Sunday, 24 July 2011

Eating in Medan: Tiong Sim Noodle

Now that I've organised all the photos, I think it's a good time to tell you about my trip to Indonesia a few weeks ago.

My journey to Medan, the capital of North Sumatra in Indonesia took just over 20 hours, flight and transit. A quick one hour flight from Newcastle to London, followed by 13 hours non-stop flight to Singapore. I actually really enjoy long flights... I find it strangely relaxing. You know, you have own little space, no one can contact you and you have those hours to watch films on the little telly, catch up with your readings whilst drinking. What not to like?! I also quite like plane food, on long flights only. Some airlines do provide good service and I tend to fly with the same company. My favourite is Singapore Airlines. I didn't fly first class or anything (I wish!), just the regular economy. Then from Singapore, it's another one hour flight to Medan.

I was very excited to visit Medan. As you may already know, I was born and raised in this city. This was my first visit in four years, so I was well excited to be reunited with my family, friends and the foods I love.

It is common knowledge for people who live in western part of Indonesia that Medan is known for two things: One, horrific traffic. It's just mad. Driving in Medan is possibly one of the most challenging task. I used to drive here and I couldn't do it any more, especially with my awful sense of direction. Two, absolutely fantastic food. I don't even know where to begin explaining this. People from all over Indonesia and neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Singapore would come to Medan just to eat. You can eat at fancy restaurants, but some of the most delicious places to eat are actually the not-so-big restaurants but very well-known. Do ask the locals.

Medan is the third largest city in Indonesia with population of approximately 2.5 million people. The population is mainly made up of Bataknese, Javanese, Minang, Chinese and Indian. Medan's multi cultural society is truly reflected in its cuisines. I ate a lot, I mean like A LOT during the 2 weeks when I was there.

Perhaps, I'll start here - Medan is popular for having a wide variety of Chinese noodles and I am a freak for noodles. Mi Tiong Sim is one of the most popular noodle shops in Medan. It is located at Selat Panjang street where some of the oldest Chinese eateries can be found here and is definitely the place to go for some great food. In the evening, the street is packed with stalls selling all kinds of dishes, loads of noodles, but you can also get steamed buns, stir fried dishes, satay, chicken rice, etc.

So, what's actually in Mi Tiong Sim? By the way, before I forget, Mi or sometimes also spelled Mie means noodle and Tiong Sim is the brand. Tiong Sim noodle is handmade and is very thin as you can hopefully see. The cooked and seasoned noodles are topped with thin slices of char siew pork (Chinese barbecued pork), pork dumplings, shredded chicken, slices of spring onions and crispy shallots. Served on the side are slices of chilli and a bowl of fragrant pork broth. Utterly delicious.


Besides noodles, the shop also offers varieties of congee and pek cam ke, steamed chicken in garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. Served with fresh coriander leaves, spring onions, ginger and salty, sour vegetable which name I cannot remember.


Another side dish I love and I know it's not to everyone's taste, is hati dan ampela ayam (chicken liver and gizzards). I think they're absolutely delicious, but they must be cooked correctly.


The eating continues...

19 comments:

  1. I have heard a lot of good things about Singapore Airlines-especially the first class compartment (smile). Like you, I travel economy. I can't say that I enjoy long flights. I feel cramped and claustrophobic. (sigh).

    I can imagine the food flavors, textures and scents in Indonesia. Wow. No doubt this would be a food lovers delight minus the traffic.

    Looking forward to more of your travel posts.

    Velva

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KAMI SEKELUARGA MENGUCAPKAN BANYAK TERIMA KASIH ATAS BANTUANNYA MBAH , NOMOR YANG MBAH BERIKAN/ 4D SGP& HK SAYA DAPAT (350) JUTA ALHAMDULILLAH TEMBUS, SELURUH HUTANG2 SAYA SUDAH SAYA LUNAS DAN KAMI BISAH USAHA LAGI. JIKA ANDA INGIN SEPERTI SAYA HUB MBAH_PURO _085_342_734_904_ terima kasih.

      KAMI SEKELUARGA MENGUCAPKAN BANYAK TERIMA KASIH ATAS BANTUANNYA MBAH , NOMOR YANG MBAH BERIKAN/ 4D SGP& HK SAYA DAPAT (350) JUTA ALHAMDULILLAH TEMBUS, SELURUH HUTANG2 SAYA SUDAH SAYA LUNAS DAN KAMI BISAH USAHA LAGI. JIKA ANDA INGIN SEPERTI SAYA HUB MBAH_PURO _085_342_734_904_ terima kasih.


