About one kilometer to the west from Bangkalan city, East Java province, a food stall stands on the edge of the shore. It is Madurasa. This stall is located near the mangrove forest spread out along the west side of Madura island. Following the instinct to eat, I visited here. Soon, the ambiance of mountain range and shore welcomed me.
The stall dishes up us the fresh food from the sea, Madura sea. There are shrimps, crabs, snappers, gourami, dorang fish, etc. Like any other seafood restaurants, as a customer you may freely choose the living sea creatures you desire to eat. Then, all you have to do is wait your order served in minutes while enjoying the vista of the coast looks out on the Borneo island.
It is going to be a little bit longer due to Ida’s cooking method. Ida and her employees have been using traditional way of cooking for years. They roast fishes with the charcoal. I don’t know what good is it. She said, “By that, we can keep smell the fish’s natural aroma.” Just add it with the specialty of Madura’s flavor (i.e. salty-sweet-spicy), voilà, seafood à la Madura!
The price, of course, depends on what you have ordered, and the size. For a middle size crab, dorang fish or gourami, Ida priced it at 15,000 IDR. “The larger one, for example the big crab there, it’s a 20,000 rupiahs,” spoke Ida pointing a living crab in one small pond. Those prices include the cooking.
The art of fish cooking has been Ida’s hobby since a long time ago. Furthermore, her husband is a fish supplier for many restaurants in Indonesia, also a fish exporter for few Asian countries. From her husband, Ida knows what type of fish that consumers are looking for.
First time the idea of setting up Madurasa came up when in every occasion her husband invited his clients to go fishing in a fishpond near the house. Ida then cooked the haul. Surprisingly, the guests liked it, even addicted to. So Ida one day thought, “Why don’t I just open a stall with the fishes as the main menu?”
Hence be it. Since seven years ago, Ida has been developing her stall. Now, people in Madura, especially Bangkalan city, awares of it, so do some travelers. Madurasa’s turnover books two million rupiahs each day, maybe twice or three times during the holiday.
“My family and I love to eat here,” Samsul, one of the customers, said. Samsul’s initial visit was because of his friend. Taking a lunch, he explained that it is the atmosphere that made he keeps coming to Madurasa. How about the food? “Is good as well! It’s not too sugar, not too saline. Just perfect.”
So, if you visit Bangkalan someday, don’t forget to stop by at Madurasa. This stall opens from 8:00 to 21:00. But I suggest you come before sunset. The panorama of shore and mountain is just… wow. [photos by Iksan]