Sorry for not writing much lately cos most quick updates are done on my Instagram account @eatwithroy. You guys can follow me there too. Work has been tiring cos a lot of stuffs to do at the beginning and hope operations will smooth out soon.
Wanted a nice local brekkie yesterday and I thought I should visit a coffeeshop which I haven't visited for the longest time. The coffeeshop has renovated and there are many stalls there now with pretty impressive offerings. However, they have adopted the self-service mode and everyone has to queue to get their food. Gone are the days when you can order and find a seat. So it's quite tough for one person to find a seat during peak periods, hence have to share table. I waited for like 15 mins as there were some orders before me:
Taste: Got the old school taste and although it looks plain, it's very tasty! Love the suppleness of the noodles. Damn yums!
Sorry took me a while to tabulate all these info and pictures together. Only manage 30 items but trust me, there are more than 30 items easily in Medan to savour on. Hope you enjoy the gastronomical read and perhaps attract you to visit Medan one day!
1. Indomie/Ifumie Goreng
This is something like our Maggie Goreng except that Indomie/Ifumie most of the time they would use the seasoning that comes with the instant noodle pack. It is probably the staple in whole of Indonesia, reason is it is affordable for everyone. However different stalls/locations have their own special sauce or chilli paste which makes customers come back for more. 2. Kueh Kueh
Kueh kueh is available in most Asian countries and in Medan, they are very important as some of these kuehs are used for praying to the Gods or Ancestors. There are a lot of kueh kueh varieties here and it’ll take some more one to try them all. My favourites are shown below. 3. Martabak
This is prolly trending very much now in Medan. Not to be confused with the martabak we have here in Singapore, there are basically 2 types of martabak in Medan; The thin or the thick one. Personally I prefer the thick one cos it comes with a lot of fillings and coated with loads of butter. I would highly recommend Martabak Yurich because theirs are really yummy!
4. Bihun Bebek (Duck Beehoon)
This is prolly the first stop everytime I’m in Medan. A must eat and it’s truly da bomb! There are 2 types in Medan; the strong herbal or light herbal one. However, either or is damn rich in broth and really a great way to start the day with! My favourite stalls are Bihun Bebek Kumango (Asie) and my god mother’s stall Bihun Bebek Akien!
5. Mie Pangsit
This is prolly the wanton mee of Medan. Everywhere cooks differently like the wanton mee in SG. My favourite so far is Mie Tiongsim at Jln Selat Panjang. Still good even though they are super popular. 6. Mie Hokkien
The distinct difference between Mie Pangsit and Mie Hokkien is Mie Pangsit has char siew and wantons, while Mie Hokkien has braised egg, prawns, fish balls and prawn balls. 7. Coffees Locals vs Specialty
Coffee is grown in most parts of Indonesia and North Sumatra is one of the places. The presence of local coffee is definitely a hindrance to the growth of specialty coffee stores such as Pilastro and The Thirty Six. So while you’re there, go support these business, and enjoy some really good local single origins! 8. Nasi Ayam
Chicken Rice here in Medan is really different. Again, every stall has different side dishes. I like the one at Jalan Selat Panjang, Nasi Ayam SP3, their chicken rice comes with sides like braised egg, sambal shrimps, veg, etc. Owner couple are very nice people and you can literally order anything just sitting at their stall. 9. Big R Burger
Haha I placed this as a must eat because this burger is created in my name! Thick 200g beef patty with steak slices and beef bacon laid on top of it and topped it off with a runny sunny-side-up! Really yummy this one! Only at The Thirty Six! 10. Putu Bambu
This is something like our tutu kueh but it’s longish and steamed inside a bamboo, giving it a distinctive bamboo fragrance. You can get this everywhere. 11. Kweu Tiau
Kweu Tiau is actually Fried Kway Teow and they only have the light coloured portion which is very similar to Penang ones. I totally love the Fried Kway Teow here cos some of the Kway Teow like Kwetiau Ong’s is homemade! Best of all, they use duck eggs!!! Makes a lot of difference to the dish! Kwetiau Ong is definitely my favourite stall, which is a Golden Legendary stall since 1914… that’s 103 years of history!!! Close to this will prolly be Kwetiau Ahong’s. 12. Sate Padang
Sate Padang is literally satay in SG. The satay here is not as tender as what we have back home but definitely flavourful. Sauce wise is a little more on the savoury side instead of the sweeter version in SG. This is a must have when you’re at any food street at night. You can order like 5 sticks if you’re alone. 13. Nasi Padang
Nasi Padang is big business in Medan! So many places for good Nasi Padang and some big brands like Garuda is already in Singapore. The best thing about this Nasi Padang is that the variety is huge and they will place loads of dishes on the table. You’ll only be charged for what you eat, not what you’ve touched. So you can take the curry sauce but not eat the chicken…then they will put back the chicken to the main display pot. Hygiene is definitely questionable here… but no one seems to care. Love most of the outlets here, Muay orders are the beef rendang, ayam goreng and ayam pop. 14. He Ci
He Ci is the same as the Ngoh Hiang stalls in Singapore with the crispy prawn crackers and the floury prawn cakes. Except that the items offered differs from ours.
