Here comes the sequel after the Soto Padang episode! With a half-full belly, we headed just a few hundred meters away from Soto Urang Awak closer to Sawahlunto. There you can see on your left, the restaurant famed for its specialty of dendeng batokok!
Dendeng Batokok is another painstaking process on how to produce a great piece of art. It’s basically a marinated sliced beef soaked in for like 5 hours or so and then smoked using wood fire for 10 hours straight. Before serving, the meat will then be ‘tokok’-ed (hence the word ‘batokok‘) first or pound until really flat. The beef will then be accompanied by a separate red chili sambal soaked with the local ‘olive oil’ made from coconut or known more as minyak basanak or minyak tanak.
My first encounter with it reaffirms that other dendeng batokok I have ever encountered before was indeed a pure joke. Mrs Ermis traditional recipe that goes way back to 1940s survives and never compromise with the original version even with the current price rise of beef or any kind of dynamics that a restaurant has to deal with.
I found my sliced beef often melted by itself in my mouth and it was really really good, although sometimes you really have to chew it a bit. What matters would be the flavor as all the herbs and ingredients were marinated well inside the beef thus creating a complex taste of sweetness and savory dominated by coconut flavor and of course, fragrant, due to the result of wood fire smoking process. Even having it plain with warm rice was a very happy moment for me.
The sambal may be a bit too spicy for some so that I decided to pour the coconut oil instead. The new oily texture made it even tempting. It’s probably like when you see Jamie Oliver put the magical OO into any of his dishes and how radiant it becomes, right?
Now my trip to Sawahlunto has become so meaningful. Not only did I have the chance to enjoy the classic town filled with Dutch buildings and its long history, the enthusiasm of Tour de Singkarak international cycling race, but also getting myself involved with personal affairs with these blissful moments of tasting the greatest dendeng batokok and also not forgetting, the soto urang awak. Thank you Rendang Journey 2012 for introducing me to this town and Tour de Singkarak 2013 for letting me having my intimate moments with it!
RM DENDENG BATOKOK (MASAKAN HJ. ERMIS) – MUARO KALABAN
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians
Jalan Lintas Sumatera, Desa Muaro Kalaban, Kec. Silungkang, Sawahlunto – West Sumatera, Indonesia
Opening hours: Everyday, TBA