We are very sure Soto Betawi (Betawi beef soup) lovers in Jakarta are no strangers to the names H. Husen and H. Ma’ruf. Both Soto Betawi H. Husen and Soto Betawi H. Ma’ruf have been pleasuring the tummies and palates of their loyal customers for decades, with the latter first established in the 1960s. Soto Betawi H. Ma’ruf also has a few branches to its name in the capital city of Indonesia. Their prominence led us to pit them against one another to find out which one is worthy of being deemed the Soto Betawi champion.
Soto Betawi H. Husen
Compared to its equivalents, the soup of its Soto looks yellower in colour and has a more concentrated texture. Taste-wise, it is dense, savoury and delightful. The beef slices are sizeable and they feature a rather velvety touch. Crunchy and delicious, one can say that the Paru Goreng (fried beef lungs) that accompany the dish are one of the best around. Freshly made and served, the food here are cooked and finished on that day itself.
There is a distinct lack of space inside this warung. Once it reaches a full house – a sight you can see almost every day – you can feel the air beginning to thin out and you’ll be out of breath in no time. Also, it does not stock up on enough supplies for its food; hence customers must be prepared for disappointment if they come around late.
Jl. Padang Panjang No. 6C, South Jakarta
T: 021 8370 6476
Open daily from 7am-1pm
Soto Betawi H. Ma’ruf
The soup of its Soto features just the right level of consistency and is original in flavour. With more than one outlet to its name, you are able to dine in peace without the risk of an overcrowding. It does not use artificial flavouring, which mean that its bowl of Soto tastes fresher and natural.
Despite its unblemished-by- artificial-flavouring tang, there is a slight blandness to its soup. The concoction also lacks a bit of bite in terms of its savouriness level on the whole. The ingredients inside the Soto are quite inadequate and unsatisfying.
Jl.Gondangdia Lama No. 36A, Central Jakarta
Open daily from 10am-9pm
With a more savoury and denser soup, Soto Betawi H. Husen snatches victory in this duel by a country mile. And its Paru Goreng is guaranteed to keep you coming back for more.