Pondok Rasa – Excellent Traditional Home Cooked Medan Food
Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, is a melting pot of cultures with more than eight ethnic groups living there, this makes the city a foodie’s haven. Because of its wide variety of delicious of cuisine, a group of young and talented Medan people living in Singapore decided to open a restaurant called Pondok Rasa, to share the food with the locals.
Pondok Rasa offers a range of authentic Medan food, with traditional home-style recipes handed down over generations and exotic local spices imported directly from Medan. The chef is only in the 20s (and younger than me). Oh mine, so young and can cook so well! All the dishes, including the sauces here are prepared by him, and he picked it up from his grandmother.
|Nasi Tim Ayam (Stewed Chicken Rice, $5.30)|
Nasi Tim Ayam (Steamed Chicken Rice) is a Chinese Indonesian dish, and very similar to Lo Mai Gai (but it doesn’t use glutinous rice). The chicken, button mushroom, black fungus and shiitake mushrooms are well seasoned in garlic and soy sauce and served with fragrant rice and pickled vegetables.
|Ayam Bakar (Grilled Chicken Set, $6.80)|
The Ayam Bakar is one of the popular dish in the restaurant. Though the skin is a bit burnt, the chicken is well marinated with a good char-grilled flavour. The meat can almost fall off the bone, but still retains a nice bite. The homemade chilli is the thing to die for. It is spicy enough and makes you crave for more!
|Soto Medan ($5.80 – $6.80)|
This Soto Medan is other variant of Soto. Coconut was added into it which gives it a very sweet flavour. You can choose to cook it with prawns or chicken, in this case, the prawns are very fresh.
|Nasi Goreng ($5.30)|
Something new on the menu is Indonesia Fried Rice. I think Singaporeans (like me) are always happy when we see our plates full. This dish gave me a happy feeling because there is achar, prawn crackers and sunny side up. The rice is fried with shredded chicken.
|Pecel (Vegetables in Peanut Sauce, $5.80)|
Pecel is similar to the sauce used in Gado-gado but it is served with long beans, bean sprouts, tapioca leaf, cucumber, round cabbage, tofu, tempeh and peanut crackers.
|Mi Sop Ayam (Chicken Noodle Soup, $5.30)|
Mi Sop Ayam (chicken noodle soup) is a popular and affordable street food with bits of shredded chicken, carrot, spring onion, fried shallot, prawn crackers, yellow noodles and rice vermicelli. The chicken stock with well flavoured as compared to our local Mee Soto and the crackers gave an additional crunch. If you love chilli, add some dark sweet sauce and homemade chilli to go with it.
|Kari (Curry, $5.80 – $6.80)|
I am not a fan of this because I find it too watery and too little ingredients. You can choose either rice or vermicelli to go with it.
|Perkedel (potato cake, $2)|
Perkedel (potato croquette) is Indonesian side dish that is originated from dutch food’s frikandel. The mashed potatoes is mixed with spices such as shallots and garlic, and then shaped into round patties before deep-fried till golden.
Corn Kernal, dried orange skin and slasih are served with in a clear drink. I was actually hoping that they served with crushed ice, it will taste much better.
|Pisang Bumbu (Banana Fritter and Peanut Sauce, $4)|
We certainly like the banana fritters but when mixed with the savoury peanut sauce from Pecel, it didn’t go well together. I think the thickness and flavour of peanut sauce was too heavy and it covered the sweetness from the banana.
|Kolak Pisang ($4)|
Kolak pisang is simply braised banana with palm sugar and coconut gravy. It is a local Medan dessert but resembles our bo bo cha cha (can’t help it, I always try to link to food I have tasted before). In this dessert, there are also sweet potatoes, tapioca and corn kernel.
Not only for the food, Medan is also one of the best for its beverage products. Here we can find Jus Terong Belanda (Tamarillo Juice, $2.50) and Jus Markisa (Passion Fruit Juice, $2.50), two of the more popular drinks for the hot weather. The passionfruit are specially imported from the homeland, very refreshing indeed.
Address: 103 Beach Road #01-02 (Marrison Hotel)
Tel: +65 6333 1239
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