“As the name implies, the restaurant serves Selat Solo, the Javanese interpretation of a beefsteak – braised tenderloin beef splashed with a thin sweet-and-sour sauce made from vinegar, sweet soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.”
The nursery rhyme “Little Bo Peep” kept rewinding in my head as I scoffed my food at Warung Selat Solo Mbak Lies. There were no sheep around, though – just waitresses dressed up as shepherds. Yes, I’m not kidding.
Warung Selat Solo Mbak Lies is an eatery with a very unique concept indeed. From the outfit of its staff to its porcelain-filled interior, one could easily tell that this is one restaurant that stands out in a crowd.
Found inside a small alley, Warung Selat Solo Mbak Lies was first established in 1985. Founder Wulandari Kusmadyaningrum – popularly known as Mbak Lilies – began selling this iconic Solo dish after she graduated from high school. Over the years, the eatery has since become a must-visit tourist destination in the city.
As the name implies, the restaurant serves Selat Solo, the Javanese interpretation of a beefsteak – braised tenderloin beef splashed with a thin sweet-and-sour sauce made from vinegar, sweet soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. It is then served with French fries and steamed vegetables. It’s essentially an East-meets-West dish, with a sweet tang that one would commonly find in Javanese cuisine. Also on the menu at Warung Selat Solo Mbak Lies is Selat Gelatin Kuah Saos, which comprises minced beef mixed with eggs topped with sweet-and-sour sauce. Similar to roulade, its meat is thick and savoury.
I definitely will be coming back here on my next trip to Solo, but not just for its delectable dishes, though – I discovered that the waitresses here would change their outfit every single day. Now that should be interesting to see.
Jl. Serengan, gang II/42
Serengan, Solo, Central Java
T: 0271 653 332
Open daily from 9am-5pm
Rp.25,000/US$1.80 per person