Surabaya is Indonesia’s second-largest city, and the capital of the province of East Java. It is also one of the biggest cities in Southeast Asia, located on the northern shore of Eastern Java at the mouth of the Mas River and at the side of the Madura Strait. It is known as the city of heroes, because of its heroic role in the history of Indonesia. In 2007, the population of the city is approximately 4 million.
I was born and grew up here before I moved to Slovenia. I always love Surabaya … for me it’s a great town with best food ever!! Can’t wait to go home and explore every corner of the town to experience delicious food.
When you have the chance to visit my hometown, don’t forget to do culinary trip and taste some local dishes like Rujak Cingur, Lontong Balap, Semanggi, etc in local restaurant or warung. Surabaya Culinary Trip is definately worth to experience!
Semanggi (Clover leaf), consist of two kinds of vegetable, that is clover leaf, and stewed sprout, presented with mixture petis (shrimp black paste). Its flavour is typical representing of sweet potatoes, peanut, and brown sugar, and also equiped by the crisply puli crackers.
Semanggi is usually vended by a woman which circling around some area, its seller generally ages woman which still impose the jarit (kind of saroong) at the same time carry on the basket contain the clover substance on the back and one plastic big contain the crisply puli crackers. For you which curious with this unique food, can stop by to Surabaya Plaza Hotel, Every day start at 13.00 – 17.00 wib.
* Rujak Cingur
Rujak Cingur is sort of like vegetables salad, but with spicy sauce. This food have become the unique taste of Surabaya. Its mixed flavour is really unique, because combine the young banana slice, roasted peanut, demerara, onion fry, and petis (shrimp black paste). Feel the sweet, briny, fresh and a few casquette uniting by various slice of fruit type. There is, cucumber, yam bean (bengkuang), young mango, pineapple and kedondong added with lontong (compressed rice), tofu, tempe, bendoyo or krai, and also vegetables like bean sprout, kangkung ( water convolvulus), and string bean. According to its name, not left behind cingur (unique cows beef). At some places, rujak presented on the banana leaf (pincuk).
The following is some places that you can find Rujak Cingur :
1. Rujak Cingur Achmad Jais, Jl Achmad Jais
2. Rujak Cingur Pores Embong Sawo, Jl Embong Sawo
3. Rujak Cingur Delta Plasa Surabaya, Jl. Pemuda
4. Rujak Cingur Peneleh, Jl Peneleh
5. Pujasera Galaxy Mall, Jl Kertajaya Indah Timur
* Nasi Pecel
Nasi Pecel is a traditional meal from one town in East Java, Madiun. It made from different vegetables and serve with peanut sauce and warm plain rice (nasi putih). And usually accompany with some flour cracker (rempeyek). In the reality has a lot of version. For example pecel Blitar, Nganjuk, Kediri, Ponorogo, and Madiun. Although its substance has no difference with others, but each have its uniqueness. Its difference starts from vegetable type and its flavour. In its presentation, there are multifarious steam vegetables and also fresh lalapan (vegetable that you can directly eat). As reference, there is nothing wrong if you try the place following :
1. Pecel Ketabang, Jl Ketabang Kali behind Plasa Surabaya
2. Warung Bu Kus, Jl Bratang (near Hotel Narita)
3. Pecel Tapaksiring, Tennis Court PJKA Jl Tapaksiring
4. Pecel Pandigiling, Jl Pandigiling In front of Purnama Motel
5. Pecel Kertajaya, Jl Kertajaya (near Suzana kiosk)
6. Pecel Madiun, Jl Indrapura
* Lontong Balap
Some say, it is the original food of Surabaya, besides Semanggi Suroboyo, and Rujak Cingur. Lontong balap, according to its name consist of slices of lontong (compressed rice), added with bean sprouts soup, fried tahu (fried tofu), lentho, soy sauce, fried union, and chilli sauce. Lentho made of rice peanut (in Surabaya so called tholo added with the flour, koempheria galanga, leaf onion, orange purut, and salt).
