Back in 2011, CNNGo once published an article titled “World’s 50 Best Foods”. It was a crowning moment for Indonesia’s culinary landscape as Padang’s Beef Rendang was included on the list. As a Padang cuisine enthusiast, I couldn’t be more proud – especially when this particular dish is all I need to get me back on my feet again whenever I feel down in the dumps.
While in Medan, I stopped by Gumarang Jaya, a Padang restaurant that I’ve been told to be the top of the crop in the city. Founded in 1986 by Bapak Hasan Basri, the word is that its signature Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) has impressed many.
As I just stuffed myself with some Babi Panggang Karo (Karo grilled pork) beforehand, I was already full to bursting by the time I reached the establishment on Jalan Brigjen Katamso. So the plan was just to have tiny nibble and that was it. As the waitress brought around the dishes to my table, my initial agenda began to dissipate. I took a chunk of the fried chicken and dipped it into the very alluring-looking Sambal Ijo (fried green chillies). And then my previously bloated tummy magically emptied itself without a visit to the loo, and I felt like I haven’t eaten in months.
The savoury fried chicken and the hot fiery sambal made for the perfect combination. Although the scrumptious chicken was a tad dry on the outside, the spices used blended flawlessly to a T. On the side was a serving of gulai nangka (jackfruit curry) that sported an orange-coloured gravy indicating that it was meticulously cooked. However, knowing full well what might happen if I push my stomach capacity to the limits, I stopped myself from sampling it. I still regret that decision even to this day.
Jl. Brigjen Katamso 27-C
Medan, North Sumatra
T: 061 414 8824
Open daily from 10am-9pm
Rp.25,000/US$1.90 per person