Nestled along the thriving dining enclave of Tanjong Katong, Medan Town dishes out homely Medanese cuisine and street fare found in Medan. This absolute gem of a place also functions as a remedy for the homesick Medanese natives residing in Singapore.
Owners of Medan Town are Medanese natives, who used to frequent Singapore for both business and leisure. Missing food from home is always part of the travelling experience. During their long stays, cravings are often left insatiate due to the lack of Medanese cuisine in Singapore. Hence, they decided to bring a tasty piece of their home to our island, introducing the true flavour of Medan’s cuisine. Every dish is lovingly prepared by the expert husband-and-wife team.
Quench your thirst with their homemade drink, Kietna. This sweet and slightly citrusy beverage is made from boiling a mixture of calamansi rind, water, sugar, dried sour plums and limejuice, to form a nectareous syrup that is chilled for several days to allow all the ingredients to fully integrate, and for the flavours to intensify.
My mum will totally disapprove of its sweetness level, but I totally dig it.
Bihun Bebek Dry ($5.80)
Bihun Bebek is an Indonesian-style rice noodle dish, served with duck herbal soup.
The rice noodle, imported from Indonesia, is endowed with a unique springiness that surpasses all the rice noodles I’ve had. Noodles are tossed with pork lard oil and soya sauce. Yes, pork lard oil. Omit this fatty condiment, and grouse in regrets. The pork lard oil is what elevates the flavour profile. Noodles are then topped with fried garlic, Chinese parsley, spring onion, bean sprouts, and lettuce, accompanied by a generous amount of shredded duck, which is slow-cooked for five to six hours in a rich herbal broth to yield a fork-tender texture. This is a must-order.
Medanese Chicken Kari Rice ($5.50)
I also enjoyed the Medanese Chicken Kari. The curry is slow-cooked in their special blend of spices and coconut milk –fragrant and not too spicy. I also like that it’s not too rich and cloying; I could drink it like soup.
Soto Udang ($6.50)
To make this Medanese-style prawn broth, a spicy paste of galangal, ginger, tumeric and chilli is fried till fragrant before prawn stock and coconut milk is added.
Each bowl comes with three whole tiger prawns, perkedal deep-fried mashed potato (which I totally couldn’t get enough of) and is topped with diced tomatoes and crushed melinjo (Indonesian cracker). You have a choice of enjoying this with yellow noodles or steamed rice. The broth is highly addictive.
Combo Platter ($6.20)
To get a taste of all the sides dishes, the Combo Platter comprises 1 piece of Perkedal deep-fried mashed potato, 1 piece of Chicken Wing, 1 piece of Chai Tau Kue, 2 pieces of Hepiah and 2 pieces of Talam Ebi.
Hepiah is a homemade prawn fritter; diced fresh prawns, egg, garlic, flour and seasoning are mixed together before being deep-fried. It loses its crunch rather quickly, so it’s best eaten immediately when served.
The chicken wings veer on the dry side, but the flavoursome morsels are tasty right to the bone; a spicy paste of coriander seeds, garlic, lemongrass, galangal and ginger is deeply massaged into each wing before being left to marinate overnight.
The Chai Tau Kue (radish cake) didn’t impress. I’d go straight for the Talam Ebi (yam cake with traditional dried shrimp) and would even ask for seconds.
My favourite item from the platter would be the Perkedel. Potatoes are fried before being mashed with finely chopped chicken, shallots, garlic and coriander. Each patty is then moulded in shape, brushed with an egg white wash and deep-fried till golden brown. I’d sooo order multiple servings of this separately ($1.50 for 2 pieces) the next time I visit.
Background: Es Campur Medan ($3.50), Foreground: Es Sekoteng ($3.50)
Es Campur Medan is a Medanese shaved ice dessert; it is served with a mixture of red beans, grass jelly, fermented tapioca, and atap seeds, topped with palm sugar and coconut milk.
I’m not a fan of red beans; therefore the Es Sekoteng gets my vote. Shaved ice is accompanied with pearls of barley, basil seeds, pink and green jelly, Medanese orange peel, lychee, nata de coco, mixed with a simple syrup. This refreshing dessert is perfect to end the meal with. I will order this again during my next visit.
Medan Town accepts cash payment only. There’s no service charge or GST.
253 Tanjong Katong Road
Tuesday to Sunday: 11am to 10pm
Closed on Mondays