“Udi has refilled the meat three times by 11 a.m., as it was truly delicious.”
Finding a Soto Kuning (Bogor’s signature beef soup served with coconut milk) seller in Bogor is as easy as counting from 1-2-3. However, among all, there are some hawkers that stand out in the crowd. Soto Kuning Pak Bongkok is one of them.
Founded in 1978, the vendor’s name emerged because he used a shoulder pole to sell his Soto. This made him to be abongkok (hunchback) man. Since then, bongkok became his nickname and the brand of his Soto too.
Nowadays, you will not see a hunchback man selling Soto Kuning in the stall. Instead, a perfectly fit young man named Udi, Pak Bongkok’s grandson, will be very happy to attend you. Pak Bongkok has passed away and now Udi is responsible to sell the Soto Kuning.
Under Udi’s attentive hands, Soto Kuning Pak Bongkok manages to keep its quality. When I came to the stall, I saw the customers busy picking up beef meat and offal from the table attached to the booth. The small table was only able to accommodate up to four people, so the rest of the customers had to stand while eating.
I picked offal and beef meat from table and passed it to Udi. Udi then cut it into small pieces, placed it on a bowl and poured the coconut milk soup. When he gave the bowl, I could smell the candlenut and turmeric from the soup. The coconut milk soup was tasteful bringing a savoury flavour to my taste buds. The beef meat and offal were marinated with turmeric, which eliminated the offal odour and made the ingredients more flavourful. I wasn’t surprised to hear that Udi has refilled the meat three times by 11 a.m., as it was truly delicious.
According to Udi, there are some Soto Kuning sellers in Jakarta using Pak Bongkok as a label. He assured me that the original Soto Kuning Pak Bongkok is only located in Jalan Suryakencana. So don’t get fooled by Soto Kuning Pak Bongkok you find in other part of the cities. Make your way to Jalan Suryakencana and experience the true Soto Kuning Pak Bongkok down there.
By Jessicha Valentina
Bogor, West Java
Open daily from 07.30am-1.30pm
Rp. 20,000/ US$ 1.50