“Indonesian Chinese Food”
If you’re craving for a hearty serving of authentic Indonesian Chinese cuisine at an affordable price, Medan Town is the place to go.
Medan Town is a simple, no-frills dining space wedged amongst the many other eateries along Tanjong Katong Road, overlooking the busy district. Don’t be fooled by the lack of pomp and ceremony, however, as the main attraction is the authenticity of the flavours that the city of Medan, Indonesia has to offer.
The quaint 50-seater restaurant opened its doors in September 2012, and aims to spread the taste of authentic home-styled cooking and well-known street fare commonly found in Medan, Indonesia.
Bihun Bebek Dry ($6.90). Indonesian styled beehoon noodles topped with a generous amount of slow-cooked duck meat, fried garlic and spring onion. This dish is a perfect choice should one prefer to eat clean – the rice noodles which are imported from Medan might taste a tad plain if eaten alone, but goes very well with the saltiness of the duck meat.
The fried garlic bits also add to the dynamics of the entire dish by offering contrasting textures due to the crispy crunch.
A bowl of warm duck herbal soup is served as a side, accompanying the Bihun Bebek. The soup is rich in flavour, and tastes very much like the local favourite: Bak Kut Teh.
Sam Chan Bak ($5.80). One of the bestsellers in the restaurant, the pork belly is first marinated in coriander before being deep fried to perfection. The succulent meat, together with the unique flavours of the skin, brought wonders to my palate.
Tahu Goreng ($5.00). This decorated dish tastes as good as it looks. The brittle skin of the Tahu gives way easily to the silky smooth tofu within, and when mixed with the sweet and surprisingly spicy sauce, the dish is whole.
Hepiah ($5.80). If you did not already know, the colloquial-sounding name is a Hokkien term, which loosely translates to “prawn fritters”. Generous amounts of fresh prawns are used, and the homemade batter was just plain mouthwatering.
The thickness of the crust was just right, thick enough to add crunch to our chews, yet not too thick that it overpowers the texture of the prawns.
Soto Medan ($5.80 – Chicken, $6.80 – Beef). Heavily flavoured by coconut milk, the soup was a tad watery for Singaporean comparisons, but apparently it’s even more watery in Medan itself.
Rendang Sapi ($5.50). The Medanese version of the Beef Rendang we’re all familiar with is surprisingly not too spicy. The beef was tender and well cooked, and the garlic bits were fragrant and went very well with the dish. Besides the lack of spiciness that was a little disappointing for me, the dish was very enjoyable.
Klepon ($2.50). Better known to most Singaporeans as ‘Ondeh-Ondeh’, these little boiled rice cakes are worth every cent. The skin was not too rubbery, and melts in your mouth to give way to the warm melted Gula Melaka goodness tucked meticulously within.
The grated coconut bits on the outside also add an interesting flavour to the dish but does not overpower it in taste.
Es Campur Medan ($4.50). Authentic Medanese shaved ice, served with a mix of Red Beans, Grass Jelly, Fermented Tapioca, Atap Seeds and Topped with Palm Sugar and Coconut Milk.
Prepare your palate to embark on a journey of flavours, this dimensional dish features layers of different tastes, thanks to the unique ingredients it comprises of. The syrup is thick and full in flavour, and the fermented tapioca adds a slight sourness that manages to wrap up the dish and make it complete. Simply gratifying.
The first of its kind in Singapore, Medan Town has managed to infuse different cultural styles into their cooking (Hokkien and Indonesian), in a bid to cater to the homogeneous society of Singapore, yet retaining the authenticity in taste of Medan; a refreshing take on the Indonesian cuisine most of us are used to.
Do note that Medan Town is NOT halal, and not every Indonesian cuisine is halal mind you; there are a large variety of pork-eating, Chinese population as well in Indonesia.
Expected damage: $15/pax