“With its gingery, sweet flavour – along with its Chinese herbs – the soup provided a better medicine for my cold than the paracetamol that I’ve been taking for the past few days.“
Having spent a few years of my childhood in Medan, I’m no stranger to the delightful Bihun Bebek (thin rice noodles with slices of boiled duck). I used to have it for my breakfast during weekends, but since I moved away, memories of it has slowly disappeared. You can imagine my excitement, then, when I found out about Bihun Bebek 75 in Pluit Sakti.
That initial excitement, however, was dampened as I fell sick on the day that I went there. It was a really bad cold, and all I wanted was to take a couple of paracetamol and rest my heavy eyelids. As I arrived at Bihun Bebek 75, the place was packed with customers. I sat down and immediately ordered a bowl of Bihun Bebek, wanting to get my meal over with as soon as possible and go back home.
Thankfully, it was served not long after I ordered. The bihun was covered with slices of boiled duck, fried garlic, and coriander. The duck meat slices were tender yet chewy, while the Sumatera rice noodles were exceptional. The best thing about it, though, was its soup. It contained a Chinese wolfberry, among a number of Chinese herbs, which cured me from my illness as soon as I gulped it down. With its gingery, sweet flavour – along with its Chinese herbs – the soup provided a better medicine for my cold than the paracetamol that I’ve been taking for the past few days.
After my meal, I had a chat with Budi Handoyo, the owner-cum-head chef of the joint. He informed that Bihun Bebek 75 was first established by his parents in 1980, while as for the soup, Budi listed down the Chinese herbs that are used for its ingredients: kam cho, sem chiu, tong sim, and ginger. “Sorry, I don’t really know the English terms for them, I’m afraid,” he apologises. He would then clarify that both kam cho and tong sim work well for sore throat and a runny nose, which explains why my cold went away after I took a sip of the soup.
Our conversation ended on a sad note, as he tells me that the future of Bihun Bebek 75 is up in the air. “If my children have no intention of continuing the business, the prospects look pretty bleak for Bihun Bebek 75,” he explains. We can only wait and hope for the best.
Jl. Pluit Sakti Raya No.49
T: 021 669 3980
Open daily from 7am-10pm