Friday, June 27, 2014

Medan Trip - A Culinary Day at Medan Kota

I forget to mention that we had the privilege to stay at Anam's place throughout our stay in Medan. His house is located in one of the high class housing complexes in Deli Serdang, a bit outskirt of Medan.

The location of Medan City, Komplek Cemara Asri, and Kualanamu International Airport

Before reaching Anam's house, he brought us to a vihara (Buddhist temple) around his house. The vihara is called Vihara Mahavira Graha Medan. When I googled it, I found out that this vihara was under Mahavira Graha Pusat and there were quite a numbers of this vihara all over Indonesia.

The front look of the vihara

Pardon me if the photos of this vihara are not appealing. There was a huge sign stating that no photography was allowed. Moreover, the security guard followed us throughout our visit to make sure no one violated the regulation.

In order to keep the memory, I stole some moments and snapped a few pictures.

Behind the main building, there is a huge square and such corridors surrounding it

The vihara looked very Chinese, a bit like China Great Wall and a bit like Tian An Men. The corridor is full with China ornaments and the wall is full with dhamma stories. The square behind the main building has a great numbers of Buddha statues.

After walking one round and pray for a while, we finished our visit here and headed to Anam's mansion!

View of Vihara Mahavira Graha Medan from the car

When the car entered the housing complex, I was amazed by how big the houses were. And I couldn't help but to wonder when I could afford to have mansions like this. :(

Oh well, let's focus on the holiday. We were welcomed warmly by Anam's mom. Since I was the only girl in the trip, I had my own room with attached bathroom. Yeay! The guys (six of them) were to sleep in Anam's super big room.

We officially started our culinary day with fresh mangoes eventhough we already had butter cake from Manado and bika ambon in the car.

Slices of mangga harum manis and tiny mangga prapat

We also had lalampa from Hari-Hari Bakery, specially brought by Erland from Manado. Wow!

Lalampa, speciality from Manado. Ho ciak!

After resting for a while, Anam and his mom brought us out to Medan Kota. Our first stop was Kedai Kopi Bun (Bun Coffee Shop) at Jalan Yoserizal with its speciality, tau kua he ci.

The famous London Sumatera Utara Building while we were on the way

We finally reached Kedai Kopi Bun!

A modest coffee shop

So, again, this coffee shop's speciality is tau kua he ci. What is tau kua he ci? Tau kua he ci is a so called 'snack' of Medanese consists of fried tofu block (tau kua), morning glory (kangkung), bean sprouts (taoge), chunks of fried soft shell crabs and prawn-flour cracker (rempeyek udang) with sweet red sauce. It cost IDR 23000 (SGD 2.4) per portion.

Tau kua he ci before and after being messed up!

Other than that, we also ordered some desserts like bubur pulut hitam, ucece, and skotheng. These desserts cost IDR 13000 (SGD 1.4) each.

Bubur Pulut Hitam is basically black sticky rice and mung bean with coconut milk 

Ucece. In Singapore we call it bobo chacha. In my hometown, this is kolak.

Skotheng in Medan is not like those in Java with ginger broth. It is just sugar syrup with jelly, atap seed, and sweet corn.

Then we went to Sun Plaza, one if not the biggest shopping mall in Medan. Since it was still Saturday noon, Medanese were still working thus the roads were quite free and it was quite easy to find parking lot. We reached Sun Plaza around 2:00 pm. I started my manicure and pedicure around 2:30 pm while the rest walked around the mall and had some bites.

I never thought that a manicure and pedicure session could last for 3 hours! Only at 5:30 pm I was released. This thing hit me for IDR 365000 (SGD 38) and my butt was so so so pain from sitting for that long.

Such a simple thing for 3 hours, seriously?????

After I have finished, we rushed back home. Anam's mom was so afraid that it's gonna jam along the road but thank God the road was quite clear. Only at an intersection, one motorcycle sped up, got caught by a pot hole, and fell in front of our eyes. The rider was unconcious and bleeding from his head.

By the look of their shirts, we knew that these people was from Pemuda Pancasila Medan. Pemuda Pancasila is a political gangster that has been founded since 1981. I don't understand what is the purpose of this community. By the news so far, they are quite radical in their acts.

When the other members of the gang helped the unconscious guy 

After reaching home, we rested for a while before heading out again for dinner. You see our day was completely filled with food!

