Jakarta: Soto Gebrak


“The name Soto Gebrak is actually derived from the onomatopoeia of the sound that is made when a soy sauce bottle is slammed against a table to signal to the waiters that a Soto is ready to be served.”

As a big fan of Soto, I’ve placed Soto Gebrak in the top five of my list of best Soto around. It may look like your average Soto Ayam, but what makes it different from its peers is thekoya (deep-fried crushed shrimp) that is added into the concoction. Other than the koya, a portion of Soto Gebrak would comprise rice noodles, chicken slices, cabbage, bean sprouts, tomato, and celery.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve made my way to Soto Gebrak now – I’ve been a regular visitor since I was a kid. However, before you drop by one of Soto Gebrak’s many branches, allow me to inform you of a peculiar fact that you’ll come across at a Soto Gebrak joint: there will be a lot of table-banging sounds coming from the cookery every time a bowl of Soto is being prepared. The name Soto Gebrak is actually derived from the onomatopoeia of the sound that is made when a soy sauce bottle is slammed against a table to signal to the waiters that a Soto is ready to be served.

Soto Gebrak was founded by Cak Anton, who opened the first Soto Gebrak establishment on Jalan Setiabudi. “He started selling Soto in 1973 around the Setiabudi area by carrying two wooden baskets tied to a pole on his shoulder,” says one of the employees there. “Before we moved to this building, we used to sell Soto at a warung in this very neighbourhood,” he adds. The other Soto Gebrak branches in town can be found in Tebet, Margonda, and BSD.

Jl. Setiabudi 2, No. 17
(Opposite SMAN 3 Jakarta)
South Jakarta
T: 021 525 1975
Open daily from 10am-10pm
Rp. 25,000/US$ 1.90 per person


A die-hard fan of authentic Indonesian delights who loves the idea of travelling to the cradle of those enticing local treats. Yet, you might often find this young lad busy with his guitar – be it alone in his room or, sometimes, on stage.

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