Special Ikan Bakar Warung: Lemongrass Soda
Here's a recipe for a really refreshing soda I tried in Solo. The lemongrass soda combines homemade lemongrass syrup with Fanta Ice-cream soda and a slice of fresh lime for a light but tart drink.
Recipe for Lemongrass Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 lemongrass stalks (core only), sliced
2 lemongrass stalks
1.Combine sugar, water, and sliced lemongrass core in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar.
2. Remove from heat and cool. Fill a jar with a few lemongrass stalks. Strain syrup into jar. Cover and keep in the refrigerator.
Available at any Roving Vendor ( Kaki Lima): Serabi Solo
Honestly, if you haven't eaten Serabi Solo, you haven't been to Solo. This region is famous for the glutinous rice pancake that is soft, sweet and crisp at the edges.
Favorite Dish: I struck up a conversation with a local vendor near the Pasaraya and he convinced me to try his sarabi. It was so good I was convinced to buy 2 at once. He wrapped 2 pancakes deftly, in a banana leaf so that I could take it back to the hotel to eat. And when I opened the leaf, it emanated a lovely fragrance. Ah, the pancakes were heavenly soft. The ones flavoured with Nangka ( Jackfruit ) were delicious. Somehow, the soft, sweet flesh of the jackfruit complemented the floury pancake well. The one with choc chip came to a close second.
Warung Baru: Solonese Specialty - Nasi Liwet
Definition of Nasi Liwet: A traditional rice dish swimming with coconut gravy and topped with healthy servings of green papaya, fried krepok urang (prawn cracker), tempe ( fermented soybean cake) and soft tofu.
Favorite Dish: Do you believe in the notion of comfort food? Well I do. After backpacking in Java for over a week, I was homesick and missing the food I had back home in Singapore. But when I sat down to eat this dish, a comforting sense of familiarity flooded over me. Somehow, the thick, coconut gravy poured all over the nasi liwet reminded me of the sayur lodeh (vegetable stew) we have at home, but only sweeter. I dug into the rice eagerly and bit into the chicken which was tender to the bone and crunched into the crispy prawn cracker and green papaya. Somehow,the different flavours meld together magically and gave me a level of comfort I felt at home. It helped too, that the proprietor over at Warung Baru fussed over me like a mother hen and insisted that I finish the Solonese specialty. I felt replete after finishing and would highly recommend this dish to any homesick traveller.
Note:Warung Baru has other local goodies and they organise motorbike/bicycle tours to the rural areas.
Nasi Liwet simply means boiled rice. The rice is cooked with coconut milk, salt and aromatic leaves ( lemongrass, Indonesian bay leaves) until it bubbled over. After it is cooked, it is topped with Tofu, Tempe and Green Papaya which is simmered seperately in a rich coconut stew and crispy prawn cracker ( krepok urang).
1 stalk of lemongrass (bashed) sereh
A dash of salt
4 Indonesian bay leaves
400 gram of rice
800 ml of coconut milk
Novotel: Desserts:Pisang Goreng
Definition of Pisang Goreng: Banana coated with a rice flour batter and fried to a golden crisp. Available in most south east asian countries. But the ones in Central Java came with a twist, it is eaten with shredded cheese! An old colonial habit perhaps?
Favorite Dish: Novotel Solo win big points for its visual presentation for the pisang goreng. It looks damm good doesn't it? Esp when it's topped with choc wafer biscuits, ice cream and a cherry. Oh yes, the banana tasted heavenly.
Various: Eating Buffalo Skin - Krecek
Definition of Krecek: Processed Buffalo Skin, available in the form of a cracker before cooking. It is usually served drenched in curry with Gudeg ( a Yogya Specialty ) or as a crisp cracker with Nasi Liwet ( A Solonese Specialty).
Favorite Dish: Before I came to Solo, I kept wondering what Krecek would taste like. Now that I've tasted it, I would say that the Chinese Fish Gall Bladder comes to close second in taste. The texture is gelatinous and a tad tasteless when it's drenched with curry but it has a faint whiff of beef when it's fried to a crisp. Needless to say, I prefer it fried.
Don't miss the local cakes.
Most Singaporeans and Malaysians have heard of Bengawan Solo, the famous cake shop in Singapore. In Solo, the cakes are even nicer and cheap too. We bought about 30 different cakes to try and were unable to finish them, but they were all nice.
Must try the local foods.
Indonesia local food is something that u must try.. You will never forget the special taste of it. And the price is really cheap. But the problem is almost all the hawkers don't speak english, you will need a local's help to order the correct food. i hardly remember the name of the food.. But just feel free to try everything, it's cheap anyway.
- Budget Travel
Indian Restaurant, no name: Go for Indian
I ordered the unknown Chicken Dopiara and Catherine had a chicken Masala.
All is served with many vegetables and chapathi's (no rice).
We paid only 9500 Rps (Dopiara), 8000 (masala) and 1500 for one chapathi.
Delicious, cheap food
- Budget Travel
hawker stalls: Only for the Adventurous!
Solo City is indeed a food city. There are tons of choices for food here, and in my opinion, they are miles better than the choices in Solo's much more famous sister, Jogja.
If you're an adventurer at heart, you should try eating at one of the many Solo's hawker stalls. They won't pass any health inspections anywhere, but surprisingly the food is safe and delicious, and the whole experience more than makes up for the dirtiness of the place :)
One of my favorite hawker stalls in Solo is the Kupat Tahu stall located on Jalan Gajah Mada just 2 blocks down from the Novotel Solo. The food on offer here is the traditional Kupat Tahu or deep fried tofu served with rice cakes, noodles, bean sprouts, and nuts and drenched in mild soy bean-based sauce. Just next to it, is another stall, which serves various kind of Satays. My favorite is the Satay Buntel or ground, minced lamb wrapped around in lamb skin. Very delicious.
The food at any hawker stalls is very inexpensive, although the portions are not that big. But that's not important, cause you'll want to explore other places and see what's on offer there and Solo has a got plenty of these!
- Family Travel
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Diamond Café Solo: Dim Sum
Normal prices from 15,000rp till 25,000rp
If you stay in Diamond Hotel, you can choose three trays with your breakfast voucher.
Waroeng Tempo Doeloe: Authentic local food
They serve so many choices of locals cooking. Traditional foods at its best, i consider.
Favorite Dish: Pecel Ndeso! Its rice with vegetables in peanut sauce. Locally authentic, try it.
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