Cindy is familiarly known through her Instagram handle (@bellyculinary), she is a dedicated food content creator who started her career in 2017. With a background in Food Technology and invaluable industry experience, Cindy has embarked on a delightful journey, sharing her food recommendations and recounting her most unforgettable culinary adventures.
From tantalizing taste explorations to the art of culinary creation, Cindy’s love affair with food knows no bounds.
Hi! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your day-to-day activities. What do you love the most about what you do?
My name is Cindy from @bellyculinary. I have been a food content creator since 2017. I have a bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and have worked in an FMCG company’s research and development department for some time. I have been in love with food forever, both in consuming it and learning how to create it.
What is your favorite type of cuisine?
My favorite type of cuisine varies depending on my mood each day. However, on a daily basis, I tend to gravitate towards Medan and West Kalimantan-Chinese food. I also have a strong craving for bold and spicy flavors found in Sichuan and Padang cuisine.
What usually draws your attention to a place to eat?
I am usually drawn to places that offer unique and tasty dishes that I have never tasted. Additionally, I am intrigued by interesting food preparation methods or unique ways of serving food.
What do you look for in street food?
When choosing which vendor for street food to try, always look for well-kept kitchen tools and fresh ingredients! Hygienic and good-quality equipment and ingredients showcase the people behind the business. Those who are capable of selecting and taking care of all the visible components used to make the dishes are the ones who will serve the best food.
What is your favorite food?
Crispy Pork Belly & Steak
Do you have any memorable food trips?
During my visit to Medan, I had the opportunity to try out eight different restaurants every day for the entire ten-day trip. One place that stood out was BPK Sagoli, where I had the most incredible crispy pork belly I have ever tasted in my life!
Another memorable culinary experience was when I visited my parents’ hometown in Singkawang, West Kalimantan. The Singkawang-style fruit rujak, porridge, coffee, and kway teow had a unique and distinct flavor that was truly delightful.
To you, what would make a perfect meal?
A perfect meal, in my opinion, would consist of well-prepared food with balanced flavors and textures, enjoyed in an excellent setting with impeccable service.
What is the most unforgettable food experience you have had?
I was awestruck by the molecular gastronomy at Namaaz Dining. It’s truly amazing how food can be modified into different shapes and textures. Paired with the musical performance and excellent service, the overall experience was unforgettable.
What is your favorite street food, and where do you usually eat it?
Technically this is not street food but more a small restaurant. My favorite is Bakmi Siantar! Bakmi Lamlo is my go-to choice. I usually order Bakmi Karet with Swikiaw and a soy-marinated Duck Egg.
Is there any food you can eat every day without getting bored?
Noodles. There are countless ways to prepare and pair them with various ingredients. Moreover, numerous types of noodles are available, making it a versatile and endlessly enjoyable dish.
Do you have any memorable food experiences?
I used to work in R&D in the FMCG industry, specializing in packaged food. The amount of effort we invested in learning, experimenting, and making decisions to create the perfect product for the launch was beyond description, to say the least. This experience changed how I perceive all the individuals behind the food I enjoy daily.
Where do you usually hang out with friends or go for special occasions with family?
My friends and family are avid explorers of new restaurants, so we seldom visit the same place repeatedly. However, for special occasions, we always choose to celebrate at Angke Restaurant and Sun City. Angke Restaurant offers incredible family-style Chinese dishes like Ayam Rebus Minyak Jahe and Mun Haisom. On the other hand, when we crave high-quality dim sum, Sun City is our go-to spot. Their Siu mai and Har gao are simply amazing.
What are your favorite local dishes, and where do you usually go to eat them?
I was raised by Singkawang parents, so I consider my local dishes to be West Kalimantan food. I love Bubur Singkawang from Bubur Akhun & Kincipan (Singkawang style stir-fried Kway Teow with Katuk leaves) from Bubur Singkawang Ajun.
Where are your top three dining places that are always on your favorite list? And which food do you recommend getting at those places?
- Sunday Brunch at Arts Café by Raffles Hotel Jakarta is a must-try, especially their Josper-grilled Steak Frites!
- For ramen lovers, Eightman Ramen is a small shop located at Summitnas Tower. You have to try their Tonkotsu Shoyu Gyuniku Ramen.
- If you’re looking for an authentic modern Japanese experience, Kenjiro is the place to go. I highly recommend their Wagyu Beef Yakiniku and Salmon Sashimi.
What is your go-to comfort food, and where do you usually get them?
Lately, my sisters and I have been into hot pots, and our go-to spot is Hai Di Lao. We love the fact that this restaurant has multiple branches, and the service is consistently excellent. Mala soup & prawn paste are our go-to orders.