Tour de Singkarak 2013 – Fourth Stage.
It was a really long way to Pulau Punjung of Dharmasraya regency, one of the richest regencies of West Sumatera and also the hottest as it reached up to 40 degrees of Centigrade during the stage finish celebration. Even before that, we started back at Sijunjung, took a road less traveled and enjoyed the beauty of Silokek precipices and rivers, did a bit of jungle trekking to find the secret waterfall, and then finally head south to Dharmasraya on a journey as far as almost 190 km.
This exhausting trip indeed requires a treat at the end of the day and I kept on nagging to our good driver Mr Eddy to take us for the mythical Dendeng Batokok specialty restaurant out of Sawahlunto, the city we stayed in for a couple of nights. One of the car’s passengers, Mr Kholili from TVRI, first advised us to enjoy a bowl of good Soto Padang first before that. It had turned out that the Soto Urang Awak restaurant was just nearby where we originally headed. Of course, I’d be more than happy to experience new things first!
It’s probably just your regular side street restaurant down by the intercity highways, but I found out that this particular Soto Urang Awak provides a bright, inviting, clean, and a quite cozy environment to dine-in. The menu only consists of two, Soto Urang Awak or known more as Soto Padang and the beef soup. The latter already finished for the day so it’s all left to Soto Urang Awak to prove that the title’s worthy of the humble restaurant’s name.
And indeed it was! The composition may be pretty regular but I bet it’s the best so far I have ever tasted before. While my previous encounters left me in exasperation whether will I finally one day meet ‘the real deal’ and it was answered in an instant! Now I daresay that the one in Muaro Kalaban is perhaps the best so far but I’ve yet to prove my point if only I had more time to scour Kota Padang, where I stay for final days of Tour de Singkarak 2013.
By the way, the composition of this Soto Urang Awak was quite simple as it only uses crispy fried beef, vermicelli, scallions, potato frikedeller and warm rice with it. There’s no red crackers this time and no eggs, but it was jolly time when I found that the soup was particularly fit my palate well, good flavored, and if we didn’t plan for Dendeng Batokok then I’d surely have my tambo ciek (one more bowl please!) moment!
So whenever you’re around Sawahlunto, spend sometime outside of the town, join in the ranks of other travelers from all across Sumatera, and enjoy the warm soup for your soul!
SOTO URANG AWAK – MUARO KALABAN
Must eat: Soto Urang Awak/Padang
Spend: IDR 20,000 / person
Address: Jalan Lintas Sumatera, Desa Muaro Kalaban, Kec. Silungkang, Sawahlunto – West Sumatera, Indonesia
Opening hours: Everyday, TBA