15. Tok Tok
A very local dish of pig’s blood and intestines. Not everyone’s cup of tea and the taste is really acquired. Worth a try if you encounter this. 16. Popia
In our context, it’s Popiah. I only know one place that has this and they sell by the thousands daily! Check out the stall at Jose Rizal and you can choose from the steam or deep fried ones. I definitely preferred the steamed ones! Not cheap at 7000 rupiah each but it has crab meat inside and extremely tasty! 17. Avocado Shake
Avocado is grown locally in Brastagi region and naturally drinks are made out of these. Avocado shake with chocolate sauce is truly yummy here and a must drink when in Indonesia. You may wanna check out the Avocado Juice with Espresso shots at Macehat. Their signature drink there. 18. Curry Chicken & Beef Bihun/Rice
Rumah Makan Tabona. This is a household brand that has been selling this for decades. Love the curry chicken and beef to go with the beehoon. Very yummy! Some Medanese said do not leave Medan if you haven’t tried this! I must say it’s not bad, and their business is blardy good! 19. Chee Cheong Fun
This is one of my favourites. Simple, plain looking but damn yummy! The secret is in the sauce and all the fried onions on top. The best I’ve tried so far is from Jalan Selat Panjang from the big guy’s stall.
20. Nasi Goreng
There are many places for fried rice. I kinda like the Nasi Goreng Petai at 134A Jalan Singa. The fire is damn power, hence wok heat is amazingly good! 21. Goreng Pisang
In most cafes, they usually have Goreng Pisang for sides that is drouse with loads of chocolate rice and cheese! Good to try but too much a little jelak! 22. Durian
Yes, durians do grow in Medan. But the seeds are big and flesh not as much. But at the price of 35k and 50k rupiah, it’s ok to try the taste of it. Ucok durian is the biggest player in the durian market which operates 24/7! So if you’re craving for durians at 4am, you can get some by taking a Grab car there! 23. BPK
Babi Panggang Karo is a traditional Karo tribe cuisine of BBQ pork slices which is usually served with rice and a bowl of blood mixture spicy sauce thingy. At some places, the meat can get really tough… the better ones are in the mountains so branded doesn’t mean good. 24. Kueh Lapis/Ambon
Home of Kueh Lapis and more likely the Kueh Ambon. Indonesians generally agree the Kueh Ambon in Medan is the best in the whole of Indonesia. But I kinda like the Kueh Lapis, very good souvenir gift to bring back for family and friends. There is a street full of kueh lapis, just go sample all of them and tell me which ones you like! 25. Teh Susu Telor
This is a very local drink. Egg is added to the milk tea and seriously damn sweet. But the egg adds a nice fragrance to the drink. Dunno if there are any medical boost drinking this but it’s worth a try! 26. Snake Meat
Snake meat is available at food streets like Jalan Semarang. Fried in some rempah and seriously taste like chicken. Quite appetising! 27. Chao Lo
This is a typical before dinner snack in Medan which actually are snails cook in some spicy soup. Totally an acquired taste dish, not many people can take it. 28. Badak
Sarsi made in Medan. Medanese pride and joy. Has Sarsi taste definitely but with some herbal tones too. Not bad, interesting. 29. Es Campur
Literally like our ice kacang but the ice is a lot coarser and helluva lot more sweet! But they are super generous with the ingredients too! 30. Corn Rojak Keju
This is an interesting snack which I found at Brastagi market area. They slice the corn off the cob and then mix in butter, salt and pepper before topping with shredded cheese. Quite yummy actually.
Actually there are a lot more food to feature in Medan but this list is taking just too long. But I have included some of the pictures for you all to see below. Happy munching!
