7 Indonesian dishes Obama and family dug into during vacation

7 Indonesian dishes Obama and family dug into during vacation
PHOTO: The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

Former US president Barack Obama, along with wife Michelle and their two daughters, Malia and Sasha, have recently ended a 10-day vacation in Indonesia.

After touching down in Bali on June 23, the family continued their travels to the ancient city of Yogyakarta before finishing off the trip in Obama's childhood home of Jakarta.

The vacation was apparently a chance for the 44th US president to take a trip down memory lane, including digging into some old favourite dishes.

Obama lived in Indonesia from 1967 until 1971, during which time his half-sister Maya Soetoro Ng said he enjoyed dishes such as bakso (meatballs), pepes ikan (steamed fish wrapped in a banana leaf) and sambal tempe (fermented soybean cake with chili sauce).

"I have been eating a lot," Obama said in Jakarta on Saturday when he also delivered the keynote speech at the Indonesian Diaspora Congress before flying off the next day.

Here are seven of the Indonesian dishes Obama and his family had during their stay in the archipelago, according to kompas.com.

Bakso

A bowl of bakso noodles. PHOTO: The Straits Times

During a meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Friday, Obama reportedly finished off a bowl of bakso that was served at the Grand Garden Cafe, which is located within the compound of the Bogor Botanical Gardens.

Bakso is widely known to be one of Obama's favourite Indonesian dishes.

Satay

Satay. PHOTO: The New Paper

In addition to bakso, satay (skewered, roasted meat) was also served at the Grand Garden Cafe. A generous serving of the dish was shared by Obama and Jokowi.

Traditional snacks

Onde-onde. PHOTO: The Straits Times

At the cafe Obama and Jokowi also enjoyed warm tea and traditional snacks, such as (glutinous rice balls), kue mangkok (rice flour cupcakes), talam ubi (steamed sweet potato cake), panada cakalang (fried bread with Manadonese-style tuna fish filling) and lemper ayam (glutinous rice stuffed with chicken meat and wrapped in banana leaves).

Iced drinks

es cendol. PHOTO: Berita Harian

During the Indonesian Diaspora Congress on Saturday, the former president said he was still on the look-out for es cendol (silky green rice-flour jelly served in coconut milk and palm sugar) during the remainder of his stay.

The drink was rated by CNN as among the world's 50 most delicious drinks in 2011.

The Obamas' holiday in Indonesia

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    Former US president Barack Obama (center) shakes hands with Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika upon arriving at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport on June 23.

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    A Land Cruiser carrying former US president Barack Obama leaves I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport on June 23.

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    Former United States president Barack Obama and his family have reportedly visited several tourist attractions during their Bali holiday so far, including the Agung Rai Museum of Art, the Jatiluwih rice terraces and Ayung River. Obama and his family reportedly walked through the 500-meter hiking route circling the paddy fields. They then visited Pura Subak, meeting local farmers.

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    Obama, his wife Michelle and their two daughters arrived in Bali on Friday evening for a five-day vacation on the Island of the Gods.

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    On Saturday, the family visited Agung Rai Art Museum (ARMA). Located on Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud, the museum exhibits collections of both traditional and modern paintings from foreign and local artists, including Ida Bagus Made and Anak Agung Gede Sobrat.

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    During their museum visit, the Obamas were also welcomed by Pendet and Tumbuk Padi dance performances. According to tempo.co, the former president expressed an interest in a 1930s painting by I Gusti Nyoman Lempad. The next day, the Obamas reportedly went to Jatiluwih village in Tabanan. Known for its breathtaking views of rice terraces, the area is located around 54 kilometers from Denpasar and is included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

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    Former US president Barack Obama (second left), his wife Michelle (third left) and his daughters Sasha (front center) and Malia (second right) go rafting at Bongkasa Village in Badung on Bali island on June 26. Barack Obama kicked off a 10-day family holiday in Indonesia that will take place in Bali and Jakarta, the city where he spent part of his childhood.

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    On Monday, Obama and his family members made their way to Ayung River in Bongkasa Village, Badung, which is located a stone’s throw away from their hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Ubud. Kompas.com reported that Obama and his entourage spent two hours cruising the river, using six boats accompanied by five professional guides.

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    Obama is scheduled to leave Bali on June 28. The former first family will also visit Yogyakarta and Jakarta.

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    Former US president Barack Obama (C) and his family arrive at Borobudur in Magelang on June 28, 2017.

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    Obama kicked off a 10-day family holiday in Indonesia that will take in Bali and Jakarta, the city where he spent part of his childhood, officials said.

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    Former US President Barack Obama visits the 9th-century Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia June 28, 2017.

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    Obama (C) waves while walking with his daughter Malia during a visit to the 9th-century Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia June 28, 2017.

'Mie lethek'

In Yogyakarta, Obama and his family made a lunch stop at the Bumi Langit Restaurant.

The family feasted on mie lethek, which literally means dull or ugly noodles. Restaurant owner Iskandar Woworuntu said the dish was one of the group's favorites.

Mie lethek is a traditional dish from Bantul, Yogyakarta, that can be served boiled with soup or fried, the latter of which the Obamas chose.

'Urap,' soup, chili

Sambal terong. PHOTO: Facebook/Food Connection

Obama and the family also had urap (vegetables with shredded coconut), gurame fish soup and sambal terong (eggplant with chili sauce) at Bumi Langit Restaurant.

The beverages they ordered included a blending of mint and lemongrass with fermented milk and mixed berries, picked fresh from the restaurant's garden.

Bumi Langit, which literally translates into "Earth Sky," was chosen because its food is known to be free of chemicals, with many of its ingredients grown and processed locally, as well as for being a restaurant with good waste treatment.

Jatiwulih rice

Jatiwulih rice fields. PHOTO: Facebook/Mylene Ragon

During a visit to the Jatiwulih rice fields in Bali, Obama and his family bought 2.5 kilograms of red rice, which is known for its pleasant taste and nutritional value.

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