Monday, June 22, 2015

Eating Around Medan .. Culinary Heaven :)

The last destination of my holiday trip is to Medan, the capital of the North Sumatra Province and the fourth largest city in Indonesia. The city is well known for their street food culinary and if you love pork as much as I do, u would want to visit this city and enjoy this post very much ;p

So Day 1 in Medan, I arrived quite late in the afternoon and coincidentally my friend's friend is having their shops' grand opening in one of the mall in Medan. So we went to give them a visit. They opened up a small outlet similar to boost juice and its called raw booster :) Can be found in Sun plaza Medan peeps ^^

We then went around the mall and watched Insidious 3 before we had dinner in Jalan Semarang. This place is famous for its street food. There are a range of dishes to choose from in this place and we pretty much ordered the best of what this street has to offer.

The foods here are affordable but don't expect a clean and cozy dining area cause here you will be sweating while eating accompanied by street cats and street performer ;p But hey that's what make this place special ;)

Right... before we arrived in Jalan Semarang, we made a stop at Selat Panjang to buy this Cripsy Martabak called Martabak Piring Murni . Its different from the one in Jakarta, here the martabak is way thinner and crispier more to like crepes than pancake. Bebski finished 18 pcs of those.

thin crispy pancake 0.35 cents each
Back to the foods in Jalan Semarang. I'll describe the photos from top row left to right :)
1. Selat Popiah - a crispy casing with stir fry veggies in the middle with garlicky chilli on top. two thumbs up for this snack!!

2. Mie Tiong Sim - Dry pork, chicken and mushroom noodle with wonton. They used the thin noodle and topped it with fried shallots and chilli pieces. We indos love our food spicy..

3. Nasi Simangunsong -  A rice dish with stir fried morning glory belacan sauce and deep fried chicken. What made this dish special is the rice. They used small pieces of salted fish in the rice making it more aromatic.

4. Cheong Fun Goreng : It's similar to stir fried flat rice noodle with blended green chillies as side.

5. Nasi Ayam Acu: Another famous dish in Jalan Semarang, rice with meat combinations of pork rendang, pork satay, chicken pieces and boiled eggs. I didn't try the dish but that can be one of the many reason to go back to Medan ;p

6. Nasi Tim: Steamed rice made with chicken broth and topped with chicken and mushroom. I love this dish because the rice got the perfect texture for Nasi Tim, it has to be a bit more on the mushy side and it needs to stick together pretty well.

The best of the night from Jalan Semarang is Saksang Goreng Asan! The pork belly is superbly crispy and tender at the same time. Writing this blog made me drools over this pork all over again. One bite is literally soo heavenly :) The sauce that comes with it comprises of two different chillies and a blood sauce on the right. That does not taste like blood whatsoever, it's a perfect match to the porkkk ..

After dinner in Jalan Semarang we head back to the hotel cause we were to exhausted to go anywhere else and we know tomorrow more culinary awaits. So we went to have a rest and get our tummy ready for the next day.

Ms.S picked us up quite early on the second day in Medan and she brought us to her favourite breakfast spot, Soto Medan. The difference between the one I usually ate is the thickness of the soup. Here, they used coconut milk to thicken it up and the use of herb and spices are stronger that the one in Jakarta.

We have a choice of chicken or beef meat and they serve it along with sweet soy sauce with chilli pieces and also bitternut cracker with prawns in the middle. I prefer the beef meat as the broth is richer in my opinion than the chicken ones.

From there, we went to Howey. One of the two most famous macarons shop in Medan.

I must say the macarons here are not too far off from the ones I had in Sydney. they did a pretty good job here. The variety of flavours are quite creative but the only thing for me is the macarons are way too sweet. The flavour does not deliver as much as I expected.

Apart from the macarons, bebski also bought their Green Tea Tiramisu which has a nice green tea note and not too heavy for a tiramisu. But I was expecting a bit of rum in it as it is a Tiramisu afterall which I didn't get ;p

Our next destination is Macehat Coffee. A cafe with homely feel kinda design. It is located in a small street in Jalan Karo. Entering the cafe, it feels like entering someone else's home with a wide dining area. They are well known for their Avocado Float.

Blended Avocado topped with chocolate ice cream, chocolate condensed milk and poured with coffee shots on top. It's soooo fattening and yet so bloody good!!

To accompany our avocado float, we also ordered some nibbles of fried Risoles (Spring roll filled with cheese, veggies and chicken mince) and also fried garlic cassava. The batter of the cassava made this snack different from the rest fried cassava I've tried.

It's crispy but does not crumbles and coat the cassava really well.

From Macehat, we went back to the hotel to wait for Mr.Wjt to come and together we went to play in the Escape Room to kill some time and then we went to eat Satay Triadi who is well known for his Beef satay and in Indo we called it Satay Padang.

