If it wasn’t for my two foodie friends recommendations, I wouldn’t have the slightest idea for my dinner that evening. Well, I had my share of good crispy empal back at Rumah Makan Ria for lunch and I liked it a lot! So then I was thinking, why not having it again for dinner? And off we went for Nasi Empal Pengampon!
Looking for Jalan Pengampon may be a bit tricky since there are two one way roads on the left and right side of the river that runs through Surabaya, yet each time there’s an intersection the name of the street changes. Anyway, just maintain your trust to the infamous GPS and you’ll have this big city inside your tiny hands.
Nasi Empal Pengampon is located inside an alley not far from the main road and it kinda reminds me of Mr Asui back at Pangkal Pinang of Bangka Island during my trip earlier this year. It’s pretty much the same genre which is Chinese cuisine but much to my surprise, Nasi Empal Pengampon serves non-halal food. I can’t really say much since I brought the whole family who happens to be quite strict with this rule but luckily, one of the staffs in his own initiative ensured us that only the rice dishes (nasi empal, nasi babat, nasi empal babat, and probably the bubur ayam as well) are safe and halal.
So it’s basically a nasi rames or rice with sides and definitely, it’s the empal that stars the whole show. Empal or gepuk in Sundanese is basically available everywhere from hawkers to five-star Indonesian restaurants but to find a place that boasts its finesse in making it, well it’s a must try anywhere. Made from beef of particular part in the thigh, the meat undergoes ‘severe beating’ and soaked in reduction of its own juice with many other herbs, delicious gula jawa, and finally the coconut milk. Lastly, you fry the meat and shred it horizontally. There you have it, empal suwir or shredded empal in Anglaise. But to note, the steps I told you earlier may vary in several sequences or differ in ingredients but nonetheless the result is the same, a tender yet sweet beef with a hint of crispiness and deep flavor.
At Nasi Empal Pengampon, the rice and empal are combined with sautéed vegetables, potato chips, cucumbers, and a very spicy sambal. It’s all very fulfilling and quite satisfying taste-wise, but I bet you gonna have your seconds! To note again, other Chinese style dishes are non-halal so you gotta be careful or just simply pick the safe rice dishes. Give it a try then!
NON HALAL (except the rice dishes)
Must eat: Nasi empal, nasi empal babat, bubur ayam
Price: IDR 12,000 (nasi empal)
Jalan Pengampon – Surabaya, East Java – Indonesia
Jalan Dewi Sartika 7B – Batu, East Java – Indonesia
Opening hours: TBA