Late Night Guide: Medan
Dec 02, 2019

Late Night Guide: Medan

Let us (Debbie Wong) take you to bustling Medan and walk you through places to eat, and fun things you could do in Medan.

Medan is a bustling, multicultural metropolis, with a long history as a centre for trade and commerce. So much so that the Dutch even called it “the land of money”. North Sumatra’s capital has plenty of beautiful sights and delicious food that will satisfy you throughout the day and night.

Tourists use Medan as a stepping stone to other exciting destinations in Sumatra. However, if you dig a little deeper and take your time to explore the city, you’ll find that Medan much more than just a pit stop.

Walking through Medan, you can see the city’s history, with Dutch-style colonial buildings alongside traditional Indonesian street food vendors, modern cafés, bars and shopping malls. The mishmash of cultures contributes to a vibrant food scene, which truly comes alive at night. Satisfy your cravings in this foodie heaven with this Late Night Guide!

Eat

BPK Tesalonika

Jamin Ginting No.103, Simpang Selayang, Medan Tuntungan, Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20135, Indonesia

Monday to Saturday | 8am to 10pm

Sunday | 8am to 9pm

Deep in Medan’s history, committing a crime could be punished by death… by cannibalism! Fortunately, modern Medan’s culinary offerings are somewhat more wholesome.

At BPK Tesalonika, they serve one of the most popular dishes in Northern Sumatra – Babi Panggang Karo (Karonese Roasted Pork), which the restaurant is named after. Found typically amongst the Karo tribe, this traditional Batak dish is a favorite in Medan. The juicy pork meat is grilled to perfection with the most aromatic Karonese spices. 

BPK’s version is rated by some as the best in Indonesia, especially tasty as they use finer slices from the best cuts of meat. Pork lovers are in for a real treat!

The traditional sauce also is made with pig’s blood and chili. Seasoned with herbs and cooked over charcoal until it turns brown, this sauce is surprisingly punchy with a spicy kick. It goes so well with the meat – you simply can’t get enough of it.

You can order the pork by weight, or as a complete meal with rice, soup, and a side of mashed cassava leaves and torched ginger. You are guaranteed to have an amazing spread at a really great price.

Si Bolang Durian

Jalan Iskandar Muda No. 75 C-D, Medan Baru, Babura, Medan Baru, Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20153, Indonesia

Monday to Sunday | Open 24 hours

People either love or hate the King of Fruits - the durian. Si Bolang Durian is definitely for durian lovers. It’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and has made its mark in Medan with an open outdoor café-style concept. Quirky durian displays adorn the establishment – from cute replicas of durian trees, to a pickup truck with a giant durian propped up against the cargo bed, to a motorbike with a durian-shaped sidecar. Besides enjoying the durians, you see customers having a laugh and taking pictures with these iconic displays. But while the decorations are entertaining, what really brings people back is the amazing service, the quality of the durians and the variety of durian-flavored products.

Aside from trying the different kinds of fresh durian fruit, we highly recommend the durian pancakes – durian-flavored cream filling rolled in a thin crepe-like wrap, this yummy snack is soft, moist and fluffy. If you prefer something to cool you down, then their creamy durian ice cream would do the trick.

There’s no better place to enjoy the King of Fruits! Si Bolang Durian is clean, comfortable and has excellent service. If you love durians, this will be a memorable experience. If not, it will be torture.

Kodon Kodon Café

Jalan Raya Merek Km 9, Sidikalang, Kodon-Kodon, Merek, Kabupaten Karo, Sumatera Utara 22173, Indonesia

Monday to Sunday | 9.30am to 8pm

Located at Taman Simalem Resort on the edge of a rainforest, Kodon Kodon Café serves authentic local cuisine. The food selection isn’t wide, but what they have on the menu is satisfying and the views are fantastic. If you need a fulfilling Indonesian breakfast after a long night out, you have to try the Soto Ayam Medan.

Tasty chicken strips are cooked in coconut milk broth. This bowl of goodness is the perfect comfort food, but if you’re not in the mood for chicken, they also serve the Soto with beef or shrimp. The yellowish soup is a highlight of the dish. Flavourful and aromatic, you won’t want to leave behind a single drop. It is served with potato pancakes and chili sauce and is the perfect way to start your day.

Do

Lake Toba

When you have had your fill of Medan city and its delicious food, reward yourself with a trip to Lake Toba. A breathtaking natural wonder, Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world. This gigantic crater lake is over 1,100 square kilometers, roughly 50% bigger than the whole of Singapore. 

A four-hour drive away from central Medan, Lake Toba is a welcome retreat from the daily routine and hustle of the city. The climate is cool and refreshing, as it should be at 900 metres above sea level. Take a sweater and snuggle up with your loved ones against a backdrop of mountains and a clear blue lake.

Explore the vast surroundings of the lake, take a boat ride from Tongging Village. Find the Sipiso-piso waterfall at the northern tip of the lake. This is the highest plunge waterfall in Indonesia, the water blasting from a cave in the cliff face rather than from a surface river.

Medan still doesn’t attract many travellers, but this underrated gem has unlimited delicious food options and great sights to see. With all that it has to offer, you shouldn’t overlook Medan when considering your next holiday.

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