Bandung, which is located some 140 kilometers south east of Jakarta, boasts a rich and seemingly inexhaustible culinary wealth.
Food lovers in Bandung have long come up with innovative gourmet surprises -- ranging from steamed brownies or fried cassava with cheese, to a "recent" and popular culinary innovation; grilled sandwiches and burgers.
People are willing to queue for hours, even in the scorching sun, to get their hands on Bandung's tasty treats. Take steamed brownies, for example. As there are a great number of buyers, customers often have to take a queuing number first and then join a queue, sometimes for hours, before they can finally buy the brownies.
People have even been known to leave home at midnight just to try the famous perkedel, or fried mince-meat balls. In short, people are willing to do just about anything to get their hands on some of Bandung's delicacies.
The spreading popularity of these unique foods is inseparable from the role of domestic tourists in this city. Scores of people visit Bandung to enjoy the city's cooler weather and shop at one of the many factory outlets. For Jakarta residents, Bandung can be reached in just 2 hours thanks to the Cipularang toll road.
According to Sienny Lauws, -- a Bandung member of Jalansutra, a mailing-list for people fond of eating and exploring the culinary dishes of a particular region -- the fact that many domestic tourists visit Bandung may indeed account for the great number of unique foods found in Bandung today.
"See, the domestic tourists are usually the same people and of course they will get bored easily if they see the same foods every time they come to Bandung. Especially if they come to Bandung often, like twice a month or even once a week," she said.
Therefore, she said, those involved in Bandung's food industry try to offer something new to continue to attract these tourists.