For some people, eat the lontong balap not yet complete, otherwise added with the cockle satay. The question is why it is called lontong balap (Balap in English mean Race)? It is said, this name emerge from the style of lontong balap merchants in the past. All merchant used the big bamboo stick accommodating two clay frying-pans. Big size measure, it is clear weight shouldered. As a result, the merchants had to quicken their journey, provoking race. Since then, the term of lontong balap was emerged. So, where do we can enjoy the lontong balap ? Here are the list :
1. Lontong Balap in front of Grahadi, Jl Gubernur Suryo (near kantor pos)
2. Lontong Balap Rajawali, Jl Rajawali (opposite of Bank Eksekutif)
3. Lontong Balap Garuda, Jl Kranggan
4. Lontong Balap RIA, Jl Kombes Duryat
5. Warung Lontong Balap, Jl Kepanjen (in front of SMPN 2 Surabaya)
6. Lontong Balap Kertajaya, Jl Raya Gubeng Kertajaya XV
7. Lontong Balap Raya Gubeng, Jl Raya Gubeng (beside BNI)
* Sate Kelopo (Satay with Coconut)
Satay with coconut or sate kelopo (in Javanese), differing from other type of satay, because the steak is scattered by the coconut rasp. This makes the odorous aroma and crispy likely compared to chicken or goat satay. If you want to try, you can find it at Jl. Walikota Mustajab; most of Surabayanese mention the road as Ondomohen.
It is about Rp. 8.500,- for 10 sticks. It’s more expensive than normal satay because its substance is special. It is selected by a flesh gulp in which its quality is nicest. This flesh is then locked out from its muscles so that is not hard eaten.
Rawon is a local dish from East Java, especially in Surabaya, made from beef with a special herb called ‘Kluwek’ that makes the dish has a black colour. You can find it easily in local restaurant, but one well-known place of rawon seller is Rawon Setan, setan – literally in English means ghost, this name was given because this warung start to open around midnight, the time when the ghost usually comes.
When you come here, you have to be patient to get a sit. If you want to try, just go to Jl. Embong Malang (in front of Westin Hotel). But don’t be surprise if you see the place because you won’t find it like a very nice restaurant. Have a look at the recipe of Rawon.
* Tahu Campur
Another traditional dish from Surabaya. But based on story, actually people from Lamongan (a town in East Java) who were the first time made it. That is why most of tahu campur seller in Surabaya named their restaurant/warung with “Tahu Campur Lamongan”. Literally “Tahu Campur” in English means Tofu Mixture. Tahu Campur is like a beef soup, but taste is different because it has petis (shrimp black paste) inside. So the taste is quite strong, and some people don’t like the smell of petis. It also has different ingredients such as tofu, cassava croquettes, bean sprouts, green salad and serve with prawn crackers.
If you want to try and taste it, you can go to Jl. Kalasan, Pacar Keling where you can find street food stall of “Tahu Campur Kalasan H. Mahfud”. It’s really delicious, big slices of meat and the price is not so expensive.
Here other delicious culinary places in Surabaya you can’t miss:
1. Ayam Goreng Pemuda, Jl. Pemuda 38 and Ayam Goreng Sriwijaya, Jl. Sriwijaya 30-32
Main menu is Chicken, either fried or grill. They have the best sambal ever!!
2. Soto Ayam Ambengan “Sadi Asli”, Jl. Ambengan 3 A
This speciality from this restaurant is Soto Ayam (Javanese Style Chicken Soup).
3. Masakan Padang, New Antika Jl. Raya Darmo I
The speciality from this restaurant is all kind of dishes from Padang, a region in West Sumatra.You can easily find masakan Padang in big cities all around Indonesia. But here, their dishes are very delicious and would make your mouth watering!!
4. Kepiting Cak Gundul, Jl. Dukuh Kupang
Want to eat craps with different kind of taste? Spicy, sweet, but delicious? Come and enjoy it here! Prepare yourself for big portion of meals.