I understand that Sop Kambing (mutton soup) isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. I personally can’t stomach its intense aroma. However, it came as quite a surprise to me that this undesirable characteristic was not present when I had a go at Sop Kambing Kumango’s signature dish in Medan.
Founder Bapak Tresno established the eatery in 1975, adopting the location of the joint–on Jalan Kumango–as its name. As its popularity soared, so did his fortune. He then opened another outlet in the city. His three sons Roy, Gafur and Sonny now manage the business, with Roy the de facto chef out of the trio. He still adheres to his father’s recipe to every detail, including putting carrots into the soup.
The flagship shop is open only from 6.30pm to 11pm, and more often than not it is packed with customers during dinner time. When overcrowding occurs, they would set up a number of tables by the roadside.
I made my way there at around 8pm, and as I expected, I had to sit outside. Given the choice of either Sop Kambing or Sop Kaki Kambing (mutton leg soup) by the waitress, I opted for the former.
My enthusiastic smile slapped across my face quickly turned into a frown as I saw the train wreck of a plate that was placed in front of me. I took a spoonful of the soup and took right good look at it – it reminded me of baby food. Fortunately, the cover did not justify the book in this case.
Served hot and made from a mixture of carrots and various spices, the soup delivered a flavourful savoury taste with a sweet aftertaste. As luck would have it, there was to be no unpleasant odour emanating from the meat. In fact, it was tender and tasty. I reckon it would be the perfect meal for a rainy day.
Medan, North Sumatra
Open from Monday to Saturday from 6.30pm-11pm
Rp.40,000/US$3 per person