Tasting Pempek in Lampung has its own uniqueness. It deserves your culinary visit if you are in Lampung. The secret is in the freshness of the fishes that they used as the basic ingredients, which are mixed of Tenggiri (Spanish Mackerel), Cork and Belida fish.
There are many shops sell Pempek throughout the city of Lampung, but the most famous are along Jl. Mayor Salim Batubara, Kupang Teba, Teluk Betung and Bandar Lampung, where dozens of stalls lined on the left and right side of the road, all sell Pempek. The most famous one is Pempek 123.
Pempek 123 was originally located on Jl. Ikan Belanak and already has been in the business since 15 years ago. They also opened a branch in Jl. Jend Sudirman No. 15, the area of Tanjung Karang Bandar Lampung and has been well-known since three years ago. Pempek 123 has become one of the culinary favorites in Lampung. They open from 09:00 AM until 09:00 PM. The menu offered are vary, such as: Pempek Lenjer (long shape Pempek), Pempek Bulat (round shape Pempek), Pempek Telor (boiled egg filled Pempek), Pempek Pepaya (papaya filled Pempek), Potato Pempek (Pempek made from potato), Pempek Tahu (Tofu filled Pempek), Pempek Keriting (curly shape Pempek), Grilled Pempek, Pempek Kulit (Pempek made from Tenggiri fish skin), Pempek Kapal Selam (submarine shape Pempek), Pempek Lenggang (fried Pempek with egg), Tekwan, Pempek Model and Rojak Tahu (Tofu with Rojak sauce).
The Tekwan is really worth to try. It is basically a kind of fish meatballs with a tasty clear fish broth, mixed with oyster mushrooms, slice of bengkoang (a kind of white yam), glass noodles and a sprinkling of dried shrimp (called as Ebi). For a side dish, you should try Kerupuk (crackers made from flour) and Kemplang (crackers made from Tenggiri) which are very crunchy and tasty. You can enjoy it as your Pempek's companion, or can be eaten with chili sauce or with Pempek’s special vinegar.
In Pempek 123, they serve three different flavors of Pempek vinegar: spicy, medium spicy and sweet vinegar for the children. For me, even the medium spicy vinegar tasted very spicy (almost feels like my tongue is going to burn), but when it is mixed with Pempek or Tekwan, it will be just a perfect combination, and transform into one of the very flavorful and delicious meal you ever had!
For you, spicy foods lovers, certainly will not be disappointed after enjoying these varieties of Pempek.
Last but not least, Pempek 123 also serves Red Bean Ice with distinctive taste and variety of delicious fruit juices. Just a perfect dessert to calm the hot. Even more, they will pack properly if you want to take the Pempek as oleh-oleh (Indonesian tradition for a gift brought back from a trip).