Medan: Bakmi Hock Seng

Medan: Bakmi Hock Seng

Bakmi Hock Seng has history to back up its success, along with its delectable Hokkien noodles. Founded in 1932, it is one of the longest serving noodles shops in Medan – the capital city of North Sumatra. Due to its popularity, it now has two other branches: one in Medan, and the other in Jakarta. I managed to read a few reviews regarding the establishment prior to my visit, and they all showered it with praises. In the process, I also discovered that it serves some of the most expensive bowls of noodles in the city.

As I entered the shop on Jalan Gwangju, most of the tables were already occupied by customers – looks like price doesn’t really matter when they’re that good. To further justify its value, the portions here are quite huge as well. Since it was only 10am, I opted for the smallest serving available.

With three types of noodles on offer here – yellow noodles, kwetiau (thin rice noodles), and bihun (rice vermicelli) – I went for a combination of kwetiau and bihun. Despite the amount of research that I did on Bakmi Hock Seng, I was still surprised by the discovery that it has seafood for toppings. Besides pork meat, lettuce, and coriander leaves, there were prawns, crabmeats, fish balls, and fish cakes on top of the kwetiau and bihun. Its use of fresh seafood left it with no fishy stench to attack my nostrils, while it was very generous with its amount as well. There was a hint of sesame seed from its aroma, which increased my appetite even further. After adding a spoonful of chilli into the mix, I picked up the noodles with my chopsticks and landed them right on my palate. A lovely savoury flavour ran through my taste buds, blending well with the plain kwetiau and bihun. I immediately regretted my decision to not just go with its biggest portion.

Jl. Gwangju No. 17,
Medan, North Sumatra
Open daily from 7am-1pm
Rp.60,000/US$4.50 per person

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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