Tok Tok Indonesian Soup House, 313 Somerset

We chanced upon Tok Tok when we were in the bowels of 313 Somerset. A casual eatery serving Indonesian soups and stews, its warung in Orchard is the offshoot of its wildly successful mothership at Ann Siang Hill. Efficiently low-frills, it's entirely self-serviced, and you order, pay, and collect your dishes at the counter. A sure sign of authenticity, Tok Tok has 3 different sambals, to cater to every whim and taste.

A must-try, the Soto Madura ($8.80) was the best rendition of the Javanese staple I've ever had outside of the Indonesian archipelago. The tumeric-seasoned broth was bold and heady, and rich in depth of flavour steeped from the beef bones. Copious lashings of fried shallots, a hard-boiled egg and fork-tender brisket lent heft.

The Soto Ayam ($7.80), which accompanying rice was switched out for glass vermicelli, was delicate yet robust. A nourishing homey bowl of soup that hit squarely on the comfort button.

The Sop Buntut ($9.50), sumptuous with luscious oxtail meat, was sweetened with carrots and enlivened with piquant tomatoes.

There are also a couple of fried sides to pick at the counter, and while the vegetable fritter Bala Bala ($1.60 left) and chicken mince wanton Pansit Goreng ($0.90 on the right) were delightful, I suspect they would have been awesome if eaten fresh out of the fryer.

The Es Chendol ($3.80) needed more gula melaka, but methinks this is more an Indonesian thing than the Peranakan style I'm more used to.

I thought I'd accidentally ordered an ice kacang instead of the Es Lychee ($3.80) but that was just deceptive colouring. Scrape away the condensed milk and fushia sweetener, and you'll get a refreshing cocktail of syrup lychees and coconut jellies.

Tok Tok Indonesian Soup House
313 Orchard Road
#B3-10 313 Somerset
Tel: 6634 1501
Open daily from 11am to 10pm

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