Bali is not a major tourist destination for Japanese people. However, in recent years, an increasing number of people are making a trip to Bali, Indonesia. Some are attracted to Indonesian cuisine there.
The history of Indonesian cuisine
Though Indonesian cuisine is not common, a dish called nasi goreng has been known to Japanese people since around 2000. Around the same time, there was a Bali boom in Japan. More Japanese travelers, especially newly married couples go on a honeymoon to Bali. Along with the trend, Indonesian cuisine has been spreading.
Nasi goreng is rice fried with spicy red sauce. In Japan, a Chinese fried rice, rice fried in the same manner and seasoned with salt and pepper is popular and cooked at home. For Japanese, nasi goreng is fried rice in Indonesian-style. If asked what dish represents Indonesian cuisine to Japanese people, most will bring up nasi goreng.
Coconut milk is used as a seasoning in Indonesian cuisine. It is used a lot in Indonesian cuisine in Japan. Around 2010, coconut milk alone became a big boom for being good for beauty and health. It became popular especially among women and coconut milk could be found in supermarkets.
Where to Enjoy Indonesian Cuisine in Japan
In Shibuya, Tokyo, there are several Indonesian restaurants. Also in Odaiba, Tokyo, there are restaurants where you can enjoy authentic Indonesian cuisine. Under the influence of the Bali boom, some Izakaya with an atmosphere of Bali opened in Shinjuku and Ginza in Tokyo. At those places, you can feel Bali not only from the food, but also from the music and the interior designs.