Satay Padang does not use peanut sauce and sweet soy sauce but instead they used a thick gravy like sauce and is a little bit spicy. The gravy is made from the beef stock and a lot of herbs and spices such as garlic, shallot, cumin, tumeric, ground coriander, chilli, ginger, lemongrass and a couple more thing ;p

The meat is thinner than the ones in Jakarta and the gravy is more flavourful!

Almost immediately after snacking satay, we head to this seafood place called Amei Seafood in Asia Mega Mas area. This area is another spot that worth a visit cause they have a lot of hawkers lining up the area selling every kind of streetfoods even Takoyaki and many others.

We just had the chance to try Amei's dishes; Crab in Chilli sauce, Pipies in Oyster sauce, Fried pork (Saksang) and Stir Fry morning glory. At this point we were really really full and we went back to digest our foods venturing another case in Escape room at Palladium Mall hihi..

Third day in Medan, we woke super early and had Bihun Bebek in Kumango for breakfast before we go to Danau Toba (Danau = Lake). Bihun Bebek is a dry vermicelli with shredded duck meat and topped with veggies and cripy fried garlic. The base seasoning for the vermicelli are garlic and soy sauce. It's damn good!

3 hours of driving, we arrived in Siantar, an independent city in North Sumatra and they are well known for their Babi Goreng (Fried Pork) and other pork dishes as well.
We made a stop at Rumah Makan Silindung which is a must if you ever visited Siantar. Ms.S told me that her family used to drive for hours from their hometown just to have a meal in this place :)

We ordered heaps of foods as usual ;p
Indonesian Fried Chicken with blood sauce, Fried Pork, Grilled Fish,  Fried crispy pork and chicken soup. It may looked unappetizing because of the colour but trust me it's soo delish and worth the drive!

We finally arrived in Lake Toba after 4-5 hours drive. The hotel where we stayed called Niagara Hotel and it's the best hotel there. The hotel itself have three floors in total and the lobby is the third floor already. So the top floor is only a wide dining area for afternoon tea :) The pool table can be quite an entertainment at night cause there's nothing much we can do in the area.

The view is breathtaking and the room where we stayed are nice and spacious :)

Second day in Danau Toba, we went to Samosir Island, it is located not too far from Lake Toba, 45 Mins by Ferry. The ferry is a big one, it can accommodate 15-20 cars. Make sure to come at least 30mins before the departure time cause there can be quite a queue through the entrance.

The picture on the bottom right is the time before the ferry leave the port, some local kids will be swimming in the lake where usually tourist will throw coins to the lake and these boys will ready looking for the coins in the lake :)

The view from the ferry half way through the journey..

After 45 mins ride, we drove through the greeneries and reached a place where it is called Pantai Pasir Putih or if translated is White Sand Beach.

We were so excited to reach the place. It took us about 30mins to drive from the port to the beach and what we saw, was far from expectation. The place was pretty empty, there was no white sand even though there are a couple of banana boat on the beach side and several tents for sunbathing, but there was no one around except us and the seller there.

We were told that they are building a small resort there and it will be good tourist attraction soon. So with disappointment we leave the place and decided to go to souvenir market near the port. On our way back, we saw this museum called Huto Bolon Simanindo.

The museum is located 15km from the port in Simanindo Village and the entrance fee is Rp10,000 / approx $1AUD. There were no other tourist besides us there. Reading from the history, this old traditional house (bolon) was formerly the home of Raja Simalungun, a Batak King and his 14 wives. The old house is then restored and made into a museum.

At the of the road after passing the museum is another picturesque spot for photography :)

From the museum, we head to Huta Siallagan an ancient village which is famous for their Stone carvings. Entering the place, there were a couple of Bolon houses on the left side of the entrance and in the middle of the village, under a Hariara tree, thee are two sets of large stones carved into chairs encircling a stone table. The stone furniture are called Batu Persidangan or Stones for Meetings and Trials. The stones are believed to be over 200 years old.

Bolon Houses and the Hariara Tree on the right.
In one of the Bolon, we found this traditional sewing machines and the product of beautiful Ulos (Traditional cloth of the Batak people of North Sumatra)

Batu Persindangan
After a long day in Pulau Samosir, we took the ferry back home and have a rest in the hotel for tomorrow early in the morning we are leaving Lake Toba heading back to Medan. It was a tiringg but funn dayy :)

On our way back to Medan, we made another stop in Siantar and had Mie Pangsit Aon . Mince chicken and pork dry noodle with crispy pork lard (the best part!) and boiled eggs. I truly love this noodle, the curliness and chewiness of the noodle is just perfect. Another recommended restaurant in Siantar! For the drink, try the Soy milk with Herbal Jelly, it's so refreshing :)

In the evening, Ms.S brought us to try another must try dish in Medan called Popiah. It's some kind of spring roll which can be eaten either fried or just as is. There are heaps of places that sell popiah but we went to the one in Yose rizal, they are different from the rest cause they are very generous with their filling and the chilli garlic sauce is a perfect match for the popiah :)

The queue in that place was crazy and don't you dare complain to the owner cause you'll definitely get a scold from him to be patience ;P

Without further ado, we had our dinner in Mbak Bolek in Jln.Wajir....

