Bogor: Soto Mie Ciseeng

“The broth – made from a mix of radish, pork ribs, and vinegar – exuded a combination of sweet and sour flavours.”

Jalan Suryakencana, Bogor’s very own Chinatown, is truly a culinary heaven for epicureans. Along the road, there are many food sellers offering a wide array of dishes, ranging from Lumpia Basah, Asinan Jagung and Pepes Sagu Pisang to Soto Mie. As we were looking for a joint that has been around for a long time, our destination here was Soto Mie Ciseeng.

Established in 1930 by Thio Kwie while Indonesia was still under the rule of the Dutch colony, Soto Mie Ciseeng is renowned for its legendary Soto Mie Bogor (noodles in clear soup). It’s not like your typical Soto Mie Bogor though; instead of beef, the broth is made from pork ribs, and it is served without spring roll.

With the passing of time, changes are inevitable, and Soto Mie Ciseeng has undergone quite a few improvements. “My grandfather used to carry his little shop with a pole, while my dad ran the business by using a cart. Fortunately, we now have a permanent space in a shoplot,” Thio Un Chuan – Thio Kwie’s grandson – beams with pride. Despite the adjustments, the flavour of its Soto Mie has been left untouched and remains consistent, largely due to Un Chuan’s devotion to following the recipe of his grandfather’s and using a charcoal stove to make the dish. “It lends a special aroma to the soup that you won’t find anywhere else,” he says.

We obviously couldn’t take his words for granted, so we put Soto Mie Ciseeng to the test. The broth – made from a mix of radish, pork ribs, and vinegar – exuded a combination of sweet and sour flavours. The pork meat, pork intestines, and deep-fried green onion that came in the Soto fused to create a great unforgettable savour.

After our delightful meal, Un Chuan suggested us to try out the Gado-Gado that was sold right in front of his shop. “She’s been at it for more than fifty years now,” he quips while pointing to the seller. We duly followed his recommendation, and it turned out to be the most authentic Gado-Gado Bogor we’ve ever had, with the boiled carrots and kerupuk asinan (brown-coloured crackers usually served with Asinan Bogor) being the main ingredients of a true-blue Gado-Gado Bogor. To be able to savour two traditional Bogor dishes in one day – how lucky can one get?

Jl. Suryakencana No. 280, Bogor
T: 0817 493 6535/0838 1937 0202
Open daily from 8am to 6pm

Started her career as a food writer in 2012, Jessicha Valentina is the online editor of Good Indonesian Food. Jessicha has loved Sayur Asem since she was a wee kid and spends her free time trying to cook it.

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