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Up close and personal with Makassar's unique 'sup ubi'

Good Indonesian Food
Good Indonesian Food

Preserve and Promote Indonesian Cuisine

Jakarta  /  Fri, December 23, 2016  /  02:13 pm
Up close and personal with Makassar's unique 'sup ubi'

The delicious, unique sup ubi (cassava soup) from Sop Ubi Hj. Haniah in Makassar, South Sulawesi. (Good Indonesian Food/File)

A warm beef soup is even better when complemented with steamed rice – the ideal combination for Jakartans, myself included.

In Makassar, South Sulawesi, they do things a bit differently. Rather than pillowy white rice, the people there devour beef soup with cassava, which makes up a little dish they call sup ubi (cassava soup).

A good place to try this unique treat if you ever find yourself in Makassar is at the celebrated Sop Ubi Hj. Haniah on Jl. Datumuseng. As it is not located on the road, you will have to navigate your way through a narrow alleyway to get to it.

Who knew that a tiny 3 x 4 meter shop with a low ceiling was once awarded the title “Favorite Warung for Sup Ubi” in 2012? There seemed to be no end to the customers entering the establishment, despite the stifling temperatures inside. It has even become the must visit joint for celebrities from Jakarta when they stop by Makassar.

(Read also: Photo: Faces of Toraja)

Sop Ubi Hj. Haniah was awarded “Favorite Warung for Sup Ubi” in 2012.(Good Indonesian Food/File)

Seeing as its popularity and the small capacity dining area are at opposite ends of the spectrum, you are most likely to find yourself in a sweltering warung that is packed to the brim. I came long after lunchtime had passed at around 5 p.m. and even then, I still had to endure a long, sweaty wait.

You will not find a menu here, as it only serves its revered sup ubi. Made of sohun (vermicelli), cube-shaped cassava, cuts of beef, bean sprouts, hard-boiled eggs, leeks, celery and a sprinkle of fried onions on top, it is given a fresh touch by the addition of peppers into the mix. The result is a spicy taste akin to the beef soup that you can find in Jakarta.

Its sizable portion upstaged the number of beef cuts inside the soup – an unfortunate drawback from an otherwise exceptional meal, exemplified by the texture and flavor of the cassava that is a delight when eaten with the soup.

It was a very fulfilling experience, and I aim to return here in the future. (kes)

Explore more Indonesian cuisine here.

Jl. Datumuseng, Makassar

Contact: 0815 2498 2909/0812 4527 9591

Open daily from 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Rp 50,000 (US$3.80) per person

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.