Soto Bandung is another traditional Sundanese dish worth savouring. Just like Lotek has a Javanse cousin called Gado Gado , Soto Bandung is related to the more widespread Soto Ayam (chicken soup). As opposed to soto ayam which uses chicken, soto bandung uses beef and santen (coconut paste).
Soto Bandung consists of a powerful clear broth, filled with beef strips, peanuts and slices of a white carrot named ‘lobak'. It is usually spiced up to flaming levels with a green sambal (chili paste) but that is only advisable if your tolerance for pedas (spicy) is off the charts.
Soto Bandung has a powerful aroma that instantly gives you energy and warms you up. This would be a great dish for cold rainy days (which by the way are plentiful in Bandung ) when you find yourself sneezing and snottering. Unfortunately it is not too common to find Soto Bandung these days.
Instant noodles are obviously far more practical and fast to make but the difference in taste can't be ignored. Fresh spices such as ginger, sereh (lemongrass) and salam leaf definitely beats the artificial MSG flavourings that come with instant noodles nowadays. So if you are lucky enough to spot a soto bandung stand, take your chance and taste soup like your Indonesian grandma would make.