As some of you who previously read my article might be known that I went to North Sumatra for the first time – actually it’s like… Finally! Yes, I actually been there when I was a baby – but what a baby can remember? Nothing. So my trip as an adult to the place where both of my parents came from really such a good way to learn about my root and seeing in in adult’s eyes.
But, instead of writing about the land – I really wanna share to you about my fave part of the trip! About the food I ate there!! *Hahaha* Ohhh, it was such a heaven for me! I like almost all food I ate there. Seriously! Except for few “strange” food for me hehehe.
Let’s follow my food journey in the land of Batak people (Batak is the race that living in North Sumatra)…
First stop to reaching Danau Toba (Toba Lake – where my dad was born) of course is to go from Medan first. We made one night stop in Medan because honestly, I don’t fancy big city. For me, Medan is too crowded and kind of similar with Jakarta, so when our flight arrived around 6 pm and after a bit effort to find our hostel, eventually we only able to went to Merdeka Walk – which at that time celebrating the Chinese New Year by making a huge stage where people doing performance there. The place is sooo crowded, but we managed to find a good place to sit and eat. I chose Ayam Cabe Ijo there. For you who live in Jakarta or Java, might think – ah, it’s the same with here. I can say so, but the sambal (chilly sauce) is different. They had nicer and hotter taste! Since Medan also influenced a lot by Malay cuisine, so you can find some of Malay’s food such as Laksa, here.
Then I started to indulge my curiosity about Batak’s food…
It may looks strange for you, but don’t say anything until let it comes inside your mouth.. then judge. If you don’t like hot and spicy food, it might be a trouble for you, but since I like spicy food a lot, it’s like my self-gratification to eat as much as I could when I was there. Yeahhh forget about diet!
While travel, I always try my best to try different food that I always have at home. So it’s really such an adventure for me, even to be honest, I avoid to eat Saksang (a pork cuisine but cooked with raw blood – blood of pig of course, not human, hehe). For some people, Saksang probably already modified by not putting pig’s blood anymore there, but in Lake Toba, it’s still authentic, so no thank you. I prefer to eat Grilled Pork.
But if you are Moslem and can’t eat pork – or don’t like pork, don’t worry. I see lots of Moslem Restaurants in Tuktuk (Lake Toba) as well. Indeed, even in the whole town I passed, so many Moslem Restaurant. That’s because in North Sumatera, the people already mixed and live together in harmony. I can see lots of Mosques, Protestant’s Churches, Catholic’s Churches, Buddhist’s Temple and Hindu’s Temple standing easily there.
Some restaurant served “normal” food like this…
So don’t stop your curiosity to explore this beautiful place even we eat pork!
But don’t worry, we are not Obelixs who only eat pork.. There are also so many delicious Batak’s food that you can try. For instance, Arsik, Chicken curry – which tasted different with Indian’s curry, Mie Gomak (a traditional noodle) etc etc… Only I was a bit sad that I can’t find Lapet, a steamed cake made by rice or sticky rice boiled with coconut milk and inside is brown sugar.. Huhuhuuu, I love that and can’t find it there.
If you can’t find this always moving seller.. Don’t worry, you can order Mie Gomak in some restaurant there…
Since you are in North Sumatra, why don’t you give yourself a try of our traditional liquor? I did! And probably you need to go to places where locals hang out, rather than the “western-kind-of-look” restaurant to find Tuak (our traditional liquor). It is made from palm sugar fruits fermented so it has liquor inside. The taste is ok, but I don’t like the smell. For me it’s so baaaadddd hahaha.
Was so funny drinking Tuak with this tulang (uncle in Batak’s language).
Last but not least, it’s a place where durian grows so healthily and sweet! So don’t leave this place without trying durian! It’s heaven 😀
Durian Durian Durian.. Yeaayyyyy!
If you wanna know about my journey in North Sumatra, keep reading 😉 *pinky promise*