While the hotels are no great shakes, Bima is no slouch when it comes to food. Even if you’re on a brief visit, allow enough time to try a few spots. The following are all within easy walking distance of most of Bima’s hotels and the Sultan’s Palace.
We tried the goat satay at Sate Soto Madura H. Azhari, which comes with a meaty broth and chilli sauce to ladle over, plus steamed rice or lontong. It is among a clutch of sit-down stalls on the lane that is almost opposite the Lila Graha and runs between Jalan Sumbawa and Jalan Sultan Hasanuddin. This is simple fare at a good price. There are a few other stalls nearby doing other one-plate dishes.
Just around the corner, turn right onto Jalan Sultan Hasanuddin, cross Jalan Sulawesi and a few metres further on you’ll reach Warung Sederhana 3, which does a tremendous all-things-chicken on rice and noodles, for next to nothing. Run by a squad of exceptionally friendly women, none of whom speak a word of English, you’ll be able to just point and pick if your Indonesian’s not up to standard.
When evening falls, a solid and colourful night market sets up on Jalan Sultan Ibrahim near the sports field. Stalls here offer everything from satay to nasi goreng and barbecued corn. It’s cheap and very cheerful.
You may be a long way from Sumatra, but Beringin Indah Masakan Padang on Jalan Sultan Salahuddin offers a decent mix of Padang food.
If you’re after another sit-down option, the attached restaurant at Lila Graha should be able to sort you out, though the food is far from memorable. This is also the only place in Bima (that we are aware of) that serves beer. It is expensive though at 50,000 rupiah for a large Bintang.