When we visited the old town of Surabaya, we also went to the Arab Quarter. It’s just on the opposite of the Chinatown. The atmosphere suddenly changed 180 degrees. Islamic songs were played and many warungs (street vendors) selling dates as well as Arab-influenced foods were scattered around.
To clarify, Arab here does not only mean Saudi Arabia and its cuisine. It is the whole Arab world, though Indonesian tend to associate it more with the Middle East. I heard you can find good quality honey from Yemen and fresh goat’s milk here too. We chose to eat at a small warung opposite Depot Yaman. My sister said that they served better nasi kebuli (Arab spiced rice) than Depot Yaman, which is the most famous restaurant in the area.
The nasi kebuli was so good! It was properly spiced. The mutton was succulent and not chewy at all🍖. The meat was so tender that it was falling off the bone easily, a sign that it was slow cooked for a very long time. The rice is also fragrant with those cinnamon, cumin, and ghee (clarified butter). This dish comes with a price tag of less than EUR 1! During Ramadhan, they also sell a sweet called kue srikaya, which is custard-based sweets made of coconut milk and topped with sweet sticky rice. I think the next time I go to Surabaya I want to do a culinary adventure in Arab Quarter. Stay tuned for it!
Nasi Kebuli Kambing Hj. Umaiyah
Jl. KH Mas Mansyur
Opening hours: 18.00-00.00 everyday