When people moved away from their hometown, continue with their –new- life, once they have chance to visit back their hometown, it's always one thing they all looking for –for sure.
Not just food, more like food they used to have, restaurants they used to visit, mum's or even grandma's kitchen they used to hang out or simply local food that been disappear for long from their life.
I did feel the same. Not as bad as my friend –he always spent most of his time from one restaurant to another, one food vendor to another to quench his thirst-; I'm on the stage that I'm fine without those foods also happy if I can have one.
So, on lovely Monday morning –Public Holiday, this is the best thing living in Indonesia, many public holidays- we all squeezed in to my brother car, round around the city, wanting to had a bowl of 'Soto' –"So" as 'so' and "To" as 'to' in toffee-.
15 minutes later, we landed on this place.
It's Soto Kirana.
This place is more like small restaurant, with no-air conditioner. There are more than 12pairs of long wooden-bench placed on sort-of open air verandah style. Once people sit and having their hot 'soto', they will feel the breeze and don't mind sweating a bit!
Soto Kirana itself it's not pretty much different with other soto (Kirana it's the name of the founder). It's a hot clear soup accompany with fried shredded chicken, rice-thin noodle and finely sliced cabbage. Some people likes it with rice, some wants extra fried shallot on top of it. People can always order their favorite version of it. Once you get your seat, a staff will approach and memorize your order –without any sight of paper they take the order- and serve in less than 10minutes. All comes perfectly as ordered!
On the long table itself, there are plates of many 'snack' to accompany your soto, like fried tempeh or tofu, quail egg-sate cooked with sweet soy sauce or something 'heavy' like fried mini-beef-steak style full of spice (we call it empal).
On holiday or weekend like this, don't hope too much for lingering around and chat with friends while eat here. Once you finish your bowl, and army of staffs in bright orange t-shirt and black pant will cleaning up your bowl quickly and that is the sign you have to stand up and pay. Or ask one of the waiter to count your bill –yep, they count in front of you, push their calculator button, tell you amount you owe and you just hand your money; paperless, saving tree by slave your brain heavily -)
And you will see people face hoping to get your seat –as you put your hoping face and show others customer you need their seat beforehand.
About 10 Australian Dollars for 7 of us!