Jakarta: RM Medan Baru


Once I settled myself down, the waitress approached me and asked whether I wanted to order one of its main signature dishes, which is an unusual practice.”

When a conversation turns to the intricacies of Padang cuisine, one dish that would most likely be name-dropped is Rendang Daging (Beef Rendang). Its popularity has led to it gaining worldwide recognition, even as far as being voted number one in a list of the World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods by CNNGo back in 2011. Inside the many Padang restaurants across the city, most patrons would usually be seen with a chunk or two ofBeef Rendang on their plate. It has eclipsed other Padang dishes, which is an unfortunate situation as the cuisine actually boasts other flavourful delights that deserve some of the plaudits.

Say hello to RM Medan Baru, then, a joint that puts forward some other scrumptious Padang delicacies. Established in 1975 and located on Jalan Krekot Bundar in Pasar Baru, this restaurant is well known for its Gulai Kepala Ikan (fish head curry), Burung Punai Goreng (fried pigeon), and Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) instead of its Beef Rendang. Its unassuming exterior houses a capacious dining area that could fit up to 150 people. However, despite its humongous size, it could still end up being packed to brim during lunchtime, while finding a parking space can be quite a troublesome during that period of time.

On the way to my designated table, I went pass the kitchen and caught a glimpse of a number of huge fish heads being thrown into a frying pan. Once I settled myself down, the waitress approached me and asked whether I wanted to order one of its main signature dishes, which is an unusual practice. Most Padang restaurants would normally place a selection of its available fare on the table without asking. Since I was intimidated by the fish heads that I saw earlier, I opted for its Ayam Goreng instead.

Not long after, the waitress did what other Padang joints would usually do and set down a number of dishes on my table, including Udang Balado (fried shrimp in spicy sauce), Ayam Gulai (curry chicken), Daun Singkong (Cassava leaves), and Sambal Ijo (green chilli paste). And along came my Ayam Goreng less than a couple of minutes after that. It appears that they would fry the chicken by order, as it had a zesty and juicy texture, with an aroma that denotes its recent period in a frying pan. A hint of regret kicked in after I finished my meal, though, after passing up on its fish head curry. Thus, I made a promise to myself that I would do so in the near future. I’ll be back.

Jabodetabek-classic-rm medan baru
Jl. Krekot Bunder No. 65
Central Jakarta
T: 021 385 8992
Open daily from 9am-9pm
Rp.50,000/US$3.60 per person


A die-hard fan of authentic Indonesian delights who loves the idea of travelling to the cradle of those enticing local treats. Yet, you might often find this young lad busy with his guitar – be it alone in his room or, sometimes, on stage.

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