After resting our legs at the hotel, we were so ready for a traditional Javanese breakfast at Pecel Solo, recommended by a local friend. Pecel is one of the simplest traditional Indonesian food originating from East Java (Madiun). Having made its way throughout the country, you’ll find pecel at most Indonesian warung and kaki lima stalls.
Pecel Solo was neither. Quite the opposite, it was a fancy yet humble and not-over-the-top restaurant where the decor was very much traditional, ornate but in a natural way. Right by the entrance, you’ll see and hear a musician jamming on his traditional instrument. The first thing that caught my eye after was the gigantic table of what seemed to be an endless assortment of rice, noodles, vegetables, meat, crackers, and more. It was indeed a buffet!
You’re free to pick your rice of choice (white, red, liwet, rames, gurih, kabuli), combined with any meats and veggies of your choice. Or if you’re indecisive or plain clueless, the menu is available for viewing.
We ordered a little bit of everything – surprise, surprise.
Nasi Kebuli | 42.5K
Rice with Middle Eastern herbs, served with lamb slices, chili beef liver, pickles, and shrimp crackers.
Nasi Liwet Solo | 25.5K
Nasi gurih (savory rice) with opor ayam (chicken in coconut milk), egg, and labu siam.
Tahu/Tempe Bacem, Tahu Isi, Tempe Mendoan | at 4-5K per piece
Garang Asem | 37.5K
Ayam kampung (chicken) steamed with a mix of traditional herbs and spices.
Kunir Asem Sirih | 12.5K
A herbal tea with turmeric, asam, and betel.
If this is your first time, don’t be surprised that although most dishes may seem familiar to you, the taste may not. In fact, every dish I had did not taste like I expected. Having a more traditional (as opposed to what we’d normally have in Jakarta which is less so) flavor (and sweeter too) and using different herbs with stronger aromas, my palate got a tad confused but ultimately recovered. My favorite was Garang Asem, the chicken cooked with herbs and spices wrapped in banana leaf.
I’d recommend Pecel Solo for local as well as international travelers (and food lovers) who want something out of the ordinary. The place itself is a sight to see, and the food is for no regular gourmand.
Follow us on a wonderful tour at the Ullen Sentalu (Museum Seni dan Budaya Jawa) – the Art and Culture Museum of Java next!
Jl. Dr. Supomo No. 55
+62 74 866 588