Prepare yourself for a gastronomic adventure in the capital city of East Java.
Surabaya is Indonesia’s second biggest city and is well populated with diverse cultures that influence its cuisine. Located on the shores of the eastern part of Java, the city is also one of the country’s biggest port cities. With so many influences, visitors can enjoy an array of mouthwatering delicacies that take inspiration from the Indian, Arab and Chinese immigrants that once flooded this area.
Another popular dish from the eastern part of Java is rawon, or black beef soup. The traditional spice kluwek creates the black colour in the soup. Rawon is usually cooked over a long period of time to ensure tenderness of the meat and to let the flavour of all the spices fully develop. A perfect choice for dinner, rawon is served with white rice, salted egg and prawn cracker.
Rujak is a fruit or vegetable salad drenched in a pungent sauce made from peanuts. What differentiates rujak cingur from other rujaks is that it also includes pieces of cow muzzle in the sauce to give a more savoury taste. Originating in Surabaya, this specialty was made in a small warung in Genteng Durasim that has been operating since 1943. The dish is completed with slices of tempeh and tofu.
If you were to translate the name of this dish into English, it would be racing compressed rice. Well, you don’t have to be running or racing when eating this traditional food from Surabaya. In reality, lontong balap consists of slices of lontong (compressed rice cake), with beansprout soup, fried tofu, lentho, sweet soy sauce, fried shallots and sambal. Lentho is a deep-fried batter with galangal and spring onion. When you’re eating it at a restaurant, you will also be greeted with an array of side dishes to complete your dining experience.