Medan: Putu Bambu Asia


How would one go about to establish a Putu Bambu (bamboo-steamed cake) as delicious? Personally, I believe that the following three aspects are the main determinants in this case: an appetising pandanus leaf aroma, a balanced ratio between the cake and the palm sugar, and its size.

When I was younger, Putu Bambu was a favourite midnight snack of mine. Unfortunately, it can be quite taxing to find them these days. On my recent culinary excursion in Medan, my auntie and I were driving through Jalan Selat Panjang when I spotted a roadside hawker selling the green-coloured cylindrical treat. As I was about to gesture to my Medan born-and-bred aunt to stop, she told me to be patient as we headed to Jalan Asia instead.

By the time we got there, it was already 8pm and most of the shops were already closed. However, there was one cart on the deserted street that was surrounded by a crowd. Putu Bambu Asia was set up in 1969 and specialises in traditional snacks such as Putu Bambu and Putu Mayang. It is now run by Mimi, who is part of the second generation of the founder’s family. She inherited the recipe and has done a great job in carrying on her family’s business.

I ordered both its Putu Bambu and Putu Mayang, and within ten seconds after I got into the car, their aroma had already spread across the automobile. I went in for a bite and its smooth texture delighted me no end, while the palm sugar filling gratified my sweet tooth. All these years of sampling Putu Bambu, I came to the conclusion that this was the best I’ve ever tasted yet.

Jl. Asia Simpang Lampung,
Medan, North Sumatra
Open daily from 5.30pm-12.00am
Rp.2,500/US$0.20 per piece


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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