“Consisting of beef chunks, bihun (rice vermicelli), and bean sprouts served in a zesty beef broth, the whole package was just perfect.”
To the best of my knowledge, the two biggest culinary exports from the island of Madura are Soto Madura (Maduranese soto) and Sate Madura (Maduranese satay). As someone who writes about food for a living, the limits of my digestive system are always tested during my many eatery visits. What annoys me the most is when I discover that a joint has more than one amazing dish available, and I’ve only got the stomach to scoff down on just the one.
Soto Madura Pak Hadi – situated on Jalan Pintu Air Raya in the Pasar Baru area – has been a cult favourite for years. Ever since it was established in the 1960s, its legendary Soto Madura has become the darling of many of our notable ministers, due to its close proximity to a number of government offices. Expect a full house here during lunchtime. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the joint though. Back in the day, its success led to the opening of several branches across town, before it had to start all over again with its flagship outlet after it was forced to shut down its subsidiary locations. According to one of its employees, prior to the move to its current location six years ago, it previously called Jalan Juanda its home.
And now, on to the task at hand: to devour its Soto Madura and deliver our verdict. Consisting of beef chunks, bihun (rice vermicelli), and bean sprouts served in a zesty beef broth, the whole package was just perfect. I could detect a hint of koya (deep-fried crushed shrimp) from the concoction as well, which is similar to what you may find in a regular Soto Ayam (chicken soup). So enamoured I was with the dish, I made short work of it in a blink of an eye and enjoyed every spoonful that I shoved into my mouth.
However, not long after I wiped the splashes of soup from my face, only then I realised that Soto Madura Pak Hadi had another mouth-watering delicacy in its arsenal – one that I failed to notice when I was placing my order: Sate Kuah (grilled beef soup). I was so gutted, especially knowing that I’ve stuffed down all I could into my already-oversized tummy. Oh well, there’s always a next time.
Jl. Pintu Air Raya No. 4,
Open daily from 10am-10pm
Rp.25,000/US$1.40 per person