The Food That You Must Try in Surabaya, Indonesia

I am often asked for food recommendation in Indonesia. During my many visits to Indonesia, I was really fortunate to have locals bringing me around, hunting for delicious Indonesian food, and exploring new tastes that are unique to the region. Having received the flavor, I have compiled a list of my food recommendation. Enjoy your food hunt in Surabaya!

Soto Ayam

If you like to eat soto ayam, try the one in Indonesia, you won't be disappointed. There are many types of soto ayam in Indonesia, with the ingredients vary across the archipelago. This one, is called soto ayam ambengan. The brownish flakes floating atop the yellowish broth was koya (finely crushed keropok), which added a nice crunch to your soup. The broth was packed with robust flavor, leaving a pleasant after-taste in your mouth.

Ayam Presto Telur Asin
Ever thinking of biting a bone? You can now even crush it with your teeth, easily! This chicken was pressure cooked until so soft that biting down the bone become an effortless job. Several choices of sauces are available. Among those, I highly recommend the salted egg sauce.

Bandeng Presto Dalam Sarang

Encapsulated in the cloud of golden, cocoon-like fritters, is a mouth-watering high pressured cooked bandeng fish. It may looked dry and hard but the fact is, it is flaky and nothing close to hard. Eating the fish couldn't be easier without the need to pick for bones, as all the bones had been pressured cooked to the point that they were indistinguishable. The marination penetrated deep into every inch of the meat, making every bite a flavourful burst in your mouth.


Unlike those ote-ote that we are familiar with (those with prawns on top), this one does not has the beauty that we adore. Its unassuming dome-shape-like appearance belies its scrumptiousness.

Breaking open, the flavor packed fillings consisting of seaweed, oysters, vegetables and meat came into sight. The skin was thin and the fillings were moist and more than ample.

My recommendation: Ote-ote from Miraza

Bu Rudy Crispy Fried Prawn

If you enjoy crispy snack, I would strongly recommend Bu Rudy crispy fried prawn. These are actually small prawns being deep fried until the shells are crispy enough for the prawns to be eaten whole. Paired with their super spicy sambal, this combination made a truly Indonesian style snack. Spicy and shiok!

Don't underestimate this plain looking dish. The soup base itself, which was made from almost 20 different ingredients, including various herbs and spices, is enough to make you shout for more. The soup is in dark black color and has a nutty and earthy flavor, which comes mainly from the heavy usage of keluak nuts. It is often taken with lontong, fried shallot, and newly sprouted tauge (bean sprout). In Singapore, despite this is a commonly found dish in Indonesian restaurant, the newly sprouted tauge was not common. It made a really huge different to the taste. To me, the soup just isn't complete without the tauge.

Es Puter

You will find this dessert interesting, both in texture and in taste. Es Puter is translated to stirred ice cream. This is a traditional Indonesia dessert with the main ingredient being coconut. The ice-cream had a nice rough texture and was adorned with the many colorful toppings. The presentation itself is enough to set your appetite going.

Sate Iga Hotplate

Served on a sizzling hot hotplate, the iga was grilled with sweet sauce that glazed into caramelized crust under the heat. Despite of its charred appearance, the meat was succulent, easily torn apart using a fork. 

My recommendation: Sate iga hotplate from Leko

Some of these food are rather common in Indonesia, you can find it almost everywhere. If you have a strong stomach, you can even try those selling by the roadside!


  1. I love BANDENG PRESTO so damn much! <3<3 btw, you took such nice pictures! I like it :))

  2. Everything in Surabaya is soooo delicious



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