Manado, the provincial capital of North Sulawesi, is a coastal city that spreads inland over several undulating hills.
Today, Manado is a base for visits to the diving Mecca of Bunaken, the hill towns and volcanoes around Tomohon, the highlands of Lake Tondano and the Tangkoko-Batuangas Dua Saudara Nature Reserve, with its tiny nocturnal primates called tarsiers.
The place is also famous across the country for its food, the focus of my visit.
Manado is sometimes referred to as Kota Tinutuan, in reference to the very popular local rice porridge made with corn, spinach and chili, known as bubur tinutuan.
Usually a morning dish, the porridge is served with salted dried fish or cakes made from the tiny fish called nike found in Lake Tondano, mixed with flour and deep fried.
I found this porridge delicious and an excellent way to start the day.
Although this dish is ubiquitous throughout the city, the most famous road in Manado for bubur tinutuan is Jl. Wakeke, with the Dego-dego restaurant being one of the local favorites.
Minahasa is famous across Indonesia for the spiciness of its food and Tomohon, located up in the hills outside Manado, is one of the better places to try some of the region’s more bizarre dishes, if you are feeling adventurous.
Read more: Jakarta Post