Time Traveling Tofu

Written By
Adinda Mauradiva

Edited By
Fazrah LR Heryanda

Photograph By
Adhelia Sani Pramita

Depot Tahu Campur Kraton

Jl. Undaan Wetan Ngemplak I No.35,
Surabaya

Mon – Sun (exc. Tuesday)
09.00 AM – 10.00 PM

Tuesday
09.00 AM – 02.00 PM
05.00 PM – 10.00 PM

Our Top Dish

Tahu Campur Kraton

When you are going older—you would feel tender than before, reminiscence the good times without being attached to your social media while strolling down the street or even when you had one comforting delicacy. It seems weird that among the thousands of foods, you are willing to come back for one recipe dish that still holds into its flavor passed down by generations. And tahu campur Kraton Surabaya grows famous for that. Tahu campur—mixed tofu—is a main course close to the home of Lamongan, consisting of fried tofu, rice cakes, cassava patty cakes, bean sprouts, lettuce, yellow noodles, crackers, served in a savory beef stew seasoned with spices and shrimp paste as the base, called petis. Besides the foods as mentioned above, the ingredients in Depot Tahu Campur Kraton consists of emping (melinjo chips), tomatoes, and a slice of the boiled egg. That also becomes signature toppings that came with the special tahu campur.

Mr. Bing, a loyal customer that cheated only once on other tahu campur place on the day, recalled his early encounters with the depot. “When I was in high school—that was about at the end of the 60s—I used to come there every time after school with my friends, or after we went to the cinemas, the one going to Grand City’s directions, now. It was the only tahu campur place, I think, at that time. There used to be a lot of food like gado-gado, sate, etc., but not so much, these days,” he said, smiling until his eyes can no longer be seen.

Not only for the nostalgic moment that the greybeard kept coming back to—it was the first time he stopped by this tahu campur place because the Kraton opens daily except for Tuesday at 9 AM-2 PM and 5 PM-10 PM, but also for its enormous and satisfying portion, larger from the usual tahu campurs. The owner’s daughter-in-law, Bu Lika, who is now carrying on the family business since its establishment in 1968 with her husband, informed that it’s because the Kraton serves no Lamongan tahu campur, but cooked with Surabayan style—and everything made with Surabayan style always serves justice to the food.

So, when a Candra Hayu plunged her spoon to the petis-induced beef stew, this Surabayan girl exclaimed, “This is so good” as a result after sipping it thoroughly. She even got up in a sudden to ask Bu Lika for more beef stew. Later, she told us that whenever she eats food with any tasty stew, broth, or soup, she will always ask for more, and in particular, the Kraton stew did taste good. She then gave us the rest of her foodie review “Actually, I’m not a big fan of kikil (cow’s trotters), and that to me, what makes the Kraton different from other tahu campurs where they don’t have as much kikil as the beef on their plates! And, what I found bizarre was the addition of tomatoes, since I have also never encountered any tahu campur with compositions like that. But it’s fresh, surprisingly,” said her.

Mr. Bing and Candra Hayu are the living proof of how Depot Tahu Campur Kraton otherworldly reserves its archaic house and the hereditary cuisine that hits home for everyone—either it has reached the age of sixties or whether you’re the new generation of now; it welcomes the one who longed for familiarity in traditional East Javanese dish. Also, the door is wide open for those still in the womb when the depot reached its peak in the 80s, where customers line up to savor the delicious tahu campur, some of them eating while they stand up. Even though the location is now brought up inside the gang of Jl. Ngemplak I number 35, and the ones making tahu campurs are now only the son and his wife, the recipe still stays no different from the first time, as it comes from the owner Bu Ani. And Depot Tahu Campur Kraton could be the place you will always park your motorcycle to the right beside the house, and then you would enter it, sit down on the chair, wait for the tahu campur to arrive at your table. You would fork the large chunks of the beef, and fried tofu, tomatoes, cassava, the list could go on. But the sense of the old times you’ve never or rarely experienced before would never go away, as the taste of tahu campur lingers in your mouth, your tongue, forevermore.

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