Most restaurants regularly put out new dishes in addition to their usual specialties in a bid to attract more diners. However, new dishes can become an extra burden on the spending budget. That’s why it’s more economically efficient to just use ingredients that you already have in the kitchen; one of them being sweet soy sauce like Bango Kecap Manis.
With a little bit of creativity and innovation, sweet soy sauce can be used to add flavour to your dishes, balance their taste, or even become a distinguishing factor from other dishes. These four restaurants have done it, so take a look at what their dishes are like.
1. Pempek Ny. Kamto
Pempek kapal selam is usually known for its sour and somewhat sweet soup thanks to the use of sugar, but adding sweet soy sauce into the mixture enriches its flavour even further. “Even people from Palembang often ask for our soup because of its unique taste,” said Wiliana, the inherent owner of Pempek Ny. Kamto. She mixes Bango Kecap Manis with vinegar, dried shrimp, and onion; a “secret recipe” that makes her pempek unique compared to others and always a delight to eat.
2. Nakam Nakam Corner
Soto is a favourite in East Java. Its clear soup accompanied by a variety of side dishes is a common sight in the region. Another well-known dish is a bean curd dish cooked with shrimp paste. In Nakam Nakam Corner, a combination of these two dishes is becoming their main specialty. “We tried to make something other than just another soto dish. Soto is usually savoury and salty, while the shrimp paste adds its signature fishy flavour to the mix. So, we used sweet soy sauce to balance the flavour, making it more suitable for the local palate,” explained Nadia, owner of Nakam Nakam Corner. From this idea, the new menu of Soorengjo, which stands for Soto Ireng (black) Sidoarjo, was born.
3. Kepala Manyung Bu Fat
“Sweet soy sauce complements every dish,” said Bekti, owner of Kepala Manyung Bu Fat in Semarang. It is her belief that sweet soy sauce can be added to practically any dish, which is why she never forgets to have a bottle on every table in her restaurant, especially for those who may not fully enjoy the hot, spicy flavour of her manyung fish head dish. “It is the most fitting balancer of flavours, as it can reduce the spice level without altering the original taste of the dish,” Bekti explained. For her, sweet soy sauce is the key to satisfying the appetite of every customer coming to her restaurant, even if it isn’t a main ingredient.
4. Pondok Makan Bu Is
According to Istiana (Bu Is), the principle of Pondok Makan Bu Is is, “The customers are kings”. It’s the reason why when her loyal customers asked for new, different offerings, she came up with rica rica dishes. When she created rica rica ikan sidat, the customers’ response was overwhelmingly positive. If customers find the dish too spicy, she tries to add sweet soy sauce to temper it down. As a result, her customers greatly enjoy her cooking, be it chicken, egg or even eel. “In principle, sweet soy sauce is the best choice for balancing the flavour of all kinds of dishes. By adding some, my dishes can easily fit the local palate,” said Bu Is.