A warm beef soup would be even better when complemented with steamed rice – the ideal combination for Jakartans, myself included. In Makassar, though, they do things a bit differently.
Rather than pillowy white rice, the people there devour beef soup with cassava, which makes up a little dish they call Sup Ubi (cassava soup).
A good place to try this unique treat if you ever find yourself in Makassar is at the celebrated Sop Ubi Hj. Haniah on Jalan Datumuseng. As it is not located by the roadside, you’ll have to navigate your way through a narrow alleyway to get to it.
Who knew that a tiny 3 x 4 metre shop with a low ceiling was once awarded the title “Most Favourite Warung for Sup Ubi” in 2012? There seemed to be no end to the customers entering the
establishment, despite the stifling temperatures inside. It has even become the must-visit joint for celebrities from Jakarta when they stop by Makassar.
Seeing as its popularity and the small capacity of its dining area are the opposite ends of the spectrum, you’re more than likely to find yourself in a sweltering warung that is packed to the brim.
I came long after lunchtime had passed at around 5pm and even then, I still had to endure a long, sweaty wait.
You won’t find a menu here, as it only serves its revered Sup Ubi. Comprising sohun (vermicelli), cube-shaped cassava, cuts of beef, bean sprouts, hard-boiled egg, leeks, celery and a sprinkle of fried onion on top, it is given a fresh touch by the addition of pepper into the mix. The result is a slightly hot taste akin to the beef soup that you can find in Jakarta.
Its sizeable portion, though, upstaged the number of beef cuts inside the soup – an unfortunate drawback from an otherwise exceptional meal, exemplified by the texture and flavour of the cassava that is a delight when eaten with the soup. Despite the pros and cons, it was a very fulfilling experience for me, and I aim to make sure that a return here will be on the cards in the future.
You can also read the article on The Jakarta Post: Up close and personal with Makassar’s unique ‘sup ubi’
T: 0815 2498 2909/0812 4527 9591
Open daily from 7am-9pm
Rp.50,000/US$3.80 per person