Solo Indonesia Culinary Festival offers traditional food and a palace kitchen tour

Indonesian street food.
Indonesian street food.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

(THE JAKARTA POST) - Heritage cuisine is set to be featured at the Solo Indonesia Culinary Festival (SICF) slated to take place over four days starting on April 12 at the Manahan Stadium carpark in Surakarta, Central Java.

At least 170 booths are expected to be set up at the festival.
 
"There will be no Western foods; all will be heritage cuisine and authentic Indonesian dishes, as this festival aims to preserve them. There are some foods that still exist today, but some other are rarely found," SICF 2018 initiation head Daryono told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
 
Daryono said Surakarta was home to many street food eateries that were popular among local tourists, especially during the night.
 
"This festival is a form of our appreciation for these culinary business players," he added.
 
Among the Surakartan traditional cuisine set to be presented at the festival are sate kambing (mutton satay), tengkleng (mutton soup), sate kere (tofu satay) and nasi liwet (savory steamed rice with spicy fried condiments).
 
Tengkleng is said to have existed since the golden era of the Surakartan palace, which was more than 100 years ago.
 
"In the old days, tengkleng was a poor people's dish. But now tengkleng has become popular and is an expensive menu item," said an observer of Surakarta's traditional culinary scene, Heri Priyatmoko, adding that a similar fate also happened to sate kere, which currently also uses beef offal.
 
Surakarta Tourism Agency head Hasta Gunawan said other than foods, the festival, which offers free entry, would also display an old-style kitchen and various cookware. 
 
"The committee will also offer packages to visitors who want to visit Gondorasan (the kitchen of the Surakarta Kasunanan Palace) in Baluwarti to learn about old styles of cooking, presenting and eating," said Hasta. "Enjoying the palace's traditional cuisine amid the palace's atmosphere will of course provide a different sensation,"
 
Hasta said the festival was targeting to attract 25,000 visitors over four days. He added that the festival would also present 30 culinary stalls from micro, small and medium enterprises that would provide free foods.
 
Visitors can also expect to enjoy a cooking demonstration with experienced chefs, a Chef Indonesia battle event, tengkleng cooking contest and food bazaar at the festival.