There’s a lot of nostalgia about this place for some people that I know. The existence of Soto Madura Pak Hadi has gone way back for quite some time and yet the place feels timeless as it retains the modesty of a warung makan but a taste consistency of a fine-dining restaurant – so they say. For a first timer like me, it is high time to test it.
The soto arrived hot and very straightforward with its appearance. The soup is not that transparent as opposed with some of the sotos from mainland Java but it has a flavor depth that I have never realized before. The refreshing taste came from a good mixture of basic Indonesian spices and a bit of a squeezed lime. The deepness of the flavor clearly came from a prolonged cooking process for the beef broth.
Why would I say straightforward is because that Pak Hadi’s version only uses bean sprouts and generous chunks of beef which are already cooked well and tender. There are no hard-boiled eggs used, potato fritter, or even cassava for this dish. Just a simple soto and rice.
Even in Madura itself, there’s a clear distinction between the three derivatives of soto Madura – from Bangkalan, Pamekasan, and Sumenep. However, even if Pak Hadi’s version may be a fusion or came from a heritage recipe he has been using all these years, I am simply falling in love with everything about it.
This is a benchmark that I would like to remember when one day I can finally compare the difference between each soto from this island.
SOTO MADURA PAK HADI
Unsuitable for vegetarians
Jalan Pintu Air Raya (on the right side after turning left from Juanda Station), Pasar Baru – Jakarta – Indonesia
Opening hours: Daily, 10am – finish
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Oct 2015 edition