Banda Aceh: Gunung Salju

I must confess that when it comes to chicken steak and noodles, I’m very much a huge fan of both. So it was such a delight when I had the chance to see both items on one plate during my experience at Gunung Salju.

Established in 1978, Gunung Salju remains one of the most popular family joints in Aceh despite having been in existence for three generations. Its signature items are its ice cream and Mie Steak Ayam, with the latter being a must-try dish in the Port to Mecca.

After discovering many good reviews about the restaurant, I dropped by during my time in town. It was 7pm – the beginning of dinner time – and the place was filled to capacity. I took a gander around the joint, and saw that each and every table had a plate of either a Mie Steak Ayam or Steak Ayam. I saw this as a good omen, so without missing a beat, I ordered a portion of Mie Steak Ayam.

I had mixed feelings when I saw what I asked for as the waitress placed my Mie Steak Ayam on the table. Appearance-wise, it was the most unusual dish I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I felt like telling the staff that egg noodles and chicken steak go together like chalk and cheese – they’re never meant to exist side by side.

Of course, as the good person that I am, I kept my mouth shut, grabbed my fork, and began to dig in. However, to avoid any unpleasant surprises, I chose to eat them separately. The chicken steak was just perfect. Battered in all-purpose flour and corn starch, it features a crunchy and savoury exterior, complemented well by the gravy that was served alongside it. With the knowledge that everything tasted normal, I mixed the noodles with the gravy. As soon as I placed them in my mouth, an odd-yet-delicious potpourri of flavours dominated my taste buds. The gravy really enhanced the slightly bland noodles to perfection. After a few bites, I finally understood why the good people of Aceh are so in love with this dish.

Jl. Panglima Polem No. 45,
Banda Aceh
T: 0651 21 758
Open daily from 12pm-10pm
Price: Rp.40,000/US$2.90 per portion

Started her career as a food writer in 2012, Jessicha Valentina is the online editor of Good Indonesian Food. Jessicha has loved Sayur Asem since she was a wee kid and spends her free time trying to cook it.


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