Our destination for dinner was Jalan Semarang or we can say Medan Chinatown. Jalan Semarang is actually a normal road with rows of shops in the day time. After 6:00 pm the road side is occupied and the tables and chairs are set up to cater for the diners. At another road besides Jalan Semarang, there is Selat Panjang. Selat Panjang also offers similar experience to the visitors. However, according to Anam's parents, the foods in Jalan Semarang are better.

So there we were at Jalan Semarang. I could remember that I had been there before but I still felt amazed. A lot of roadside eateries. A lot. A lot. If you come here without bringing any Medanese, I am sure you will not know which one to buy.

Jalan Semarang. If only the road is closed for car, this place will be much nicer.

A very impressive system is practiced here. Eventhough there are so many eateries offering different culinary experiences, you need not worry. You don't need to walk along the road nor to shift from one to another food kiosk. What you need to do is to find a seat. The waiter will find you and take order.

You can imagine that you are dining in fanciful restaurant even though you are just sitting at the roadside. There is a centralized management of these eateries thus you can order anything from the waiters and you just pay once. What a convenient. I really salute that all the food sellers are so secure in their fortune they do not try to compete in each and every way.

This system provides convenience and tends to make the customers to over order.

Just like us.

Namyo's mom helped us order the foods. And she ordered a lot. A lot. A Lot. A LOt. A LOT.

Other than ordering from the waiters, she also went to other places to buy some other things for us to try.

So these are what we ate that night:

Bihun Bebek Atak (Duck Vermicelli Atak). My favourite for the night. Tender duck breast, al dente vermicelli, clear and refreshing soup.

Wanton Mee (Dumpling Noodle) without dumplings. Due to the customs in Medan, every noodle is called wanton mee. In my hometown, this is bakmie. :)
Hokkien Mee (Hokkien Noodle). Another noodle dish with clear glass noodle, prawns, fish cakes, fish balls, and veggies. Pour the broth over, add some chilli, and enjoy it!

Medan Hor Fun (Medan Flat Rice Noodle) is basically hor fun poured with flour-water mixture and pork, meat balls, and veggies.

Char Kway Teow (Fried Kway Teow). A long order list caused this dish to be delivered the last. To be honest I could not recall how it tasted now. Maybe I have eaten too much when I tasted this.
Medan Popiah (Medan Spring Roll) is not like any popiah in Singapore. Refreshing taste of carrots, cucumbers, and crabs filling. My saliva is running while I type this.
Crispy Popiah. In Singapore people call it kueh pie tie. The filling is exactly the same as popiah but the skin is different. 
Fish Ball. Initially I thought it was just an ordinary fish ball but I was wrong, it was a bowl of fish balls with minced meat fillings.

Char Siew (Cantonese Barbecued Pork). Lotsa fats. I could not stomach it.
Roasted Pork. I dared not eat because it basically consist of fat and skin. Euhhhh. However everyone in the group praised it and I tried to taste the bone and to be honest, it was nice.
Sate Padang (Padang Style Satay) is not really my food.
Kerang Rebus (Boiled Cockle). The best thing of this thing is the sauce: chilli sauce, grounded peanuts, and pineapple.
But be careful you may find small crab inside. Don't eat it! It's not a buy-one-get-one-free thing.

We were so very full after all the foods! We were thankful for the foods and decided to call it a day.

Happy face and happy tummy

But we were wrong. Anam's parents went to Selat Panjang to buy some sweet stuffs for us.

Martabak Piring (Plate Pancake) in front of Selat Panjang. Crispy and nice!
I can't recall the name but it tastes like kue dadar (Update: the bride told me that this was called APUNG)

Only after we finished everything, the bride-to-be reached Jalan Semarang. We had a fun chat for a while before calling it a day and driving back home.

However, when we reached the housing complex, it was completely dark. Only then we knew that Medan was facing blackout every single day for three hours a day. Terrible. So, instead of going home, Anam brought us to another vihara. This time is a super big vihara called Maha Maitreya Vihara.

It was so dark I could not take any better shot. This is just the front porch of the first floor of the vihara

Another dark shot.

Everybody was so tired after the whole day. All of us fell asleep just in seconds with almost exploding tummy.

Next Post - Winding Roads for Danau Toba

Love is in the air,
Little Feet


  1. Really enjoyed reading & watching your virtually yummy-licious tour! Thanks for sharing!

  2. THANKS FOR COMING :):):) I'm so delighted

  3. Thanks for coming,,, berastagi is my home...