10 Best Palembang Dishes That Will Leave You Wanting More

Best Palembang Foods
Rofiq
Rofiq 
Updated

Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra, doesn’t only come with cultural attractions and historic buildings, its incredible foods always draw people’s attention. The host of the monumental Ampera Bridge offers a unique blend of Chinese, Malay, and indigenous tastes and there are so many interesting and tasty dishes to sample if you’re in the area.

If this piques your curiosity, you better learn more about what type of delights await your taste buds. Here are the 10 best Palembang dishes you need to discover during your trip!

1. Pempek

Pempek kapal selam Bandar Lampung
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Midori used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Everyone will agree that the dish pempek should be at the top of the list. Who can deny its deliciousness, with its crunchy, mild texture and sour, savory flavor? River fish and sago flour are the most vital ingredients of this dish and you will never find it boring, as it has numerous variations in shape and filling. There is elongated pempek, submarine pempek, shrimp pempek and much more. Don’t forget to dip it in the spicy vinegar sauce, known as cuko.

Pempek Sudi Mampir

Address: Jl. Merdeka, 22 Ilir, Bukit Kecil, Kota Palembang, South Sumatra

Opening Hours: 10:30 am to 10 pm

2. Tekwan

Tekwan
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Midori used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Tekwan is a close relative of pempek – they both have similar ingredients and cooking process. What makes this fried, starchy ball distinguishable from pempek is that it’s smaller in size. It’s usually served with a heavenly prawn broth, rice vermicelli, ear mushrooms, and a sprinkle of fried shallot and spring onion. It’s indeed best devoured quickly.

Pondok Tekwan

Address: Jl. Angkatan 45 No.6, Demang Lebar Daun, Ilir Bar. I, Kota Palembang, South Sumatra

Opening Hours: 8 am to 7 pm

3. Laksan

Laksan Palembang 1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gunawan Kartapranata used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Laksan is another dish made of a mixture of ground fish meat and sago flour and is usually eaten during religious festivities. The dough is shaped, boiled, and drained and finally simmered with coconut milk and some spices, which consist of chilies, shallots, garlic, bay leaves, and galangal. Sprinkle it with fried shallots, to make it more flavorful.

Laksan Kaito Local Food Cuisine

Address: Demang Lebar Daun, Ilir Barat I, Palembang City, South Sumatra

Opening Hours: 8 am to 6 pm

4. Kemplang

Kerupuk kemplang Bandar Lampung
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sakurai Midori used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Kemplang is a type of fish crackers, basically made by using the same fish dough. A mixture of freshwater fish meat, salt, and sago flour are the main ingredients. The boiled dough is thinly sliced and dried under the scorching sun. Then, the raw chips are fried to a crisp. They are a perfect match with soupy dishes or fried noodles.

Kemplang Krupuk Palembang

Address: Jl. Mujahidin, Talang Semut, Bukit Kecil, Kota Palembang, South Sumatra

Opening Hours: 6 am to 5:35 pm

5. Kue Lapis Maksuba

Kue maksuba
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Midori used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Maksuba cake is a favorite dish among the Palembang people. The texture is fluffy and delicate and the flavor is sugary, yet luscious. Duck eggs and condensed milk are required to create the primary layers of this dish and it comes together through a slow cooking process – it takes eight hours just to make it! The dessert is often used as an offering or presented during local celebrations.

Kue Khas Palembang Hj. Cekrum

Address: Jl. Merdeka, Lorong Roda No. 29, Talang Semut, Bukit Kecil, Kota Palembang

Opening Hours: +62 0812 7133 2600

6. Mie Celor

Mie Celor
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gunawan Kartapranata used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Mie celor is a typical dish which is quite similar to Japanese soba. Yellow noodles are doused with coconut gravy and served with shrimp, a boiled egg, and bean sprouts. Toppings might include chopped celery, spring onion, shredded chicken, and a sprinkle of fried shallots. Slurp them while they’re still hot.

Mie Celor 26 Ilir HM Syafei

Address: Jl. Merdeka No.868, Talang Semut, Ilir Bar. I, Kota Palembang, South Sumatra

Opening Hours: 6:30 am to 5:30 am

7. Martabak Har

Martabak HAR
Source: Photo by Flickr user .angels. used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Martabak har is both legendary and phenomenal. Unlike other typical egg dishes, this Palembang specialty is soaked in a curry gravy. The yellow broth is comprised of several ingredients, such as turmeric, nutmeg flower, cinnamon, chilies, curry leaves, diced potatoes, and coconut milk. To add to the flavor variations, you can have it with a vinegar sauce.

Martabak Har

Address: Jl. Jend. Sudirman No.537, 18 Ilir, Ilir Tim. I, Kota Palembang, South Sumatra

Opening Hours: 10 am to 9 pm

8. Kue Srikaya

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Kue srikaya can be found throughout Palembang, particularly at traditional markets. This egg-based cake has a sweet and savory taste. The green color is obtained from aromatic pandan leaves. To make this snack, a batter consisting of eggs, sugar, thick coconut milk, is put into pandan leaves and is steamed for about 15 minutes.

Pusat Jajanan Taman Permata Indah

Address: Jalan Angkatan 45 Blok H No. 35, Lorok Pakjo, Ilir Bar. I, Kota Palembang, South Sumatra

Opening Hours: 6 am to 9 pm

9. Celimpungan

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

At a glance, celimpungan looks very similar to tekwan. What makes this flavorful, starchy dish a bit different is the shape of the dough – making it bigger than tekwan. A coconut milk gravy, enriching the dish’s taste, is another highlight to notice. The thick sauce is simmered with turmeric, pepper, and bay leaves.

Warung Aba

Address: Jl. Dr. M. Isa No.26 /15, Kuto Batu, Ilir Tim. II, Kota Palembang, South Sumatra

Opening Hours: 6 am to 12 pm

10. Model

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Don’t get confused by its name! Model is a type of soupy dish, comprised of fish balls, rice vermicelli, and an aromatic, clear shrimp broth. Other ingredients might include ear mushrooms, chopped cucumber, prawns, and fried shallots. Adding vinegar sauce is definitely recommended.

Warung Model Wak Cik

Address: Lorong Muhajirin IV, Lorok Pakjo, Ilir Bar. I, Kota Palembang, South Sumatra

Opening Hours: 7 am to 6 pm

Try Palembang food to enjoy the combination of sweet, sour, and savory!

To sum it up, most of Palembang’s food is comprised of fish dough, coconut milk, and vinegar sauce. The local delicacies can only be described with one word – delicious!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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I am Rofiq from East Java, Indonesia. I am passionate about exploring new places, meeting new people, learning new languages and cultures. I always do solo traveling and backpacking since they are...Read more

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