The Jakarta Post
"Bihun bebek" (rice vermicelli with duck meat), a dish popular in Medan. With diverse cultural heritage in the background, Medan is a destination fit for culinary adventures. (Shutterstock/Ariyani Tedjo)
Combining a trip to Medan, North Sumatra, with culinary adventure is a must. The adventure might even start before lunchtime, particularly when you take a morning flight from Jakarta to Medan. Shortly after landing, you can head straight to a soto (soup) Medan joint for brunch, for instance.
Soto Medan Sinar Pagi is one of the most popular joints, serving beef and chicken aromatic soup with coconut milk base and seasoned with various herbs including cumin. The soto can be eaten with rice, fried potato cake and shrimp fritters.
If you find the soto to be a promising opening and wish to carry on with the culinary adventure, below is a list of another five destinations to consider.
Medan is an ideal destination for durian lovers, and Durian Ucok is the place to go. Selling durian all year round no matter the season, Durian Ucok is located on Jl. KH Wahid Hasyim 30-32. If you wish to take home some durian, this popular shop can vacuum pack the durian meat for you to take away. It’s convenient without the shell and you can easily store it in your checked baggage.
Bihun Bebek Asie
A combination of rice vermicelli and well-seasoned duck meat has put Bihun Bebek Asie on top of the go-to list for food in Medan. The eatery, established in 1930, can be found on Jl. Kumango 15. The rich taste of the duck is balanced by fried, chopped garlic, and completed with your choice of herbal broth or duck broth.
Kompas.com recommends Sipirok Restaurant, an eatery popular for its traditional Batak cooking, including bone marrow soup. As you may know, Batak people are the natives of North Sumatra. The restaurant is located on Jl. Sunggal 14. Kompas.com recommends mashed cassava leaves and anchovy sambal.
Lontong Kak Lin
Apart from Soto Medan, Lontong (rice cake) Medan is another option for breakfast or early lunch. At Lontong Kak Lin at Jl. Teuku Cik Ditiro across SMAN 1 Medan, toppings for the rice cake include assorted vegetables, boiled egg and fried chicken, drenched in yellow soup and sprinkled with crackers.
Read also: Five sites to visit on your trip to Medan
Tip Top Restaurant, Bakery, Cake Shop
This old-school style establishment, built in 1934, is the place for you to get some cakes and ice cream. Tip Top stands among Peranakan-style buildings on Jl. Ahmad Yani, No. 92 A-B. Its cakes, bread, cookies and ice cream are still made using traditional Dutch recipes. Among them are mocha tart, bitterballen (fried balls of flour and meat) and speculaas (spiced biscuit).