Cibiuk is a village in the Garut district, West Java of Indonesia. So Rumah Makan Cibiuk means ‘eating house’, one with a menu centered on traditional Sunda dishes originating from the said village.
What started as a small hut eatery has now grown into a large franchise operation and Rumah Makan Cibiuk can now be found in bigger cities like Jakarta and Bandung. Now, they are also present in Kajang (HQ), Shah Alam, Wangsa Maju and Melaka.
For us, Rumah Makan Cibiuk’s menu will feel foreign because there are quite a number of dishes in Sundanese. But not to worry since most of them are accompanied with photos so ordering should be a breeze.
Besides, it’s always fun to learn about new terms like Ayam Bakakak, Nasi Timbel, Just Alpukat and etc. To ensure the authenticity of the dishes, Cibiuk’s kitchen is manned by trained Sundanese chefs only.
A couple of sets are available and convenient for those dining in larger groups, priced around RM100 to RM140. At RM139.90, the Jakarta Set is large enough to be shared among five to six adults, which translates to less than RM30 per pax.
The set includes Nasi Liwet, Ayam Bakakak, Talapia Goreng, Perkedel Jagung, Balado Udang, Cumi Crispy, Sup Ekor and a jug of Kasturi Jeruk.
The Ayam Bakakak is a grilled chicken, prepared West Javanese style. The chicken is first flattened slightly, then marinated in a mixture of Sundanese spices and sweet soya sauce.
It stays on the grill until it turns brown and when the skin is caramelized. Since free range chicken (ayam kampung) is used, the meat’s texture is understandbly tougher but you get a more intense flavor in return.
As for the Dancing Fish, the tilapia is caught from the Pahang river so you can be sure that it has a clean taste. The size is so big that you can see its even larger than the chicken!
Eating it is fuss free too because the fish has been butterflied exposing two large fillets of white, flaky flesh. It goes extremely well with any sambal – the spicier the better.
Here, you can find a handful of different sambals offered on the house, each having its own distinct heat, pungency and flavors. However, some of the more special ones like the Sambal Cibiuk Merah is chargeable at RM3 per serving.
Although it was so spicy that it literally brought tears to my eyes, I absolutely loved the Sambal Laksana (available FOC at the ‘Rumah Sambal’) – if you think you can handle spicy, give it a try. For those who have a lower heat tolerance, I recommend the Sambal Mangga, it’s more appetizing than being spicy.
Cumi Crispy – fried calamari with a sweet chili dip, always good and hardly ever goes wrong.
Now this is a unique dish called Perkedel Jagung. It looks like an omelette but it’s actually a corn pancake. It gets soggy pretty quick (it’s a pancake anyway) so better enjoy it while it is still hot and crispy.
If corn is not to your liking, feel free to ask for a different fried dish, it could be the Tahu (tauhu) or Tempe Goreng. I myself liked it very much.
Balado Udang (chili prawns) is not uncommon so there’s nothing much to say – except that it’s fiery and delicious. Not to mention they are unstinting with the prawns too.
Rice is also an important part of Sundanese daily diet and it’s given special attention. This resulted in savory rice like Nasi Timbel and Nasi Liwet Sunda as shown above.
What makes Nasi Liwet special is that various herbs and spices are added into the cooking pot to infuse the rice with an aromatic flavor. Needless to say, it’s a lot tastier than the normal white rice and you can certainly eat this on its own.
Out of curiosity, we also tried the Sate Ayam @ RM11.90. As you can see it’s different from our local satay and that alone is reason enough to try. It’s pretty lean though, so it might be a tad chewy.
Among all the drinks present in the menu, the Jus Alpukat (RM8.50) sparked my interest the most, simply because I have no idea what it is at all. Turns out, it’s actually a creamy avocado juice.
A special version is also available at RM9.90 where chocolate syrup and whipped cream are added to it. Apparently, chocolate and avocado are a perfect match.
With a dozen of desserts, you are spoilt for choices. But it’s pretty obvious that the Ais Durian Ala Cibiuk @ RM11.90 is a must try. Not only the presentation is original, but the combination of durian (D21), ice cream, coconut juice and agar-agar simply works without being cloying. This is easily one of my most memorable desserts.
Not a fan of durian? How about banana? The Pisang Keju @ RM10.90 is equally great looking and it will fill your mouth with crispy, soft, sweet, cheesy, chocolaty and fruity flavors. That said, the portion is definitely not for two – it can be easily shared among four to five people.
All in all, Rumah Makan Cibiuk provides a refreshing dining experience for those who wish to venture beyond Balinese and ayam penyet restaurants. The dishes might feel similar from the looks, but the more you dig in, the more you will realize that they are actually quite different.
The restaurant also provides meeting and function rooms for seminars, workshops, corporate or private functions on the first floor. For package inquiries, do call the number provided below.
Rumah Makan Cibiuk MITC
No 8 & 10, Lingkaran MITC, Kompleks Perniagaan MITC Perdana
75450 Ayer Keroh, Melaka
Tel: 013-261 3530
Business hours: Sat – Thurs (11am – 11pm), Fri (2.30pm – 11pm)