Soup Restaurant: Jakarta, West Java

One of many Chinese food restaurants in Jakarta offering healthy traditional Chinese cuisine is Soup Restaurant, located on the 3rd level of Plaza Indonesia shopping center in Central Jakarta. Among the restaurant’s specialities are various soups using Chinese herbs, including ginseng.

The menu includes Double Boiled American Ginseng with Abalon Soup, Double Boiled Tien Chee with Chicken Soup and Double Boiled Puk Kay and Tong Sam with Black Chicken Soup according to Sri Ramadhani.

The names of the soups describe a beneficial effect on one’s health. For example, Double Boiled Puk Kay and Tong Sam with Black Chicken Soup is believed to cut down on high blood pressure. One of the restaurant’s attendants said that Puk Kay and Tong Sam are kinds of Chinese herbs.

The restaurant’s marketing coordinator, Virna Haryanto, said patrons can order cholesterol-free dishes.

“Our restaurant offers Samsui Ginger Chicken and a new dish, called Salted Egg Prawn, created by chef Fei Lie Meng,” she said.

According to Virna, Samsui Ginger Chicken is a popular dish in Guangdong city, northern China, served once a year during Chinese New Year celebrations.

“We want our guests to enjoy Samsui Ginger Chicken here at Soup Restaurant every time they want it instead of going to Singapore on Chinese New Year,” she said.

Samsui refers to Cantonese women from the Samsui district. Samsui women are migrant workers and famous for their bright red headgear. They left behind their families in China and came to Singapore to work on construction sites during the early 20th century.

Chef Fei Lie Meng recently gave a cooking demonstration for journalists and invited guests at the restaurant. He whipped up Samsui Ginger Chicken (steamed chicken with ginger sauce), Tenderloin ala Mongols (sliced beef stirred up with butter, milk, black pepper, chili sauce) and Salted Egg Prawn (Crispy fried prawn stirred up with minced salted egg).

After watching the hour-long cooking demonstration, guests were served a plate of Samsui Ginger Chicken, Tenderloin ala Mongols, Salted Egg Prawn and vegetable dishes.

The Samsui Ginger Chicken had a strong gingery taste and the chicken was very tender.

The chef’s assistant, Suci Suprianto, said the whole chicken was marinated with ginger and steamed for about 45 minutes. He suggested guests eat Samsui Ginger Chicken by dipping sliced chicken meat into the ginger sauce and wrap it with fresh lettuce.