Friday, July 1, 2011

Pioh Tim (Sea Turtle Soup)

My friend told me, "Make sure that you will not be late tomorrow! We have to be at 7 am sharp at this place or if not, the Pioh might already be sold out. Believe me, it's the best place in town that served Pioh." (note: Pioh means sea turtle)

Thus, this morning before 7 am, I was in the Chinatown Jakarta - also known as Glodok, to meet my friend.

My friend brought me to this small alley, then I saw a street vendor of Pioh. First, I thought we were going to buy the Pioh from this vendor but instead of ordering, my friend walked directly inside a small restaurant behind the Pioh's street vendor.

The place looks like an old school restaurant.

I heard that their ice coffee (Kopi Es) is delicious but I didn't give it a try.

There are 3 types of Pioh soup: Pioh Tim (Sea Turtle soup), Pioh Tauco (Sea turtle cooked with fermented soybean) and Pioh Obat (Sea turtle cooked with Chinese herbal medicine)

Preparing the sea turtle meat in the bowls.

Topped with generous of coriander leaves.

The soup is clear, light, briny with the nice aromatic of garlic oil. The sea turtle's meat tasted similar to tender pork and there are parts of the sea turtle that tasted like chewy jelly.

A bowl of Pioh Tim (Sea turtle soup) with a bowl of white rice and Chinese fried bread stick (cakwe/you tiao) plus chili sauce cost Rp. 42.000.
Currency: 1 USD = Rp. 8.500

The review and opinion expressed here are purely according to my personal taste. There's a possibility that the taste of the food might change later on, which could affect the review and opinion here. I also affirm that no monetary or non-monetary compensation has been received from this restaurant for writing this review.


  1. Finally, a good photo of the famous pi-oh. Went here for the Ice Coffee, they are gooood. Anw, I had a little chat w/ the owner, they started the foodplace in 1970's and now the second generation is managing it. So much history. I hope this place stays for as long as they can. =)

  2. Oh boy! This is the ultimate soup ever! I actually been there when I was a young teen. I can't remember where exactly. (where is it exactly?). But I remember I had to get up early for that soup.

    This! I love!

  3. ruby: So this place is already 30 years? Wow! And they are still maintaining for the taste of their food and drinks? Awesome! Ah... I should try their ice coffee!!! Definitely, I'll be going back to this place :)

    pfx: Whoaaa.. even you have eaten at this place? Cool! :) I have no idea what's the name of this alley but it's located directly beside the burnt building called Gloria Pancoran.

  4. are these turtles endangered animals? :X

  5. kyh: Uhmmm... well, it says that six out of seven sea turtle species are protected by the Endangered Species Act. Let's cross our fingers that the Pioh for cooking is not the one under the ESA.

  6. OMG, i will never eat turtle ever. Aren't they endangered..

  7. cumi & ciki: You are like my other friend, hehehehe.. his reaction was, "There are still other meat to eat!!! Why do you must eat sea turtle???"

  8. Well, I love 'pi oh', but I also didn't eat 'pi oh' anymore. FYI 'pi oh' can be made from sea turtles as well as fresh water turtles (labi-labi/bulus). Some says that fresh water turtles aren't endangered, but it's incorrect since some fresh water turtles species are already vulnerable. So it's not strictly illegal to eat 'pi oh', but since we cannot know the source of the meat, it's safer for the environment if we don't eat 'pi oh' at all.

  9. jenzcorner: I actually hardly eat Pioh. It's my second time here eating it and the first time was almost 20 years ago! :) Hopefully, the pioh that they are cooking is the fresh water turtles because yes, for sure we don't want to let the sea turtles extinct.

  10. i don't like that, even they said it's good for your body >.< i think they said that hehehe

  11. tikka: Not so sure what's the healthy benefit of eating the turtle meat itself, but I know that the soup with the chinese herbal medicine will give the health benefit.

  12. i love pioh tauco, my fave part is the cartilage,
    btw this is actually soft shell turtle, not sea turte

  13. dentistvschef: Thanks for dropping by and also the info of the type of turtle :) Is it easy to find Pioh in Palembang?

  14. yupp, in Cinde morning market there's pioh seller too
    but it's chinese herbal only
    btw, behind gang gloria in glodok there's a soft shell turtle seller too...


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