“Despite the super packed place, he managed to have a small talk with the customers.”
Soto Kuning (cows offal served with a yellow coconut milk soup), also known as Soto Bogor, is one of the most famous traditional dishes from the City of Rain. The popularity can be seen from the numbers of Soto Kuning sellers that scattered across city. Among all, many Bogor natives mostly favour Soto Pak Salam resulting a long queue in front of the warung.
This Soto stall was opened for the first time in 1989. Pak Salam, the founder, has passed away and now his son, Kang Iwan, is responsible to helm the stall. Soto Pak Salam opens daily from 3 o’clock in the evening and in less than three hours the Soto is already sold out.
Luckily, I managed to sample Soto Pak Salam during my last trip to Bogor. Arriving at 3 p.m., I saw many customers have come and formed a queue. I sneaked in to the warung and took beef meat, paru (cow lungs), otak (beef brain) and perkedel (potato croquette). Initially, I wanted to bring the Soto home. However, upon seeing how the customers enjoyed the food, I changed my mind and decided to eat there.
When my turn arrived, Kang Iwan grabbed all the items I’ve picked. He chopped it nicely and put some salt, sweet soy sauce and fried onion to the bowl. He continued with pouring the soup and passed the bowl back to me.
Having eaten two other Soto Kuning on that day, I should say that Soto Pak Salam was different. All the food items have been pre-cooked and seasoned well. The beef meat I had was tad sweet. However, it balanced up the flavourful coconut milk soup. Furthermore, the paru was tender yet chewy and it pleased my palates right away.
Not only the food, the service was great too. One thing I noticed during the visit is Kang Iwan was really friendly guy. Despite the super packed place, he managed to have a small talk with the customers. He even apologised to the customers because all the sits were taken. When the customer pays, Kang Iwan says,”Selamat”. Meaning congratulations or be safe this gesture is said to thank all the customers who have finished the food and about to go home. Enough said, Soto Pak Salam is a must visit place whenever you’re in Bogor.
By Jessicha Valentina
Jl. Surya Kencana
Bogor, West Java
Open daily from 3pm-8pm (Most items are sold out by 5pm)
Rp. 30,000-40,000 / US$ 2.20-3.00