When it comes to food, Medan has an astonishing variety of dishes. Hence, even people with extremely sensitive stomachs that can’t take exotic local cuisines need not worry as there are lots of restaurants around the city serving more familiar international favorites. Actually, most restaurants and cafés have their individual food and beverage menus that have a wide array of international cuisines, from Western to Asian dishes, so you don’t have to look far in search for something delectable when eating and drinking in Medan.
Surprisingly, more than 10% of Medan’s population belongs to the Chinese race, higher than the average national percentage of 4%. As such, don’t be surprised to hear a bit of Hokkien combined with Bahasa Indonesia. The Chinese influence in Medan is not only reflected on the language but also in their traditional cuisine with readily available choices like hokkien mee, tiongsim mie and duck noodles. Other popular choices include Tau Kua Heci made from prawns, tofu, crabs and soup, Sate Padang and Putu Bambu.
In Jalan Kumango, you can visit Hock Seng Hokkien Mie that serves noodles with stewed pork slices, prawn cake, fish balls, and small oysters. On the same road is Bihon Bebek Kumango, which serves duck vermicelli at Rp 38,000 per bowl, the priciest breakfast in town but often visited by plenty of locals and tourists.
For Sundanese food, Koki Sunda serves delicious Sundanese food and beverages like Es Delima and Nasi Liwet. For authentic Chinese cuisine, visit Selat Panjang, Semarang Streets and Sumatera Streets where some of the oldest restaurants in Medan are located. If you prefer halal, you can ask for a no-pork version of the dish. You can also visit Kampung Keiling or Little India where most Indian restaurants are found such as Pagaruyung Alley and Cahaya Baru Indian Restaurant. Other interesting eating places include Blue Apple Frozen Yoghurt , Roland’s German Restaurant, Gelato Bar, Obonk Steak Restaurant and Apek’s Coffee House.
The best part when eating and drinking in Medan is that alcoholic beverages are cheap and the food is passable. When it comes to Medan’s nightlife, it offers as much entertainment like other cities in Indonesia. There are plenty of pubs, lounges and nightclubs in the city center. An entertainment complex, Capital Building, is one popular hangout place during evening located near the Post office at Jalan Putri Hijau. The city is also full of karaoke bars; amongst popular choices include K2-Karaoke Keluarga, Jet Plane KTV, Equator KTV & Pub and Tropicana KTV. Another well-known spot for expats and elite class is the Entrance, Karaoke and Bistro located at the ground floor at Grand Aston Hotel. For classy bars and lounge, you can check out Cava Lounge, Vintage Wine Shop at Grand Angkasa Hotel Lobby, Shoot Pool Bar and Lounge, The Tavern and the Medan Club.
If you want an al fresco, hawker-style place for eating and drinking in Medan, the ever-famous Kesawan Square and Merdeka Walk are the best choices. With the complex of cafeteria, café and restaurants, both are known as the hottest spots among the youth, ideal for dining and chatting with friends.