Photo: Lake Toba is big, very big.

Eat and meet

A lack of visitors to Pulau Samosir means only a handful of places are able to have fresh ingredients on hand to make meals. That said, most of the places along the main road in Tuk-Tuk can whip up a tasty omelette or banana pancake – just don’t expect filet mignon.

Jenny’s Restaurant is perhaps the most popular restaurant on the island. While it’s a nice place for a meal, the food is on par with many other places in town. What makes it most attractive is that there are often a lot of other people eating there giving the place a warm atmosphere and ensuring that your food is going to be fresh. Dishes include sweet and sour pork, omelettes and grilled fish – perhaps the best option if you love fish. This is certainly one of the bright spots in town – we just wish people would spread out a bit more!

Rumba Pizza Restaurant is one of the best places for a bite to eat and luckily there are usually at least a couple of other people eating there every night, meaning the pizza toppings are as fresh as the base is crispy. The menu here covers a large range of Western fare with build-your-own pizzas and pasta being the favourites. If you’re a fan of cheese, the Rumba roschti is sure to please. This place is located at about the halfway point of the two ends of Tuk-Tuk, a decent 15-minute walk either from Tabo Cottages or Gokhon.

Harira Restaurant across from the guesthouse of the same name is a small eatery serving up much the same food as elsewhere in Tuk-Tuk, except that they offer brown bread, yoghurt and muesli. Although unavailable on our latest visit, we’re assured that in high season these items are – check it out if you need a change from white rice and Asian-style white bread. 1Mbit WiFi is available for those needing to check email or download some app updates, but don’t expect much out of Skype – connections are generally too unreliable in these parts for that. This is worth popping into for breakfast if you want to spread your money around rather than just spending at the same place night in, night out.

The restaurant at Tabo Cottages is worth going out of your way for. The menu has a mixture of Indonesian and Western cuisines including fruit, muesli, yoghurt, fantastic hand-cut chips and delicious icy cold milk shakes. The part we really love is that the German owner has taught her staff how to bake so that the place is fully stocked with all sorts of goodies such as tamarillo pies and also a selection German breads – perfect if you’ve had to endure one too many nasi gorengs. Additionally, the layout of the restaurant is perhaps one of the most relaxing in Tuk-Tuk with large open spaces, garden frontage, relaxing lounge chairs and sit-on-the-floor options. Prices are not much more expensive here than elsewhere. WiFi available.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Lake Toba? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Indonesia.

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