Famous Medan Food
Medan is no doubt a city that is famed for its Medanese cuisine hence this post is a Medan food guide dedicated for the fellow foodies. Honestly, Medan food is underrated and lesser known to most part of the world compares to its neighbouring cities such as Penang or Bangkok. Deserving more attention than it gets, the famous Medan food is a blend of traditional ethnic foods and variety of geographical location.
1. Mie Pangsit or Mie Pansit
Either Pansit or Pangsit, both refer to the same food that I would consider staple in this corner of the world. On the first day of my arrival, I was not sure of how to fuel up. A walk down from my hotel brought me to an eatery that was selling noodles. The look and feel was inviting, similar to the famous wanton mee in Penang.
Without hesitant, I asked for a portion to sample. Similar to kolomee – the famous Sarawak noodles, the noodle is made of egg and wheat flour. Savory, Mie Pangsit is an all-time favorite. The cost for a decent platter may start from US$2.
Famous Mie Tiong Sim @ Jalan Selat Panjang
Famous Mie Akun @ Jalan Wahidin
2. Avocado Juice or Avocado Float (Jus Alpukat)
Trust me, mie pangsit goes well with a glass of juice. And if one would like to order one, it would never regret to try avocado juice even not a big fan of avocado. Price may start from US$1 depending on location and ingredients (usually blended with milk, sugar and ‘Milo’ powder). One may wonder why this juice can be made affordable and ever ready to serve at most eateries, right? North Sumatran at which has fertile soils produce their own breed of avocado. Not of Hass like the one we used to purchase from Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, north Sumatran planters produce a larger one, with smooth skin and smooth texture although it is less creamier than Hass avocado.
Macehat Coffee – Jalan Karo No. 20
Drinks Stall at Jalan Selat Panjang
3. BBQ Pork (Chasio) & Roasted Pork (Sio Bak)
Speaking of pork, Medan is well-known for its version. Although there are a variety of BBQ pork in this city, Asan Chasio is one of the most recommended as the meat is crispy, thin and sweetened slightly with honey.
Chasio Asan @ Jalan Tilak simpang Ansari
4. Nasi Padang
Padang is the capital of West Sumatra province and hence Nasi Padang is named after the city itself referring to a platter of rice that is accompanied with a variety of dishes. The generic dishes can be grilled fish (ikan bakar), fried chicken (ayam goreng) to chips (tempe), egg (telur dadar) or vegetables and tofu.
If you’re looking for the air-conditioned restaurants in Medan, here are a couple of recommended places in town.
Uni Emi Restaurant @ Jalan Gatot Subroto.
Uda Sayang Restaurant @ Jalan Krakatau.
5. Bolu Meranti
Bolu Meranti is the Medan’s version of swiss roll. Made of wheat flour, eggs, margerine and sugar, this cake receives an amazing demand as most visitors would not want to leave home without! So did I. Personally, I found the cake is slightly too sweet for my palette. Available in many flavors such as mocha, cheese, blueberry and vanilla.
Bolu Meranti @ Jalan Kruing no. 2K.
6. Bika Ambon
A famous specialty cake in Medan, Bika Ambon is a dessert from Indonesia that is made from tapioca flour, eggs, sugar, yeast and coconut milk. Made available in a variety of flor such as banana, durian, cheese and chocolate, the most popular one is generally sold in pandan (screw-pines leaves) flavor being the universally fragrant.
Zulaikha @ Jalan Majopahit no. 62
7. Tit-bits (TengTeng, TingTing, TungTung, TongTong, TangTang, PingPing, PangPang)
For folks with sweet tooth, Paten’s produce are highly recommended especially its peanut candy. Made of crushed peanuts, sweetened and added with sesame seeds or other flavors, these candies make a good, quick snack to munch. Also their names are pretty interesting, besides the neat packages make great food souvenirs to bring home.
Paten @ Jalan Raya Lintas Sumatera, Tapian Dolok, Simalungun, Sumatera Utara 21154, Indonesia