Cool your self from the sunny Medan with old school home made ice cream


Yes, I agree with you that Medan sometimes can be super sunny even for equator-born gal like me. I often seek for small restos or tents that offers not only cool remedy for my sweaty body but also some history for my mind.

One of my aunt’s favorite is Ria ice cream at Surabaya street, Medan.


Watch carefully for this non-challant sign. Psst, I always missed it and make our driver took another turn. it happened every time.

You must look carefully for not so obvious sign board at noon. The sate padang and martabak carts displaying their food in front weren’t helping the store to be easier to find either. That’s how old school they are. My mother in law and my aunt said that the store had been around since their teenagers. Wow, that’s like 25-30 years ago!


My aunt’s fave combo; choc-orange with lychee.

The selection of ice cream flavours really describe their glorious history at the 70’s and 80’s. Sweet corn, oranges, very light chocolate flavor (back then, chocolate and milk were expensive), light strawberry and durian. They also mix the ice cream with fresh or canned fruits, like lychee, palm fruits, papayas. My mom’s favourite is the ice cream soda, with plain soda water and sliced fruits. Oh so vintage but yet so appropriate with the Medan vibe and repelled the heat effectively. We don’t want heavy milky ice cream on a very hot and humid day, we just want cold freshness that light and easy breezy like the long waited wind on summer days.


My 1st try was the sweet corn and kopyor (or young coconut) with palm fruits condiment


Hmm mommy with her ice cream soda, but her eyes wandering to the martabak vendors at front. They also great, but I recommend to eat separately from the ice cream to be able to appreciate each dish better. PS: I eventually bought her one portion of martabak (savoury pancake made from plenty of eggs, mince meats and green onions) to go for her late snack at the hotel.


Soto Padang; a bowl of warmth for lazy Sunday morning


Weekend is finally come again!

After grueling week, one thing that will make my weekend morning perfect is a bowl of Soto Padang (Padangnese style beefy soup).

If you look at the bowl, it would seem humble, like nothing special. But one bowl of good Soto Padang will cost approximately three bowl of mediocre ones. For the common, this dish seemed unworthy the extra cash, since the fillings are the same: sliced aged beef (dendeng kering), glass noodles, potato fritter, spring onion, celery leaves and sambal.

The secret of Soto Padang is in the broth. Like Anthony Bourdain always said, the broth will make or brake soupy dish. The layered flavor of saltiness, umami, beefy and mild spices are so different between the great bowl and the regular ones.

Don’t believe me? Go  and find the nearest Soto Padang restaurant, or visit my family’s favorite by H. St. Mangkuto at Pasar Baru area in Jakarta. When you got your bowl, don’t winch on the small size bowl because you will eat them with a plate of rice. First thing to do is slurping the broth only with your eyes closed before adding anything to it.

Same bowl different taste

If you buy Soto Padang anywhere in Indonesia, this is the normal serving size and style. Relatively smaller bowl compared to other Soto dish. But somehow always this is the correct portion for such an intense soup.

What's in it?

See what I meant? Anywhere you go for Soto Padang, the filling always similar. Sliced beef, glass noodles and sliced potato fritatas.

This is how we eat it

This is how we eat it, add sambal and plain rice. That’s why, the test will be the first slurp of naked broth.

Extra crunch

Extra crunch can’t be bad, right? Keripik balado (spicy cassava chips), Emping or any tipe of rice crackers usually lying around the table. Or ask for Keripik Paru (beef’s lung sliced and processed then deep fried to crispy) for bold flavor.

Sweet tooth?

If you still got enough space in the gut, don’t miss traditional rice flour based cakes. Crave healer for the sweet tooth.

