Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sumatran Bites at Medan Town

Having tried the absolutely divine Medan-style stewed chicken rice (nasi tim ayam) at Pondok Rasa, probably the first joint to bring the culinary delights of Indonesia's fourth largest city to this sunny island, Cute Cute and Cuchi's interest were piqued when they heard that a full-fledged restaurant had opened her doors at Tanjong Katong extolling the simple epicurean pleasures of authentic Medan street fare and home-style cooking.

They decided to head down to the rather humble-looking Medan Town and were pleased to find an extensive menu. Spoilt for choice, they picked a few main dishes to share on their very first visit and vowed to ask Cuchi's friend, Ms Nan, who hails from the city itself, to vouch for the food's authenticity. 

Time for some food after Pilates Class.

Spot the striking signboard in her
pretty signature blue.
A small range of Indonesian snacks on display.
Hmm... let's look at the menu .....
good selection of desserts for sweet-toothed
Cuchi. Cute Cute is surprised to find that
they do not charge GST and service charge
at this casual dining outlet. A plus point.
Makes for an extremely value for money meal
as each dish is very competitively priced.
Ok ... time to order the mains ....
The "no grain" diet that the two lions
were currently on had to be put aside
for this weekend.
Simple furnishings with vintage black and white
pictures of Medan city on the wall.
Unique to Medan, this addictive tangy drink with
preserved plums and orange? rinds is a must-order
beverage to quench the thirst. Cuchi adds it to her
list of favourite beverages on top of the popular
Teh Botol.
Even though Cuchi was egging him on to try
the Liang Teh (traditional herbal Medan tea),
Cute Cute stubbornly went straight for his
kopi and was pleasantly surprised to
find a very strong, aromatic cuppa
with a welcomed smoky kick.
Dry Bihun Bebek with accompanying herbal soup.
The springy noodles with an al dente bite,
specially imported from Medan, was simple in 
flavour yet tasty with a drizzle of pork lard oil
and a generous topping of fragrant fried garlic.
The duck meat was also really tender and according
to sources, it's slow-cooked in a broth for hours to
achieve this texture. Herbal soup was rather mild
and light, unlike the local bakuteh broth that
knocks you off your senses.
At $6.20, this combo platter of perkedel, hepiah,
Talam Ebi (a type of Indonesian rice cake topped
with dried and fried ebi), Chai Tau Kue and
chicken wing is an absolute steal! It easily feeds
2 pax comfortably.
Cute Cute found the Talam Ebi rather plain for
his liking and thought that the much-hyped
chicken wing marinated in a home-made paste of
galangal, ginger and lemongrass
would have tasted better hot. But overall, this is
a recommended platter to share.
Medan Rendang Sapi is Cuchi's favourite dish
here. It is sooo tender and well- infused with spices,
and the crunchy bits of shallots and garlic on top make
this an outstanding dish. Very reasonably priced
at $4.80.
The two lions were too regretfully stuffed to make space for the selection of home-made desserts like Es Campur Medan, Es Sekoteng, Es Chendol and Ongol Ongol. A definite second visit is on the agenda and other delightful dishes like Soto Udang, Nasi Rendang Ayam and Chicken Curry Bihun beckons.

Here is our review for Medan Town:

Food Quality: 8.5 pawprints out of 10
Coffee Quality: 7.5 pawprints out of 10
Ambience: 6.0 pawprints out of 10

For those who are interested in going there, here is the address:

Medan Town
253 Tanjong Katong Road 

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