No vacation is complete without gastronomic experiences; eating and drinking is a big part of relaxation and celebrations after all. If you are coming to Bintan to explore and go on a quick getaway, trying out specialty foods from this part of the world should be at the top of your list in your vacation bucket list. There is so much to feast on here on this unique Indonesian island, including food with Chinese influences, so be sure to check out this list of unique foods that are very much part of local culture here.

1. Gonggong

One of the number one foods you should try in Bintan is seafood, and trying the Gonggong should be at the top of your list of new things to try. These sea snails are the Asian counterparts of the French escargot. Locals here eat Gonggong by fishing out the flesh from within the shell with a toothpick and then dipping it in the sauce provided. Let the savoury taste of this sea snail and the subtle sweetness in the sauces overtake your senses! You can find this delicious delicacy in a majority if not all of Bintan’s seafood restaurants.

2. Sour and Spicy Fish (Ikan Asam Pedas)

This dish is not particularly unique to Bintan, as you can also find it in Malaysia and Singapore. However, it’s worth trying the Indonesian take to this delicately-spiced dish that will make your mouth water. As Bintan is known for its seafood, this delicacy usually comes with scrumptiously fresh pieces of fish — making the gastronomic experience that much more pleasant.

3. Lakse

Want some noodles with your Bintan seafood curry? Then opt for Lakse (or Laksa, as you may know it) for a filling and comforting meal. This Peranakan-influenced dish is usually served with sago flour noodles, that offer a slightly chewier bite than regular noodles, dipped in seafood curry that gives this dish an aroma to die for. There are dry variants of this noodle that resemble fried noodles as well. If you’re a fan of the local Singaporean variant of Laksa, you can’t miss this Indonesian take for a flavourful and gastronomic experience of your favourite dish.

4. Otak-otak

If there’s only one thing you can add to your ‘what to eat in Bintan’ list, let it be otak-otak. This delicacy is barbequed from fresh fish made into a fish cake that is mixed with spices and tapioca and wrapped in a banana leaf — best eaten as a snack or side dish. In Bintan, you may also find a unique local version of otak-otak that is made with squid instead of fish. If you love spicy food, you’ll definitely be a fan of this typically spicier version. Pair the otak-otak with peanut sauce or broth of any kind, or feel free to eat it with rice. Savour your tastebuds with this tantalising treat!

5. Other Indonesian Staples

There are many foods you can get anywhere in Indonesia that you can naturally find in Bintan as well. Since you are already making a trip here, you should try all the authentic Indonesian food you can get your hands on: nasi goreng, mi goreng, nasi padang, sate, bakso, and gado-gado amongst many other delicacies that you can gorge on to your heart’s content. There’s no better way to relish the flavours that Indonesia has to offer.

If you are staying at Club Med Bintan Island, make sure to keep look out for these local staples on the menu of our in-resort restaurants! There’s so much to see, eat, and do in the beautiful island of Bintan, so plan a trip here and mark it on your calendar. Those coming from Singapore can even get here via a short ferry ride, so what are you waiting for? Book your stay with us now!