One thing we’ve learned from all our travels within Indonesia is never to judge a restaurant by it’s physical appearance. The best things can be had at the most unexpected (or even dodgiest looking) places. Read about the most unforgettable gastronomic experience we had in Medan at My Cafe Restaurant with the help of Ibu Rita’s street stall of Babi Merah (Pork Char Siew). Yes we ate at a street stall and we didn’t get a bad tummy, which is much more than we can say about Hotel Mulia Catering services, which always gives TD a bad tummy.
After seeing the Catholic Church and the Great Mosque we were ravenous. We asked the driver where we could buy delicious (enak) pork or babi as they call it in Bahasa. He took us to this neighborhood which was quite scary and only seemed to have dirty street stalls. We wanted to back out and just be taken to a mall but we felt bad for the driver so the group decided to see the place and graciously decline. But we were surprised to be taken to a place that looked bright and clean (I overdosed on orange that night =P).
My Cafe (a Grand Maxim Seafood Restaurant)
The best thing was there was a 10% discount for Citibank cardholders. Score!
Hygiene is very important for us. It seems that our tummies are not used to the bacteria here in Indonesia (God knows we have lots in the Philippines, but perhaps they are just different here)
We were crestfallen at first when they told us they didn’t serve any pork, but they told us to feel free to buy from one of the stalls across and bring it in. YAY! All smiles again…
Our orders were served fast. They were yummy though some of the dishes were spicy! Can you imagine for 6 very hungry people the bill for the belos was less than 30 USD?!? Crazy!
- Ayam goren Cabe Hijau (/ekor)
- Sawo Terong Small (talong) (S)
- Kangkung terasi (M)
- Angsio Tahu Jepang (s)
- Hot tea
- coco cola
- Fresh lime juice
Some people from the group found the food stall of IBU RITA (Selat Panjang No. 26, Medan) and found the much sought-after pork!
My friend S, recommended that we try the Babi Merah (Babi means pork and merah means red) which the Chinese call Pork Char Siew. We also got some plain roasted pork which had crispy skin. YUM.
(2 different kinds of pork Php 75 + Php 40)
MY CAFE & BABI MERAH Part II
We visited other restaurants in Medan but we couldn’t get the Babi Merah (Pork Char Siew) out of our minds so we actually went back! Fewer in number but with our tummies still rumbling. =P According to a local the stalls on this particular street (jalan) are really famous for their BABI MERAH (Char Siu Babi)
Ibu Rita and her husband were happy to see us.
Ibu Rita told us to choose the Babi Merah in the back where they roast then cut up their different pork dishes (they also have pork sausages, deng-deng and pig’s ears)
Her husband was jolly and accommodating. Below is the MASSIVE oven where they roast the Babi Merah.
This for us was a truly local experience. Below right is the pork deng deng which was really good (free taste!). I wish we bought some to bring home. Seriously. It’s like the tasty jerky from Jalan Alor in KL.
There were many other stalls on the street. Selling other things like these colorful buns…
But we were happy with our Babi Merah and went back to My Cafe, for almost the same dishes we ordered last time (seafood) plus this crispy fried tofu…We were happy customers. I planned to have a beer (or maybe scotch?) after but by the time we were done, I couldn’t even think of drinking! (They serve alcoholic beverages in My Cafe)
The best thing about My Cafe is that it is actually part of a boutique hotel called My Hotel, so we didn’t have a problem going back to JW Marriott despite the late hour. They can either call a cab for you or if none is available, they have their own hotel service. I took a few pics of the lobby…
TD and I agree that the BABI MERAH (Char Siu Babi) was THE BEST discovery of the entire trip. Seriously! I would love to attempt making this or this babi merah recipe one day! And eating in My Cafe was the best way to have it… in the comfort of an air-conditioned resto with great seafood and vegetable dishes!
IBU RITA’S BABI MERAH
Selat Panjang No. 26, Medan (across the back entrance of My Cafe)
Jl. Surabaya No.88, Medan, Indonesia – 20212
+62 – 61 – 4555 500
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