“The beef tripe was tender and chewy, prepared to perfection to remove the unpleasant aroma and aftertaste naturally associated with the dish.“
First established in 1982, Babat Gongso Pak Taman has a reputation of being one of the most popular Babat Gongso (beef tripe) joints in Semarang. A quick browse through Google would prove that is the case, with the place listed on the top restaurants to visit in the capital city of Central Java.
Now, to be honest, I’m not exactly a huge fan of beef tripe. This is why hesitation clouded my judgement when it came to deciding whether to visit the place or not. Rather than risking a telling-off from the higher-ups, though, I dragged myself to make tracks to the eatery. It was lunchtime, and the titchy establishment – maximum capacity of around 20 pax – was overflowing with punters. Only later on did I find out that most of them came from Jakarta. Darned city slickers.
It took around 40 minutes for me to finally get my Babat Gongso. The reason for the slow service was due to the limited number of staff available, with only Bu Tukini – Pak Taman’s lovely wife – and her children on hand to prepare the food.
Served on a banana leaf, its dark colour looked very unappealing at first. However, it only took one bite for my perception to be turned around. The beef tripe was tender and chewy, prepared to perfection to remove the unpleasant aroma and aftertaste naturally associated with the dish. The sauce – created from a mixture of garlic, onion, sweet soy sauce and chilli – lent a rich and satisfying flurry of sweet and spicy flavours to the proceeding.
Besides Babat Gongso, also on offer on its menu are Nasi Goreng Babat (fried rice with beef tripe) and Nasi Goreng Babat Paru (fried rice with beef tripe and lung). If such sinful-yet-delightful dishes are right up your alley, then make sure you stop by Babat Gongso Pak Taman during your stay in Semarang.
Jl. Stadion Diponegoro,
Semarang, Central Java
T: 0815 4058 1614
Open daily from 6.30am-4pm
Rp.20,000/US$1.50 per person