Different Indonesian dishes served on a table

An inside look on Moyo Island’ s food traditions.

When it comes to food, Indonesia has very diverse traditions and habits. And Moyo island is no exception on this.

Even though Moyo island culture has huge influences from the many Bimanese people, it has some unique and peculiar traditions.

Since about 20 years ago, Moyo island was totally inhabited. Then the Indonesian government gave the chance to a number of poor families from Bima to relocate to Moyo. These people received some plots of land to build their houses, cultivate and feed the cattle.

Another minor influence comes from the Bugis people of Medang Island, especially regarding the fishing tradition.

Rice is definitely the cornerstone of the Moyo Island’ s (and Indonesian) culinary tradition. It is cultivated on the island. You will actually see the rice fields on your way to Lady Diana waterfalls. Rice is the base of every meal of the day. Indonesians say that, if they don’ t eat rice, it feels like they are not eating at all. 

Along with rice, there are other foods that are both nutritionally and culturally appreciated by locals on Moyo island.


Fish is served fried, boiled, in soups and even raw. But, grilled fish, is by far the most common way to enjoy a dinner with friends. Locals call it ikan bakar. You will just need some coconut shell to burn and a couple of bamboo sticks to hold the fish above the fire.

KELOR (Moringa or Drumstick Tree)

Kelor is a very common plant on Moyo Island. Locals boil its leaves to prepare a simple yet delicious soup, and enrich with other vegetables. It grows spontaneously everywhere all year round and comes particularly handy during the shortages of the rainy season. When boats that deliver food can’t run, the soil gets muddy and the sea is too rough to fish, this plant provides a healthy and nutrient meal and comes basically for free.


Moyo island is home to a variety of wild animals, including deers. They are rarely hunted but sometimes some deer meat becomes available. This meat is by far the best food you can eat in Indonesia, definitely a meal that you are not going to forget. Luckily it is not so popular, therefore the deer’s population remains protected.


Moyo Island’ s honey is famous all over Indonesia. People from every corner of  the archipelago come to Moyo to test it and buy it. There is no proper production of this honey and nobody exports it. It is a very common souvenir to take back home to family and friends. The honey changes in color according to the season. Different season provide different food to the bees, therefore their product changes in color and slightly in flavour. Definitely worth to try it while visiting Moyo Island.


Both Singan and Sepat are fish soups that belong to the Sumbawanese tradition. Singan is a delicious fish curry soup that comes with seasonal vegetables and, sometimes, fruit. Sepat is a more simple fish soup. It’s very spicy and it is one of the most famous Sumbawanese dishes. Both soups are now part of Moyo Island’ s food traditions.

Grilled fish aka Ikan Bakar, is one of the best seller and one of the most appreciated dishes at our restaurant at Blue emOcean. 

What’ s best then a grilled fish while enjoying the views of our tropical island?

Singang and Sepat are also very popular dishes, especially among indonesian tourists.

We serve Moyo Island’ s honey at breakfast and upon request throughout the day.

We have a network of local fishermen from Moyo and Medang that provide us with the best and freshest catch of the day.

Don’ t like fish or don’t fancy local food?

At Blue emOcean Restaurant we serve also western choices including pasta, steaks and burgers.

Vegetarian or vegan?

We have plenty of options available.

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