Sept, 2022 - The Taste of Medan

As I exited my Grab Car at the entrance of the restaurant, my eyes lit up on the sign board, ‘Authentic Medan food since 1964’. Wow what a coincidence. This proved to be a good omen in more than one way as the food proved to be delicious and I won a quiz  question based on this!


This amazing find sits in the middle of the busy district of Segambut, Kuala Lumpur. Parking is a problem, so we were advised to take a taxi there.


The lunch was organised by Chua Siew Yen and Angela Wijaya, 1st time Enak Hosts. They selected the menu, prepared the quiz questions, printed and prepared the information sheets and menu.


They also organised a personalised gift for each of us. The bottled fried ikan bilis (anchovies) and nuts were spicy, crunchy and crispy.


Lam Lai Meng provided her personally crafted hats as gifts for the Enak hosts.

The appetizers were served first ‘ acar, perkedel, tahu isi as well as a chili dip’.  The perkedel were large and tasty. They were similar to potato cutlets. The tahu isi was a revelation as you had to bite into it to find a stuffing of tofu and shredded vegetables. After stuffing the tofu they probably dipped it in a batter and deep fried them.


A very refreshing dip of ground chilies was served along with our dishes. The acar was my personal favorite. It was not too vinegary or sharp and was tapered with crushed peanuts on top. The julienned pickled vegetables in the acar were still crunchy to the bite.

For the main course the restaurant offered us nasi lemak (coconut rice) with one of the four choices of spiced fried chicken, squid sambal, chicken rendang or sambal egg. The sambal here is similar to Malaysian sambal which is made of a blend of onions, chilies and belacan.

The Enakers at my table were adventurous and selected one of each.


Our food was served in a paper wrapper like what they use to pack nasi lemak in Malaysia. My rendang, like everyone else’s came with a selection of complimentary items like boiled and shredded eggs, sliced cucumber, French beans, mung bean noodles and fried cassava chips and peanuts. There was a sprinkling of a mix of fried coconut, anchovies and chilli flakes on top of the rice. 


We were encouraged to toss everything together before eating. I didn’t because I wanted to taste each item individually.


My chicken rendang was tender and the gravy smooth and creamy. I did like the sambal on the side as it added a spicy hot kick to my rice. Everyone enjoyed their food and some of us managed to get a sneak taste from our friend’s plate. I got to try the sotong sambal on Mike’s plate and it was fabulous.


The ayam goreng berempah (spicy fried chicken) was another winner. I must say that the seating was a little hard on some of us. The restaurant uses stools around the tables. If possible, try and grab a bench along the wall when looking for a seat.

The dessert of kue lupis and sate ubi was delicious.  Both dishes were made of boiled roots like taro and cassava. Lots of sweet, shredded coconut and brown sugar were used as toppings.

Medan’s proximity to Penang is said to be the reason for its similarity with Nyonya cuisine. Items like the pai tee and the stuffed tofu, the soto and sambals are cousins to Medan’s dishes. This similarity makes it easier to navigate the menu and to be honest the food here was good and the portions were large and worth the visit.


Mid way through our lunch we had a quiz and I won a prize for the first question. You guessed it, the question was ‘What year was Taste of Medan established and I jumped up with the answer ‘ 1964’.  Terrence was quick to point out that it was my year of birth. The quiz was a fun time for all of us.


Winners received packed food or drink items from the restaurant.

It was another successful Enak outing.


Review by Santhi Nair-Moine