      KAMI SEKELUARGA MENGUCAPKAN BANYAK TERIMA KASIH ATAS BANTUANNYA MBAH , NOMOR YANG MBAH BERIKAN/ 4D SGP& HK SAYA DAPAT (350) JUTA ALHAMDULILLAH TEMBUS, SELURUH HUTANG2 SAYA SUDAH SAYA LUNAS DAN KAMI BISAH USAHA LAGI. JIKA ANDA INGIN SEPERTI SAYA HUB MBAH_PURO _085_342_734_904_ terima kasih.


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  2. What a treat! How lucky you are to enjoy the long trips. I don't envy you the traffic there, but O the wonderful food! Cheers!

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  3. oh do let the eating trail continue as I for one would love to hear of your ventures... thanks for taking us along, this is the only way I will ever know of such a place and love hearing of such foods - yes, your first plate I know I would enjoy immensely as well as the chicken, I do like gizzards but have lost my taste for liver from bad foie gras once...what else happened?

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  4. Your description of a 20-hour flight sounds so poetic that I almost think that it is actually a pleasure to fly. I love to travel but dread heights. So I'm with you about being on an airplane: drinking is a must, and lots of movies. I also take a prescribed anti-anxiety medication.

    That said, I'd love to go to Indonesia sometime. You make it sound fantastic. Hope that your family reunion went swimmingly!

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  5. yes, keep that eating going! how much fun!

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  6. Hehe I do find the forced downtime relaxing on planes. I mean there's only so much you can do without an internet connection :) The food looks delicious Michael!

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  7. I haven't been to Medan for 14 years now... One of my top 3 spot in Jakarta is Kway teow place from Medan.
    I didn't know Medan is third, I would have thought a lot of Java cities and Bali would have bigger populations. Hmmm learning something new everyday (obviously my Indonesian primary school knowledge is gone by now! Hahaha)

    I remember how bad it was to travel around Medan, big applause to you for attempting to drive there.

    And definitely miss my Indonesian servings of Oval! Yum! Sounds like you had a great time there.

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  8. Oh Michael, I am soooo insanely jealous!!! What a fabulous food experience! Thanks for the picture and walking us through it all. I can almost smell it through the computer screen!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
    www.mawhats4dinner.com

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  9. Wow sounds like a fantastic trip...very long, but fantastic :) Great looking food and photos, I am a big fan of noodles as well :)
    Hope you have a great week Michael

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  10. Michael, thank you for the travelogue. I cook chicken gizzards and hearts and livers from time to time and would love to have you tell me the Indonesian method. As usual, it's easiest to be in touch at scrout1944@msn.com.

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  11. From Medan? I've a blogger-friend here in Sibu from there, married to a Sibu Foochow guy. Ah....no place like home and nothing like our own local favourites. Your noodles look like our Sibu kampua and the chicken looks like the steamed ones that we have for our chicken rice here.

    Btw, thanks for dropping by my blog. I've linked you in my blogroll. Do come again. Any chance of you coming to Sibu? Most welcome... Lots of food here too. LOL!!

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  12. sounds like a fun trip and great food not sure I share your love of long flights though wait to you have a kid he he

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  13. What a fun trip! I love our little tour through the food of Medan. It all sounds and looks so wonderful!!
    Great.. now I'm starving :)

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  14. All of the food in Medan looks so good! Wish there was an Indonesian restaurant over here.

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  15. So it really was coming home for you, wasn't it? How wonderful. I loved reading about the food, Medan sounds like the place to go for fabulous meals!

    But you'll never convince me that air travel is fun...especially the long trips. I never enjoyed them and it's a nightmare with kids.

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  16. The A380 on SQ is an experience, especially the first class cabins where you get your own mini-cabin and designer pajamas to change into! I know this only from the ads, of course:-). I live for the long hauls, it gets me away from the kids and it's like a mini-retreat for me.

    Michael, love your recount of eateries in Medan. Went there over 20 years ago when I was still single and like you, I ate A LOT too!

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  17. Hey Michael!

    Thanks for stopping by! I haven't been to Medan for almost 11 years. Many of extended paternal families live in Medan. The last time I went there I ate too much durians and got sick of them. LOL. I stopped eating durian for almost 5-6 years. I started eating it again after 3 years I have been in Canada :)

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  18. loving the rundown on medan (: i'm glad you like singapore airlines haha, it's my favourite airline too! airplane food's even not bad. anyway, love gizzzards too (: must be an asian thing!

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