Tag Archives: medan food blog

30+ MUST EATS when in Medan, Indonesia

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Hey y’all,

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

Indomie Goreng

Indomie Goreng Basa – The wet version
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

Look at the colours of the kueh kuehs!

Yam Cake

This glutinous rice thing with sri kaya is really damn good…
 

Lemper Ayam. One of my favourites and will tapao a lot for mum.

Just too many varieties
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

Martabak Piring… That’s how they cook it!

To be honest, I prefer the ones below…

Comes in a slab like this

Look at the amount of cheese!

This one we ordered the first night. It has all the works inside… Nutella, grounded peanuts, choc rice, cheese!

Last slab we had for our trip. Damn good. Loads of cheese and butter. Yums!

Heavenly!

Probably the best now in Medan, Martabak Yurich!
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)

Me and boss of Asie Bihun Bebek, showing how much ducks he use for his broth.

Bihun Bebek served dry and a bowl of soup on the side. Broth is super rich and tasty, result of boiling with a lot of ducks in it.

Another Bihun Bebek place I visit which belongs to my Medan mummy. Bihun Bebek Akien has their followers and to be honest, has a different touch from the one at Asie.

Akien’s Bihun Bebek comes with veg, home made shrimp balls and a chunk of braised pork belly. I really miss this right now.

Specially reserved this bowl of goodness for me…. Finished!
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

Mie Tiongsim
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

Mie Hokkien at Jln Selat Panjang

Friend’s parents’ Mie Hokkien. See the lard and amount of ingredients. Yums!
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

Latte from Pilastro Cafe

Latte from Geodang

Latte from Macehat

Latte from The Thirty Six
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

Nasi Ayam from Nasi Ayam SP3 of Jalan Selat Panjang.

With the owners of Nasi Ayam SP3
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

The Big ‘R’ Burger

Big Roy eyeing on Big R Burger haha
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

Steamed bamboo kueh

Very yummy

Miss this!
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

The Legend

GLORIOUS DUCKS EGGS!!!

Fry until the wok also got hole… imagine how many years is that gonna take?!?!!

Try making her smile, anyone can do that let me know and prove it with a selfie!

Tapao best cos the banana leaf gives off a different taste!

Damn I miss this so much! Using duck eggs!

Add your own pork lard at Kwetiau Ahong

Kwetiau Ahong
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

Legendary stall beside Bata.

Sate Padang from the Bata stall. The chicken one is definitely better cos mutton is tough

Had this at one of the markets… tough like mad

This one looks promising

Chicken sate is very nice and tender… Love how much fried shallots they used!

So good we ordered round 2! Burp!
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

Usually laid on the table like that and you only have to pay for what you eat… The rest of the dishes they will put back…

Love the fried chicken here!

How locals would eat, pack in a banana pack and then eat it after 5 mins. The fragrance of the leaf will surface.

Yummy!

Garuda’s Padang

Serdahana’s 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

Tok Tok stall

Pig’s blood… no more in SG

Intestines…. still got a little smell…
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

Atak Popia or rather more known as Popia Jose Rizal, opens only in the evening.

All handmade on the spot upon orders.

Steam or fried? I like the steam one better! So yummy!
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

Regular Avocado juice

Avocado juice with espresso shots at Macehat
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

The famous curry at Tabona

Curry Chicken… The gravy is very watery but never lacks of flavour.

Beef is damn yummy. Love the brisket parts

Bihun texture so different from ours in Singapore

Featured on a local magazine lately.

Boss and me
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 how the chee cheong fun is laid out

Then chopped into pieces upon orders and drench with a little sauce and fried shallots.
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

Nasi Goreng Petai

See the fire they use… power!
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

Goreng Pisang with a whole lot of cheese and chocolate at Geodang

Pilastro’s version of 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

The man, Ucok

Durian piled up here for selection
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… If they BBQ the pork well, the meat will be tender. If not, good luck to your teeth.

Blood gravy to go with your rice
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

With chocolate chips

Yummy plain ones
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

Da eggy teh tarik drink,… not bad but damn sweet

This street has loads of different styles of indomie goreng and the egg teh
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… Taste like chicken
Snake meat is available at food streets like Jalan Semarang. Fried in some rempah and seriously taste like chicken. Quite appetising!
27. Chao Lo

Spicy but acquired taste…
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!

Nasi Tim… Basically steamed rice with the ingredients… like our Fan Choy or Lor Mai Kai. Available at Nasi Ayam SP3

Sio bak available at Jalan Semarang. Yummy!

A drink I swear by everywhere I go… plain ice tea no sugar and it’s cheap

I think these are called Apom…

Served with kaya-like gravy.

Simple stall like this is long queue every morning at the market

Yummy porridge with intestines

Market has interesting foods too!

Nasi Campur but the rice was a little cold.

A little like our sayur lodeh not bad.

