Residents of Jakarta from all walks of life should be more than familiar with Soto Ceker Pak Gendut. Most people would come here because it is open until the wee hours – from 6pm until 3am. The opportunity to sample a warm and flavorous soup at midnight is a temptation that is simply too difficult to resist, which explains why this place gets even more crowded after the sun checks out for the day.
Despite its legions of fans, Soto Ceker Pak Gendut is still located under a couple of tents at one corner of Jalan Sabang since it first opened for business in the 1990s. Its success has led to the opening of two branches in the capital city of Indonesia.
I can still count the number of the times I’ve been to this place on the fingers of one hand, despite its celebrated status. It’s not the food that’s keeping me from going there; it’s the packed area that I need to go through to reach it. This is why I went crazy the last time I ate there.
I opted for a bowl of its Soto Ceker (chicken feet soup) and an additional Soto Ranjau (chicken bone soup) along with a plate of steamed rice. Before I devoured them, I reminisced about my first visit here, when I thought that Soto Ranjau was a Soto filled with “ranjau” (“booby traps”) such as red-hot chillies. Suffice to say, I was definitely wrong.
The Soto Ranjau here tastes way better than any other of its kind, with the chicken bones still covered with quite a great deal of meat. Soto Ceker Pak Gendut excels in its Soto soup, which enhances every element inside it with a burst of flavours. And then there are the chicken feet in its Soto Ceker that are succulent and soft in texture.
Time to get off your sofa and make your way to Jalan Sabang for a taste or two of Soto Ceker dan Ranjau Pak Gendut’s signature dishes.
You can also read this article on The Jakarta Post:A delicate ‘soto ceker’ to end the night
Jl. H. Agus Salim,
Open daily from 6pm-3am
Rp.20,000/US$1.50 per person