Timlo Solo, the Eclectic Soup with Long History


The unofficial traditional soup of Indonesia is soto. In term of popularity, it is just like chicken soup in the western world. However, soto is far from the only traditional soup in the country. One of the other popular ones is timlo Solo.

The delicious timlo soup. via Instagram/ferasidharta

Timlo is a very light soup, at least for Indonesian standard who loves herbs and spices so much. It is an eclectic dish with unique fillings. This dish is very popular in Solo, so much so that there are several legendary shops there. Here is all you need to know about timlo Solo.

The origin of timlo

The light soup. via Instagram/evelintan78

Many historians believe that timlo was originally a Chinese soup dish; kimlo. In particular, this soup was brought to Central and East Java by the merchants. Kimlo was already popular in Pecinans (Chinatown) in Java at the end of the 19th century. Local people then learned how to make that soup while also customized it according to their preference. They also make it only with halal ingredients. The last step is calling it timlo instead of kimlo.

Eclectic soup

The fillings are rather eclectic. via Instagram/sriindajani

The soup in timlo is made from chicken broth and spices. The most interesting part is the fillings. It seems like they put whatever delicious savory items randomly into the soup. You might find chicken meat, chicken liver and gizzard, prawn, egg rolls, Solo sausages (basically minced meat with dumpling wrapper), rice vermicelli, pindang egg, carrots, or mushroom. Additionally, each restaurant has its own characteristic for the fillings.

Popular for brunch

Eaen with rice. via Instagram/mostwantedfood

In Solo, timlo is a very popular dish for breakfast and lunch. Furthermore, some of the timlo restaurants in this city has already been serving the dish since the ‘60s. However, the restaurants commonly open until night time. Timlo alone probably won’t have sufficient carbohydrate to fuel a person for the day. That is why they usually eat timlo with rice too.

Where to enjoy timlo Solo

Delicious timlo. via Instagram/kolesterol.dong

There are many great timlo restaurants in Solo, it wouldn’t be hard to find one. Some of them are legendary restaurants with decades of experience of serving unique timlo. Here are some of them:

  • Timlo Sastro at Jl. Kapten Mulyadi No.8, Sudiroprajan, Jebres, Surakarta.
  • Timlo Maestro at Jl. K.H Ahmad Dahlan No.60, Keprabon, Banjarsari, Surakarta.
  • RM Timlo Solo at Jl. Jend. Urip Sumoharjo No.94, Purwodiningratan, Jebres, Surakarta.
Spicy soy sauce sambal often accompany timlo. via Instagram/pesonakotasolo

Timlo has become popular as the ‘traditional’ dish of Solo. However, it must not be forgotten the origin of timlo was the Chinese soup named kimlo. It was reimagined by locals to fit their taste and surprisingly was very well received.

culinary Indonesia Solo timlo