Culinary Delights

Among visitors to the Banda Islands, Cilu Bintang Estate is famous for culinary delights based on a unique blend of flavours found no where else in the world. These are not typical Asian dishes where the peppers and spices leave you gasping for a glass of cold water. Each flavour is delicately blended to provide an exceptionally pleasant gastronomic experience.

This delectable fusion of Indonesian and Dutch colonial cuisine, underscored by the colourful taste of Banda’s native spices, is legendary among travellers who enjoy the art of delightful dining. Meals are a casual affair served traditional plantation style or al fresco, and suitable for both vegetarians and omnivores. Delightful snacks, tea, and coffee appear frequently during the day.

Spice Island cuisine recipes as served at Cilu Bintang Estate

These sample recipes of typical Spice Island dishes are provided by our master chef for your enjoyment. They are easy to prepare and your family will love the tasty results. What better way to explore the cuisine of Cilu Bintang Estate and wet your appetite for more?

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin is another imported vegetable that found its way into most Bandanese kitchens. Historians believe it was imported to the islands either by pre-colonial Chinese traders, or the Dutch. Pumpkin is easy to grow in a kitchen garden, requiring little in the way of special care or attention. It is used in a variety of island dishes, ranging from soups to curries to sweet treats. The Bandanese believe that the tastiest pumpkins come from the island of Pisang.

Rujak Style

Here is a favorite Bandanese tuna fish recipe with the tart flavor of tamarind sauce to set it off. These tuna steaks and their accompanying tamarind sauce go well with turmeric flavored yellow rice.


Cinnamon Tea

Indian and Chinese merchants traveling the spice and silk routes spread the use of tea from China until it eventually reached Europe. Tea fell out of favor during the Mongol Yuan Dynasty who considered tea a symbol of decadence. It returned to popularity under the Chinese Ming Dynasty After years of foreign rule, there was a revival in things considered truly Chinese, tea was certainly one of them. It was then tea began to be brewed by steeping loose leaves in boiling water. This method of making tea from sun dried tea leaves soon became popular in the West, and remains so to this day. It wasn’t until 1606 that the first Chinese tea arrived in Holland. Tea was an instant success, soon over taking coffee in the hearts of many Europeans.