Trying Softshell Turtle Soup at Pujasera Tay Kak Sie

After we ate at Lumpia Semarang at Gang Lombok, we went eating for lunch at Pujasera Tay Kak Sie – a sort of food court nearby. We ordered food at Nyoto Roso stall. They sell swikee, which is frog’s legs soup cooked with fermented beans (tauco) and another dish called pimbak.

What is pimbak?

From the appearance, pimbak is similar to swikee – both are soupy, brown, flavored with fermented soybeans, and sprinkled with lots of fried garlic and Chinese celery. The only difference is that pimbak is made from softshell turtle.

Softshell turtle is different from ocean turtle. It lives in fresh water, usually muddy river. In the past, it used to be wild and was considered a pest. But nowadays there are some farms specialized in breeding it. It is a delicacy and considered a super food in Indonesia, especially among Chinese Indonesians.

The softshell turtle meat is boiled in spices like ginger and pepper for a long time, making it soft and herby.

Noto Roso stall
Swikee and pimbak
Frog painting

I think the texture of the softshell turtle is similar to fish, though the taste is closer to mutton. There was no odor at all, so I think boiling it with herbs and spices really works. The meat pieces have lots of gelatinous bits – not a surprise, as it is high in collagen.

After eating it, I felt my body gradually becoming very warm. The taste was actually ok, and the broth is very savory and garlicky especially with the added chili sambal and lime juice. But I don’t know why, the more I ate it the more I felt bad. Probably because I used to have a tortoise as a pet 🐢 when I was a child. So, this felt like eating my own pet. Thus, I am not sure if I will eat it again in the future. But, if you are feeling adventurous and, in the area, you can give it a try and see if you like it.

After lunch, we went exploring Klenteng Tay Kak Sie, which is just next to the food court. Although not so big, it was a beautiful temple.

Tay Kak Sie Temple
Temple guardian
Klenteng Tay Kak Sie entrance

Anyway, it was a nice relaxing afternoon and we headed back to our hotel to rest. See you at the next post!



Swikee & Pimbak “Nyoto Roso” Pak No

Pujasera Tay Kak Sie, Jl. Gang Lombok 62


Opening hours: 10.00-17.00 everyday

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