If you’re staying in Mataram in Lombok, I’ve got a great recommendation for an affordable and delicious seafood dinner. We chanced upon this restaurant on our way from the Lombok Airport to the ferry terminal, to catch a boat ride to Gili Trawangan. Read: Tip – Getting from Bali to Gili Trawangan via fast boat. It was recommended by our driver, as a stop along the way to the ferry terminal.
The food is delicious and affordable, but if you’re stickler for good service and hygiene, this place may not be for you. When we first arrived and passed by the kitchen, we found it to be a little drap looking, and not the cleanest. But we saw many local Indonesians having a meal in there and decided that it should be fine.
As mentioned earlier, and in other reviews of Warung Menega in Tripadvisor, the service is not superb. The staff don’t really notice when you’re calling them, and are not fluent in English. I think it’s understandable, given the crowd at that time is mostly local. But we got along just fine. Many a time, we walked right up to the service staff to request for things.
The food is really good. I like the ikan bakar (baked with sweet and sour sauce) and the jumbo prawns grilled with butter and garlic. Both tasted quite fresh, and we polished off the jumbo prawns in no time. I like how they also removed the intestines from the prawns, which is not common for seafood restaurants.
We also had grilled chicken meat on sticks, resembling a kebab. It’s mixed with barbeque sauce and tasted not bad too. The kangkong (type of green leafy vegetable) is unlike the ones we have in Malaysia/Singapore, where it is fried with the sambal paste. This is boiled first and the sambal paste is placed on it. The sambal paste is spicy, so if you’re a non-chilli eater, you got to beware.
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I wouldn’t recommend ordering the drinks though. We ordered a coconut drink expecting literally a coconut to come, but it came in a glass of coconut water with red syrup. Friend K ordered a honeydew shake, and it arrived tasting super sweet. I would recommend having Teh Botol (Tea in a Bottle). It’s a commercialised sweet tea, some thing similar to 7up and Coke in the bottles available.
The toilets are of decent hygiene standard, though the female one can’t be locked. If you’re intending to use it, bring along a female friend with you.
Maybe it was our first meal in Lombok, hence the excitement and enthusiasm in savouring the various jumbo prawns. But I think the travelling rule still holds true – ‘If there are many locals eating it, it should be good.’