Sorry for the lack of posts recently cos it has been madness since I came back from Medan and the mountains in North Sumatra region. It was definitely a rewarding trip as I was experiencing semi-wet processing of coffee beans for the first time and that this method of processing is pretty rare in the Southeast Asian region. Anyways I have loads of food pics to share, I will find a starting point soon.
Anyways this beehoon stall was previously at block 309 of Hougang Avenue 5. They had to move due to the landlord jacking up the rentals so that they can take it back and perhaps rent out to their preferred vendors. Very apparent problem in F&B scene unless of course you’re a brand to reckon with. But I’m actually even more happy to see them at block 327 as I board my buses from the bus stop there haha.
Good thing about this beehoon stall is that their prices are reasonable and at the same time, tastes good. There is another stall at block 322 which has been monopolizing the area for quite a while, even though the taste is really just soso.
Taste: As mentioned, the food is really good, well seasoned for the meats, only thing to pick on is the sambal chilli. Can be a little less liquid.
Portion: Normal portions are big. I ask for extra beehoon sometimes.
Service: Self-service. Lady over the counter serves while the hubby cooks behind. Service is good.
I apologise for not writing much lately as I was pretty swarmed with work as I do not have any part-timers helping me since school reopened. At the same time, I was planning for my upcoming coffee pilgrimage and food trail in Medan and Sumatra. Updates will be more frequent on my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/eatwithroy/) so if you guys like, can follow me there.
Recently I was invited for a hosted dinner at Samsara Gourmet, a hidden gem serving excellent authentic Canton cuisine at reasonable prices, with a head chef formerly from Tunglok Group. This humble 50-seater restaurant with a private room is owned by Ms Violet Lee, who was Miss Singapore in the 1980s, came back to Singapore after spending more than 2 decades in China building an empire.
After much checking out online, Samsara Gourmet is seriously out of the radar in the social media circle although fellow bloggers like Maureen (www.misstamchiak.com) and Derrick (www.sgfoodonfoot.com) have written on them some time ago. Location could be a factor and also lack of publicity, which is why I am writing this blog entry. The food here is so awesome that I really need to share it here.
Taste: Truly authentic Canton food. They can also cater for vegetarian options. Really good.
Service: Very attentive. I hope it’s not because the boss was there.
Ambience: Nice and pretty chill.
Price: Considering the quality, very reasonable. At least much better than my reunion dinner at another restaurant.
Location & Hours:
Add: 38 Irrawaddy Road, #01-05, Singapore 329563 (On the right side of the lobby of Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre @ Novena) Tel: +65 67343138 Hours: Mon-Fri: 9am – 9pm, Sat: 9am – 6pm, Closed on Sun & PH
Ok it’s Day 2 in Medan when I went around with the driver and trust me, this day I ate nothing less of that of Day 1! Let’s get started!
That ended my second day in Medan. Yes I did ate that much. Everyone had food coma after that…. haha… Day 3 was pretty much rushing to the airport and head back to SG. So that ended my whole short Medan trip. I promise I’ll be back for more good food! Till then Medan, I’ll see you guys soon!
Ever since I started BLACK&INK, I never thought I would have time to actually travel. So the opportunity came during our National Day where it was a long weekend and hence we decided to rest during this period as we reckon many people would have left the country. So I quickly booked my tickets from Jetstar, booked a hotel at random and then off I flew to Medan on National Day itself. I was fortunate to have foodie friends in Medan to bring me around as Medan is totally non-accessible by public transport. Thanks to Wiwi (@zhoueats) and friends Leo, Tahbar and Mimi for your kind hospitality!
As usual I will post pics and describe below every pic what I experienced throughout the trip, day to day manner. Every pic was shot with my iPhone 5S. So let’s start.
Ok that ended my Day 1 in Medan. Gimme some time to write on Day 2, which is another day full of FOOD!!!
Recently I was invited to this restaurant for a media tasting and was a surprising gem on Bukit Timah indeed. Torikin is established in Singapore in November 2014 as a casual dining restaurant serving up collagen-enriched chicken hotpots to both locals as well as Japanese expatriates.
Torikin is part of a chain of restaurants by the Ishida Kikaku Group, originating from Fukuoka in Kyushu, Japan. It is the first overseas venture by the Group and embodies its founder, Mr Kyota Ishida’s philosophy of allowing all customers to discover the authentic taste of Kyushu, without compromising on quality. Check out the pics with comments below:
Taste: Everything taste really good. Love the way they use natural ingredients to bring out the flavours in the food.