I encountered many interesting facets that make the Tanjung Pandan in Belitung such a remarkable place – from the unique daily rituals of its people to the variety of its delicious local cuisine. One that has still haunted me since I returned from my recent trip there was Soto Belitung (Belitung beef soup).
I chanced upon this local treat while I was paying a visit to one of the longest standing eateries in Tanjung Pandan: Kedai Mak Jannah. A well-known establishment amongst the locals, it was founded in 1970 and its rising popularity since then has seen it become the go-to culinary stopover for both local and international tourists.
Its signature dish is, of course, Soto Belitung, which has an appearance that is very similar to Lontong Sayur (rice cakes with vegetable stew in coconut milk soup) and share more or less the same composition of ingredients.
It consists of a plate of flavorous coconut milk soup filled with rice cakes, rice vermicelli, potato, and shredded beef and topped with fried shallots and Kerupuk Emping (gnetum gnemon seed crackers). Its smooth coconut milk soup combines well with the soft shredded beef, and lends a flavour that could set any tongue wagging.
Its operating time is quite short, with morning being the most hectic moment of the day. For the city’s denizens, a serving of Soto Belitung has become the favourite way to start their day. The joint’s strategic location in the city centre makes Kedai Mak Jannah easy to reach before they continue on with their daily activities.
While I was there, I took the opportunity to discover the history behind Kedai Mak Jannah by conversing with its affable owner Pak Ucu, who is the grandson of the shop’s founder. “My grandparents laid the foundations of this business by opening a small warung not for from here. Not long after, they moved to this current location. Back then, it was located a bit further to the back and the building itself was a lot more modest. Fortunately, the local government conducted a redevelopment of this area three years ago by building modern shoplots,” he says.
You also can read the story on The Jakarta Post: Breakfast in Tanjung Pandan’s Local Favourite Kedai Mak Jannah.
Kawasan KV Senang,
Open daily from 7am-2pm
Rp 22.000/$1,65 per orang