We ordered Fried Tofu filled with prawn and veggies, Fried Calamari, Sweet and sour Steamed Fish, PIpies in Chilli sauce, Crispy Fried Catfish and Fried Stingray.


After that meal, we are meeting the rest of the gang in Pilastro. Why Pilastro? There's a short story behind it... I was posting a lot of my culinary photos up on Instagram and one of my friend on Sydney recommended this place to me and tagged the owner along, so we got a bit of brief intro on SocMed :)

We ordered quite a lot as well here; Bebski got the Iced Taro Latte which was superbly good, not too sweet, I got the Avocado Panna Cotta - dessert to die for! The avocado are so profound and the combination with vanilla ice cream is just perfect. The texture of the panna cotta was smooth and silky ^^.. I highly recommend it! Ms.P tried their Banana bread as well, toasted topped with melted butter.

I don't really know much about coffee, but they used Single Origin coffee beans which I heard has great taste and definitely of good quality. Even though I'm not a coffee drinker, I tried their Sitio Da Serra - Wawan Roastery (Brazil). One of the waiter demonstrated the brewing in front of us which was quite new to me and interesting ;p

Taste wise, it's fruity, got a bitter note to it but it's so light that it feels like drinking tea instead of coffee. But yeah, I can't really finished the whole thing. My friends ended up drinking it for me :) Im such a newb hihi

We finally meet Mr.V who just got back from Singapore that evening and went straight to meet us. He brought us for a night supper in this very secretive place called Nasi Lonte. It is located in a very hard-to-reach area, even I'm amazed how the locals know about such hidden place.

The type of foods that they serve here is rice with dishes of your choice; from fried chicken, crispy anchovies, traditional mixed veggies, beef rendang and many others. They are quite cheap and they open until very late at night so many locals ate there to sober up after the clubs ;p

The last day in Medan.. So sad.. I really enjoyed Medan and hangin out with my medan folks was really fun!!

So they brought me to Kari Tabona, a place that sells either chicken/beef curry and you can choose whether you want to have it with rice or vermicelli :)
For those with huge appetite, you can upgrade it to a larger bowl.
The place is big and it was swarming with people which is a good sign of great foods.

Chicken curry with vermicelli
I personally loves the Beef curry compare to the chicken ones. To me the soup has more flavour and I just love beef more than chicken lol. The soup seems thick but it does not make u sick from it. Its hard to describe the exact taste, all I can say is once u went here, all other curry will be tasteless. :)

Beef Curry
From the curry place, we head to La Maison, one of the most famous pastry shop in Medan. I heard the owner studied in Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney and once graduated, she opened up this small at her home selling macarons and other pretty desserts :)

I tried quite a lot of their macarons and the verdict... Those babies are so lovely!! They are not too sweet which is perfect for me. The flavours are so delightful and I think they are quite true to their name. Sometimes green tea macaron does not have that green tea note as to their name. I highly recommend their Salted Popcorn flavour. I think they are better that Zumbo's ;p

To kill time before lunch time come, we chill at The Thirty-six Cafe which is the "happening" cafe right now among youngster here.

The place is very bright and spacious. They have both indoor and outdoor dining area. Outside, they have a small waterfall in the garden and live music band plays every night. It's a cozy place to just chill with friends.

Ms.S ordered the Oreo Afogatto. A glass with Oreo crumbles at the bottom, two scoops of vanilla ice cream and a shot of their aromatic coffee. It's soooo gooodddd! The bitterness from the coffee and the sweetness of the vanilla blends really well.
Oreo Afogatto

Lime & Mint Soda
We also ordered White Truffle Fries. I don't usually fancy truffle taste but this one I can tolerate ;p the thin crispy fries has a crumbly coating and fluffy inside. Im such a sucker for french friessss... One bucket for the 5 of us is definitely not enough ;P

Finally.. we got into our last meal in Medan. We went to Rumah Makan Ondo (Khas Batak), it a restaurant owned by a couple of local and korean. One of their menu is Korean inspired dishes.
We were seated and not long after ordering, they gave us this small dishes, I would say Banchan Indo style ;p

From the top left dish, we ordered another version of Saksang (fried pork in blood sauce), Pulos Pulos (Green veggies with sweet-sour-spicy sauce), Fried pork belly, Roast sliced pork belly and Grilled Galbi (ribs). My favourite would be the deep fried crispy pork belly and the honey glazed sticky galbi!!

That's pretty much ends my culinary journey in Medan. I will definitely definitely be back here to taste more foods and to explore Medan even more! Had an amazing time here, 6 days feels like it's not enough at all. Felt so sad leaving that city and I definitely miss all my lovely friends there.

Tips from me: Make sure u have local friends to take you around or u really need to look up for eating spot in Medan or you just gonna be wasting your time ;P

Thanks for taking me around peeps :)