Let’s face it: despite the best efforts of its counterparts, no other Bihun Bebek (rice vermicelli with sliced duck meat) joints could come close to Bihun Bebek Asie (Kumango) in the popularity stakes. However, it looks as though Bihun Bebek Kalimantan Mas could give it a run for its money – especially when its version of the Bihun Bebek Herbal costs half the price of Bihun Bebek Asie’s and is equally tasty.
I kicked off my Bihun Bebek Kalimantan Mas experience with a piece of lemper (steamed glutinous rice with meat filling wrapped in banana leaf) and was genuinely impressed by the pleasant pandanus leaf aroma that emanated from it. Its generous filling made for a hearty snack and I eventually gobbled the whole piece in an instant – something that I came to regret once my Bihun Bebek Herbal arrived on my table as it left me feeling a tad surfeited afterwards.
The huge bowl was filled with herbal soup, rice vermicelli, duck meat slices and coriander leaves. In spite of my overfilled tummy due to the lemper that I ravished beforehand, I soldiered on. After adding some chilli into the mix, I stirred the concoction with my chopsticks, which let off a fragrant coriander leaf smell wafting through the air. With my appetite slowly building up again, I knew then it was time to take advantage of the situation and dig in. The rice vermicelli were cooked to perfection, resulting in a smooth yet firm texture. I sipped the herbal soup and was gifted with a gingery sweet flavour, while the sliced duck meat were tender and flavourful.
Prior to my visit, someone told me that it’s easier to cook up Bihun Bebek Herbal compared to your common Bihun Bebek. Well, despite the different difficulty level in their preparation and their dissimilar characteristics, I’m happy to report that both are on an equal footing taste-wise.
Jl. Kalimantan No. 5E/43
Pandan Hulu, Medan,
T: 061 457 4385
Open daily from 6am-5.30pm
Rp.35,000/US$2.60 per portion