“The Es Campur tasted noticeably different compared to your average Es Campur, no small thanks to Depot Es Remaja’s special syrup.”
Being located right next to the world-famous island that is Bali has seen Lombok getting its share of the spotlight, which has seen both local and international tourists discovering the true beauty of the island. From its picturesque natural landscapes to its enigmatic cultural traditions, Lombok has the potential to give Bali a run for its money. Another aspect of “The Brother of Bali” that has got me licking my lips even before I went on my adventure there is the cornucopia of tantalising local delicacies that it has.
One of the many joints that I paid a visit to that deserves a short article on Good Indonesian Food is Depot Es Remaja, which boasts Es Campur (shaved ice with fruit cocktail) and Soto Lombok (Lombok-style soup) among its arsenal of dishes. Founded in the 1950s, its tumbledown appearance may warn off some people, but it only serves to show the struggles that it has had to put up with to get to where it is now. Located on Jalan AA Gede Ngurah in Cakranegara, the shop is operated by founder H. Munir’s son, Ham Mushardi, and has one branch over in the village of Bengkel.
While there, I had a tête-à-tête with Mr. Mushardi himself, who gave me a brief insight into his shop. “Our secret weapon for the Es Campur is our home-made syrup, which we believe has given it the edge over other Es Campur purveyors on the island,” he reveals. Consisting of shaved ice, kolang-kaling (sugar palm fruit), cincau (grass jelly), coconuts, milk, and the aforementioned home-made syrup, it tasted noticeably different compared to your average Es Campur, no small thanks to Depot Es Remaja’s special syrup.
He also sang the praises of its Soto Lombok, and persuaded me to give it a try. “This is an authentic Lombok dish that you can’t find anywhere else. We use home-made noodles to maintain its fine quality. You have to order a bowl,” he says. His silver tongue proved to be not all talk, as it was a Soto that tasted like nothing that I’ve ever come across before. Like a combination of Mie Ayam (chicken noodles) and Soto Ayam (chicken soup), it uses noodles, lontong (steamed rice cakes), chicken slices, bean sprouts and green mustard, all plopped into a zesty chicken broth.
Jl. AA Gede Ngurah No.28
Mataram, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara
T: 0370 632 613
Open daily from 7am- 6pm
Rp.25,000/US$1.80 per person