Twenty seven years have passed and Dapur Solo flourishes like never before. Join us on a journey to discover how Dapur Solo started its business with modesty and how it has made us all proud with Indonesian food.
Currently we are seeing only but a few successful Indonesian restaurants that have gone to the length beyond delivering good quality food. These restaurants are also successful in promoting the traditional values of Indonesian cuisine while also expanding with a visionary concept and contemporary design.
Dapur Solo’s presence can now be seen around Jakarta with its sleek, modern design and each of its outlets bears the markings of cultural values from batik, traditional market photos, and fully dedicated Indonesian menu. From the traditional nasi langgi, nasi liwet, or selat Solo; Dapur Solo is also featuring favorite local fares from nasi timbel, sop buntut, and many more including the exotic tengkleng kambing.
As a popular choice for dine-in lunch and dinner, Dapur Solo has also been expanding to cater the demands for lunch box deliveries. Jakarta’s never ending needs for food deliveries were met with careful calculations as Dapur Solo opens strategic lunch box points around the city. With this success, Dapur Solo is now seeing 2016 as the year to further expand beyond its traditional borders. We can now expect to see more of it in many years to come.
Looking back, Dapur Solo came from a very modest beginning. The great name that it bears now is inseparable with the hardships and dedication of its owner – Ibu Swandani Kumarga.
Back in the 80s, Ibu Swan was an active, stay-at-home mother who wanted to seek a meaningful extracurricular activity which can be beneficial for her and the family. With her husband’s occupation as a civil engineer, Ibu Swan was entrusted to take care of the household and their infant daughter while he’s off for duties outside of Jakarta.
With traditional cooking skills taught by her mother and a hospitality degree under her belt, Ibu Swan decided that she should open up a modest rujak vendor in front of her home as a start. After some time, her efforts were met only with meager success and that’s when she gets creative with marketing.
The first thing she would do was to create a very simple message in a form of small pamphlet saying that “if you would like to have rujak, then give us a call”. She would then copy and distribute this for everybody around. While at this, she would bring her daughter on the basket of her bicycle and travel around the neighborhood of Sunter.
Finally, her small enterprise received more attention from people and then she would improvise with other recipes as well such as gado-gado to meet the demands. Seeing that Ibu Swan’s venture was gaining good momentum, her husband supported the move to a bigger place where they can serve more people with more offering from the menu.
From this small ruko (home office), Ibu Swan inaugurated RM Solo and since then has put her plans in motion to familiarize the Javanese cuisine for the people of Jakarta. With more and more people coming to her place not just from Sunter, RM Solo was readying itself to expand and to rebrand.
Thus in 2004, RM Solo made a bold move to rebrand itself with a logo and putting Ibu Swan’s name alongside with it. However, not until 2011 that Ibu Swan finally decided to rebrand again her restaurant with the name Dapur Solo. With this she hopes to be more specific but still true to her ideals in promoting her hometown cuisine as well as Indonesian fares in general.
Finally this 2015 sees Dapur Solo at its zenith. With Ibu Swan’s endless efforts to promote our local cuisines, we can now be proud that there are able people out there who are not just Indonesian but also shrewd when it comes to expanding their business in food. Dapur Solo is the proof of her hard work and with her creative twists after all these years, surely we can hope to see Dapur Solo beyond Jakarta in the future.
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Aug 2015 edition
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Photos are courtesy of Dapur Solo