Foodtrail in Medan Day 1 – Indonesia

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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.

Boarding plane
Landing Medan. Many farms.
Landed Medan
Medan airport. Very new.
Decor around the airport.
Gents hahaa
My driver hehe
Roads of Medan outskirts
Arrived at hotel Swiss Bellin.
Dusting will be helluva job man!
Bedroom
Long walkway to bathroom and small window
Shower
Bathroom
Room from the other side.
I hand carried all these on board… don’t ask me how. ;P
First stop. Satay with more than 40 years of history!
Satay or Sate spelt in Indon. Check out the pot of peanut sauce! Damn awesome!
No fine dining tables lah but street food is what I dig y’all!
Ok maybe not this street food on a hot day…. This is cockles sate or Sata Kerang… gulp! LS galore on first meal? SKIP!!!
Ordered chicken and mutton sates and one stick of intestines. Mutton was tough like hell but chicken and intestine were good. Love the sauce and fried shallots on top. Yums!
I dunno what went through my mind when I ordered this float from the roadside. But I survived. So can order!
The stall owner
Proceeding to 2nd stop
BPK Olakisat. BPK is Babi Panggang Karo which means BBQ Pig House and Olakisat is basically the name of the shop or area.
2pm+… so crowded… almost couldn’t get a table. Oh and one thing in Medan… no one shares table! You might get stares if you ask to share table hahaha
BBQ pork… tough like shit… Even bak kwa is more tender.
Pigs’ blood sauce to go with your rice. Taste very spicy and sour. Can try for one time. Indonesians fav.
Mashed Cassava Leaves. How come SG don’t have leh? Maybe it’s a little rougher than sweet potato leaves but it’s still full of nutrients!
Rice was uncooked. Quite bad. I had to add soup and hope it softened. No, it didn’t.
Damage around S$5.90. Not too bad but food wasn’t up to expectations.
3rd stop. Pilastro Cafe (@pilastro_mdn). One of the pioneers in specialty coffee in Medan and it was a great honour to visit this place.
Boss Benny is at the counter
Ordered a pour over. Pretty decent, something different from the regular dark roasts.
Deep fried cassava sticks. Quite yummy.
Wefie with Wiwi and me.
Enjoying my second cuppa of their in house ESP Blend espresso.
Ambience of Pilastro. Nice and chill. Leo and Mimi on the left.
Benny and me.
4th stop is an interval from all that eating and basically checking out this orpahange recommended to me by Leo.
Care takers are Pastor and his wife. Not much funding from the government.
Now they have about 90+ orphans and growing still.
Facade.
Incomplete building cos lack of funding. This is proposed for the less than 3 year olds so they don’t fall down easily cos of the high steps.
There are bricks and cement but somehow still insufficient to complete the building. Seems like they need help in construction also.
Rain came down like my heavy heart.
Worship place
Kids, some can tell not normal.
So many of them
All the young ones the older orphans help to take care.
Wiwi cuddling an orphan who was left at the doorstep of the orphanage
With some of the kids
5th stop. Garuda Nasi Padang for dinner. SG also have one branch but not as good as this original one.
So many dishes to choose from.
Fried chicken on the spot is a MUST-ORDER!
Avocado juice with chocolate!
Some choose packet style cos they feel it’s more tasty.
Packet style… really damn good lah…
While others chose the share style and those you don’t eat they put back… When eating there, don’t consider any hygiene lah, just whack!
The beef rendang is da bomb man! Very very good!
Awesome fried chicken!!! Total damage came up to around S$25 which is considered expensive in Medan!
6th stop. Famous Poh Piah Jose Rizal. Located at Jalan Jose Rizal, for 40 years already!
Managed to find some seats but need to wait. Many orders!
Preparation in progress
Fried or steamed, each S$0.70. About 10cm long.
Steamed ones are really nice.
Drove around to see the other eating places. This is the famous Nasi Goreng place which is on Youtube. But didn’t get to try cos reserving stomach for next stop.
Famous restaurant for local food. Skip. ;P
7th stop. Ucok (pronounced as Wu Chock) Durian. You see the amount of durian, you know they are the monopoly. If you wanna eat durian in Medan, Ucok is the only place locals will recommend. And this place opens 24hrs!!! 3am you feel like some durians, take a drive and whack one your own or have some durian pancakes!
With the Durian King Ucok himself!
Durians are a cross between XO durian and D24. Bittersweet and texture is not bad. Only set back is that their seeds are big. And here, only 2 prices. S$3.50 for small or S$5.00 for big ones. So don’t complain lah, cravings satisfied. My first Medan durian!
Frozen durian and durian pancakes wrapped nicely for bringing home.
Wefie with Wiwi, Tahbar and Mimi.

Ok that ended my Day 1 in Medan. Gimme some time to write on Day 2, which is another day full of FOOD!!!

 

Yours gastronomically,

Big Roy