The restaurant at Pasar Baru, Jakarta

The restaurant at Pasar Baru, Jakarta

Pagi Sore Masakan Padang (Rawa Mangun Muka, East Jakarta)

Padangnese food that costumed to general taste, friendly spiciness for newbie

Padangnese food that costumed to general taste, friendly spiciness for newbie

One of my favorite "Tunjang" (Beef tendon stewed in light coconut milk and spice)

One of my favorite “Tunjang” (Beef tendon stewed in light coconut milk and spice)

My husband's all time favorite "Ayam Goreng Padang" (Skinless and spiced free ranged chicken)

My husband’s all time favorite “Ayam Goreng Padang” (Skinless and spiced free ranged chicken)

My Mom's favorite "Balado Cumi" (Stir fry a whole squid in chili sauce)

My Mom’s favorite “Balado Cumi” (Stir fry a whole squid in chili sauce)

Ethnic dessert "Sarikaya" (frozen coconut milk custard with green coloring)

Ethnic dessert “Sarikaya” (frozen coconut milk custard with green coloring)

Even though this is a restaurant, with good furniture and air conditioner, the proper way to eat still using our hand directly. Don’t hesitate to put a huge pinch of rice and condiment into your wide opened mouth. It’s just how we do it, nothing about politeness. Although one must comply etiquette when you eat at Padangnese restaurant is You Touch, You Eat. This policy are needed because the meal comes in many small plates, like tapas. While everyone have their own individual plate with plain white rice as much as we want. Then every body took the condiments and or protein they want from the small plates. The plate are the small and shared ortion,

The spice and herb that they used are very mild. So this will be much more suitable for you as a newbie in the spicy food world, or Indonesian/ Malay food.

It’s gettin’ HOT in here ….

Straw-kiwi slushy, by product while cleaning my freezer

Indonesia only has two season, dry and wet/ rainy. But these days the dry season, which usually overlapped with summer time in four season countries, getting hotter every year. Specially when Ramadhan or fasting month for moslem come along. The hot and humid climate makes me crave for something cold and sweet. I’m taking the advantage before my fasting begins, indulge eating cold beverages under the sun.

Yesterday I made strawberry and kiwi slushy with a touch of organic honey from Nusa Tenggara Timur. Yes, I’m emptying the fridge and gave my self a treat.

Straw-kiwi slushy, by product while cleaning my freezer

Straw-kiwi slushy, by product while cleaning my freezer

Good quality and bargain strawberries some times difficult to find. So, when I found a discount price for good plumpy bright red strawberries I bought in bulk. My mom alway said, we can freeze them up to 2-3 months and still in good condition. This batch have been in the freeze since May 2012. When I open the package they were shrinked a little, but not ruined. I found two frozen kiwi as well and blitz them all together into slushy. Sluurrrp…….. brain freeze!!!!

Last night, I was sweating in the air conditioned room. All alone in the house, waiting for hubby to come home, I craved for another round of cold and sweet treat. Almost midnight, I went out and go the nearest 24 hour mini market and bought Diamond Ice cream.

I had imagine eating cold and sweet ice cream with Gambang bread ( a traditional yeast free bread, infused with cinnamon-brown sugar-sesame seeds). I can’t find any tricycled bread vendor, although they usually available until midnight cycling around my neighborhood. I bought almond chocolate and Kue Lapis instead.

I bought two flavor of Diamond ice cream: Coconut and Purple sticky rice. It reminded me of my childhood flavor. The sweet coconutty pink ice cream with chunks of young coconut flesh paired with the almond chocolate bread. The hint of sourness from purple sticky rice concoction with rice bits compliment the firm Kue Lapis Legit (also known as Spekoek or Thousand layer cake, which was basically a dense cake made by dozens of layer butter and spekoek dough).

The Chinese or Indo-chine decedent create this cake to celebrate Chinese New Year. 15-17 layers describe hope for more fortune and sweet life in the future. From other source, this cake were handed over by the Dutch during colonial era.

A Dutch/Indonesian butter cake, best-known for being served with coffee after the ever-popular Dutch/Indonesian rijsttaffel. A good Spekkoek will have at least 12 layers or more. The heat of the grill browns the top of each layer, giving the cut cake its neat horizontal striped look. Spekkoek will keep moist and fresh in a cake tin or in the fridge for a week, well wrapped in a greaseproof paper. It can also be frozen if wrapped in a layer of aluminium foil. Because of the richness of the cake, it tends to be served in very small pieces, usually thin slices.

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I can’t wait too long to make the prettiest picture or sliced my cake and bread thinly.  My ice cream were melting and I’m sweet deprived….

Ice cream sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches

After all that manic moments, when the sugar high over, what’s left were a big mess on my dining table.

Coconut and Purple Sticky Rice flavored ice cream by Diamond

Coconut and Purple Sticky Rice flavored ice cream by Diamond