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Big Belly in Makassar

As a port city, Makassar in Indonesia is big on seafood and you will find the freshest ones right here. Still, you’ll be sure the city is more famous for its beefy fares. Our resident foodie (fondly known as Big Belly) loves Makassar’s beef, and so we decided to send ol’ BB here for an excursion to find out more about the city’s signature dishes.

Words & Photography: Ari Vanuaranu aka Big Belly 

“I am falling in love with Pallu Konro!”I declared to Claudia, my Makassar native friend.
“Where did you have it?” she asked.
“Around Lompobattang Street,” I answered as she answered with a chuckle.
“Lompobattang in Makassar Language means big belly.”

     What an apt name for a street, named after my very own moniker back home! My past few days in Makassar were an eating frenzy, and I meant it in the best possible way. My stay in Makassar was brief, but I ate at least two meals at one go. Its local cuisine appeases the hunger gods in me, and the tantalizing tastes gave me every reason to consume even more with every bite. I was sent on a top secret assignment (thank you, boss!) to list down my top picks on Makassar’s best local delights. Oh well, now that it’s not a secret anymore, I urge you hungry ones to read on! 

Coto Makassar


Coto Makassar is an ubiquitous dish, but like most Indonesian fares the best ones can be found in small stalls (warung).


     A savoury soup made from 40 different spices to give it a full, flavourful taste. The innards used in the dish were supposed to help lower one’s cholesterol count (I think my belly’s getting smaller already. One more, please!) A hearty and fulfilling meal especially when eaten with burasa or ketupat (both are kinds of compressed rice cake).

Where to find them:

  • Coto Daeng, Jl. Karunrung
  • Coto Paraikatte, Jl. A.P. Pettarani Aroma
  • Coto Gagak, Jl. Gagak


Pallu Basa

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You can skip the raw egg if you’re squeamish, your Pallu Basa would still taste good.


     Still a beef (sometimes water buffalo meat) and offal soup, but this one is even more savoury and thick with coconut milk and roasted grated coconut. Served with raw duck egg on top.

Where to find them:

  • Pallu Basa Daeng Udin, Jl. Serigala
  • Pallu Basa Daeng Nappa, Jl. Onta Lama


Pallu Konro


The grilled version of Konro is twice-cooked: first the ribs are cooked in a pan of Pallu Konro soup, and then they will be removed from the soup to be grilled before being served.


     Beef ribs in a dark delicious soup. The colour comes from kluwek (Pangium edule) which also gives the dish a distinct smoky and somewhat truffle-like flavour. Another version is also available where the ribs are grilled and then served with peanut sauce (Konro Bakar).

Where to find them:

  • Konro Karebosi, Jl. Gunung Lompobattang
  • Konro Bakar Kajaolalido, Jl. Kajaolalido


Pallu Mara

     Fish (either red snapper, milkfish or skipjack tuna) cooked in sweet, sour and spicy sauce. For your best enjoyment, sprinkle loads of fried onions on top of it. The fresher the fish, the more tantalizing the taste!

Where to find them:

  • Warung Mappanyukki, Jl. Mappanyukki
  • RM Ulu Juku’, Jl. Racing Center


Pallu Butung

food-cuisine-Makassar-Bugis-Mandar-Toraja-Sulawesi-Indonesia-dessert-banana-sweet-pallu butung

Pallu Butung makes a refreshing treat on a sweltering day!


     Pisang kepok (a species of wild banana, Musa acuminata × Musa balbisiana) is steamed and smeared with sago and glutinous rice flour, put into a bowl to be topped with a mixture of shaved ice, coconut milk, rice flour and coco-pandan syrup. A sweet treat indeed!

Where to find them:

  • RM Bravo, Jl. Andalas
  • Kios Hawaii, Jl. Ranggong

Pisang Ijo

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Pisang Ijo is almost a meal of its own as it is even heavier than Pallu Butung with its extra coating.


     Similar to Pallu Butung, except that the kind of banana used is pisang raja (Musa × paradisiaca) which has a softer texture than pisang kepok (with more fibre too!). It is wrapped in green coating of rice flour, coconut milk and dragon tree leaf.

Where to find them:

  • Kafe Mama, Jl. Serui
  • RM Bravo, Jl. Andalas


Tea Time Snacks

food-cuisine-Makassar-Bugis-Mandar-Toraja-Sulawesi-Indonesia-dessert-snack-baruasa-kalakke're-jalang kote

Clockwise from top left: Baruasa, Kalakke’re and Jalang Kote


     Makassar locals love snacking in the afternoon, just like most Indonesians (okay, so we snack all day long, not just in the afternoon). Some of favourite snacks you can find in Makassar are:


Cookies made from rice flour, egg yolk, palm sugar, butter and cinnamon.


Looks almost like pretzel, but made with glutinous rice flour. This snack has a coarse crumb and craggy top, with both sweet and savoury aftertaste.

Jalang Kote

Similar to empanada (Spanish pastry stuffed with meat and vegetables), but with firmer texture and eaten with vinegar and chilli sauce.

Where to find them:

  • Street vendors at Jl. dr. Wahidin and Jl. Irian
  • Jalang Kote Lasinrang, Jl. Lasinrang




Pa’piong variants include: Pa’piong Bai (pork), Pa’piong Tedong (water buffalo meat), Pa’piong Manuk (chicken meat) and Pa’piong Bale (fish meat).


     It would be unfair to not include at least one Torajan food (one of the four main ethnic groups of Makassar and South Sulawesi). Meat (pork, beef, water buffalo or chicken meat) is cooked in a bamboo tube, and is served with piping hot rice and ballo (Torajan palm wine).

Where to find them:

  • RM Pa’rapuan, Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan
  • Stalls at Jl. Dirgantara

     Even by Indonesian standards, the cuisines of Makassar use plenty of spices, resulting in flavourful aromatic dishes yet without the overpowering aroma – my own foodie perfection! Both Pallu Butung and Pisang Ijo are both sweet and creamy, so if you’re one with a sweet tooth, you may opt to share with a friend (good way to get girls, aye?). Overall, Makassar cuisine comes off strong and bold – just like its people.

     By the end of this trip, I have officially changed my name to Daeng Lompobattang (Mister Big Belly in Makassar) on my twitter account and I will always be willing to travel to Makassar just for its delectable food.

Which city has the best culinary tradition? Share with us in comment box below!

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