Roots eating. The cuisine of the struggle. Comfort food. There’s a lot of phrases that are used to signify the food that becomes part of a nation’s soul because of circumstance. It doesn’t take a genius to prepare a good steak, but to take the less desirable cuts, the bits and the portions that you just cannot afford to throw away, and make them delicious?
That’s where legends start.
There is not a thing that’s the least bit glamorous about Soto Ceker Kuta. It’s a traditional warung, devoid of anything resembling a frill, and it serves the best damned chicken feet soup in all of south Bali. Anyone can pack a restaurant with a big enough marketing budget; a true master can have a line out the door selling Rp. 12.000 bowls of perfection.
If you’ve spent any significant time in Indonesia — or China, or Mexico, or the American south — you’re already pretty much caught up on what makes chicken feet so good. They’re tender and a little bit chewy, and manage to both seep in the flavors of what they’re being cooked with and also create a strong and savory stock for soups. For eaters not raised on them, the biggest hurdle is often mental.
You’re learned to love foie gras and micro-gastronomy and all sorts of other culinary flavors of the month. You’ll learn to love chicken feet.
Soto Ceker is the traditional chicken feet soup of Indonesia, a broth served with chicken feet, as well as a mix of cabbage, celery, noodles, and garnished to taste with sambal, lime and soy. It sounds like chicken noodle soup, and to a lot of Indonesia it is; good, cheap, wondrous comfort food. The stuff you eat when your sick, or when you’re hanging out with friends, or when you’ve been dumped.
It is a national dish so perfect that’s it has become almost mundane.
Soto Ceker Kuta
Hours: 7:30pm – 2am
Address: Jl. Raya Kuta, Bali