Soto Ayam...a chicken soup by the Javanese. Of course, it must be spicy. Of course, it needs to be aromatic. And absolutely it needs to be hot, not only from the chilli but also piping hot. Many stalls around Singapore serve this popular Surabaya dish. But few are really good. This one, got me travelling all the way to Changi to sample its pleasures.
Was it worth it?
Indeed it was! The broth is thick, hot (yes both spicy and temperature wise), and very fragrant, aromatic. A piece of pegedil floats within to fortify the makan experience. I normally prefer the soto with yellow noodles, but forget to specify when I ordered, and was served the more traditional version with pressed rice cakes or ketupat. Well, not technically ketupat as the rice cakes are not wrapped tightly in palm leaves, but probably compressed mechanically, so perhaps nasi empit (literally translated from Malay as compressed rice) is more appropriate. The rice is pressed just right...so the consistency is nice and firm to the bite...el dente if were describing another country's cuisine would come to mind. The rice grains have just about melded into each other.
But the star is the soup. It is brilliant. Extremely tasty. I did not detect MSG later as I remained unthirsty all afternoon. The shreads of chicken floating in the soup provided some bite. Very shiok.
We also had the tahu goreng from the same store.
A typical taukwa...a bean curd, is deep fried till crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, sliced, and heaped with taugeh and julianned cucumber and a sauce of crushed peanuts drizzled on top. The peanuts were freshly crushed, so was crunchy and fragrant. The tahu is freshly fried, so is still hot and crisp. Very nice, but not the best I have eaten...which by memory was a stall by the side of a coffeeshop in Binjai Park...the stall is long gone, in its place now a pizzeria.
Very reasonably priced. The soto ayam was S$2.50 for a decent sized bowl. I definitely would come back for the soto ayam...and if we go by the Michelin Guide's "Worth the journey" appelation, then two Michelin stars? Probably not, but a nice, tasty meal this one!
Blk 3 Changi Village, Changi Village Road
#01-39 Changi Village Market and Food Centre S500003
Open daily, but only from 1pm till about 4pm when the food runs out