Order # 2. Soto Ayam Blora
Then it comes my bowl of Soto Ayam Blora. For just IDR 10.000 (or about $ 1.1) I got a bowl of chicken soup that is a scrumptious combination of rice vermicelli, rice, chicken, chicken broth, parboiled bean sprout, boiled egg and crunchy cassava bites. On top of that, chopped celery and leeks garnished the top of the Soto. Unlike the sweet-tasting Soto from other Central Java areas such as Solo and Yogyakarta, Soto Ayam Blora has a mild spicy and salty taste.
At the first spoonful of the chicken broth, the strongest aroma that reached my palate was traces of fried chopped garlic and celery. When the broth reached its fullness inside the mouth, its chopped garlic taste was slowly replaced by the less-pungent lemongrass and bay leaf, which blended smoothly with the rich aroma of nutmeg and probably candlenut. The vermicelli was cooked to a good consistency, still springy without any hard parts in between the layers.
The vermicelli was a great combination to the parboiled beansprout. The beansprout was cooked lightly so that it retains some of its crunchiness without maintaining the funny taste and aroma of uncooked sprout. When the vermicelli was eaten together with the sprout and chicken, the juicy chicken blends perfectly with the crisp beansprout and smooth layers of vermicelli, it tasted great. Traces of ginger and turmeric, although apparently non-present, from the glowing appearance of the Soto, the cook apparently has added the ingredients.
However, although Soto typically uses onions and garlic cloves, there is no trace of onions and garlic cloves present in the clear chicken broth. For IDR 10.000 a bowl, the Soto was actually very good, if it was not because of the chicken skins present (it made up almost half of the total amount of chicken stripes inside the Soto). If there were not so many chicken skins, I would gladly give the Soto 4.5 stars. With the chicken skins present, I have to reduce the stars to 3.5. Great job, though!