Walking home from language school yesterday, backpack stuffed with books I can’t read more than one word of and brain boiling over with (what I think are) Seuss-ical words, feeling quite weary in the nearly 100° F sun, I stopped for lunch at the first place I saw; The Puri Artha Hotel. (Actually, second place I saw- the first was a sketchy little fried chicken joint called “Popeye’s” which I was not brave enough to try.) Greeted by a lovely –and tiny– Indonesian guy, I discovered that there was an excellent lunch buffet on. As he started to walk me around the table uncovering all the noodles and good things so I could decide if I wanted to buffet-it, I just grabbed a plate and started scooping steamy vegetables and chicken onto it, which he took as a yes.

But the best part of the buffet was definitely the soto ayam– Indo-style chicken soup.

I’ve had it once before, when Rus, the Redmond’s nanny, made it, so I knew it was delicious, but I was a tiny bit trepidatious about the whole hot hot soup while I was still overheated from both walking around and the whole brain-overload thing. But I got a bowl anyway. Good choice. Super good soto ayam. As I understand it, there’s a bit of a system to soto ayam-ing. First, rice noodles. Second, the soupy bit; kinda limey and salty chicken broth with yummy chicken bits. Third, all the toppings like such as: green onion, limes, and fried garlic. And I added rice too, but I don’t know if that’s kosher. But I like it. And a teeny bit of the spicy chili sauce stuff too. And it was delicious. Went back for seconds!