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Surabaya: Sego Sambel Mak Yeye

Surabaya: Sego Sambel Mak Yeye


“Sego Sambel Mak Yeye might not score very high in the plating category, but when it comes to the flavour test, it passes with flying colours.

First of all, allow me to apologise for the unappetising image that I have chosen for this very article. However, before you mock my photography skills and close this page, please let me explain why. Sego Sambel Mak Yeye is one of the most popular street-food vendors in Surabaya, and it only opens at 10pm every day by the roadside of Jalan Jagir Wonokromo Wetan. Considering its location and time of business – and add to that the lack of proper lighting and furniture – it was nigh on impossible for me to snap a decent picture of the dish. It was an unfortunate circumstance, especially when the resulting image is not able to do justice to its incredible taste.

I visited Sego Sambel Mak Yeye at 10.15pm. There was a herd of customers loitering about on the street waiting to get hold of a table, while their dining companions queue around the serving counter waiting for their turn. I joined in the line for around half-an-hour whilst witnessing the staff preparing the food as per the customers’ orders. The combination of choice here at Sego Sambel Mak Yeye is a plate filled with Ikan Peh(smoked stingray), rice, fried tempeh and telur dadar (omelette). Topped with a blob of super-spicy sambal, I frowned a bit when they handed me my order as the dishes were in a state of disarray all over my plate. It reminded me of the food that they would serve in prison in the movies.

Sego Sambel Mak Yeye might not score very high in the plating category, but when it comes to the flavour test, it passes with flying colours – mainly due to the unbelievable smoky aroma that emanated from the Ikan Peh. As an added bonus, the sambal was very spicy but had a hint of sweetness that could make my palate smile if it had a mouth of its own. Under the sweltering heat, I was sweating like a pig as I ate. However, the blistering spiciness and Surabaya’s hot weather did not deter me from polishing off my delicious food.

Jl. Jagir Wonokromo Wetan,
Surabaya, East Java
Open daily from 10pm-3am
Price: Rp.25,000/US$1.90 per person


Started her career as a food writer in 2012, Jessicha Valentina is the online editor of Good Indonesian Food. Jessicha has loved Sayur Asem since she was a wee kid and spends her free time trying to cook it.

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