Making one’s way through a local traditional market in different regions across the archipelago is definitely an experience worth doing. Whilst in Solo to fulfil my duty in bringing to light long-standing eateries around the country, I made my way to Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro Solo to pay a visit to a well-known shop that is renowned for its Es Dawet (coconut milk, palm sugar and rice flour jelly drink) since the 1930s: Es Dawet Telasih Bu Dermi.
The thought of having to jostle my way inside a grimy market popped in my head before I made my way in. Thankfully, all that pondering were all for naught as the moment I set foot inside, what I found was a marketplace that was organised and uncluttered – apart from the unpleasant stench emanating from the raw fishes and meat. Finding the shop itself was a breeze, as an adequately sized hoarding is placed right in front of it, which is visible from the north entrance to the market.
Housed in a small lot with only a couple of small benches that could fit up to five customers, most of Es Dawet Telasih Bu Dermi’s punters tend to opt for grabbing its Es Dawet to go. There was no place to sit when I got there, so I had to wait for a few minutes before I could settle myself down and order my Es Dawet.
The Es Dawet here consists of cendol (rice flour jelly), bubur sumsum (coconut milk-and-rice pudding), basil seeds, black sticky rice, a bowl of coconut milk with brown sugar sauce, and chunks of ice. Thanks to the not-too-dense coconut milk, the concoction becomes quite fluid and delicate to gulp down. Not too sweet in general, the mixture also conveys traces of saltiness coming from the bubur sumsum.
If a traditional market is not your thing, then fret ye not as it has several outlets stationed across the city. I for one would recommend you award yourself with a unique and ultimately delightful experience by sampling the drink at its place of origin.
Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro Solo,
Jl. Urip Sumoharjo,
Solo, Central Java
Open daily from 8am to 3pm
Price: Rp.10,000/US$0.75 per person