The lively and jam-packed city is brimming with delish dishes to try, so make sure you make the time for a culinary journey when in Medan.
The capital city of North Sumatra is one of the largest cities in Indonesia, after Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung. The dense population of Medan is made up of eclectic ethnicities, resulting in a vibrant scene, including in the flavourful culinary offerings with influences from many cultures. Some of the favourite dishes to try while in the city are lontong Medan, mie gomak, soto Medan, bihun bebek, saksang and babi panggang karo, as well as lighter bites like bika ambon (a great option to bring home to your loved ones), ikan teri Medan and kue ombus ombus.
A visit to Medan won’t be complete without tasting the famous bihun bebek. The dish is made up of savoury rice vermicelli topped with slices of duck meat that has been slow cooked to bring out the flavours. The dish is served with the duck broth on the side, adding depth and brilliance to the flavours. Providing the zesty companion is the optional bird’s eye chilli pickle to really get you going.
Mie gomak is one of the hearty dishes that comes from the Batak culture – one of the major ethnic groups in Sumatra. The thick, spicy noodle soup is made from coconut milk and andaliman pepper-based broth, creating an unmistakeable savoury flavour. Mie gomak uses mie lidi, which has a texture similar to spaghetti, earning the dish the nickname Batak spaghetti. There are several ways to serve mie gomak, mostly with broth, but some serve it dry or with peanut sauce.
Babi panggang Karo
This one is a popular dish that originated in the Karo tribe, one of the many tribes that make up Sumatra. Babi panggang Karo – or Karo grilled pork – is usually served in slices with a vegetable side made from cassava leaves and kincong (torch ginger). In addition, there’s also a special sauce made from the pig’s blood, cooked with herbs and spices. The dish is so popular that you can find babi panggang Karo restaurants in many of the other cities in Indonesia.