban Perahu
Km. 1 No. 68, Lembang,
Jawa Barat, Indonesia
Phone; +62 22 2784978
Opening hours: 10am – 9pm