I’m pretty sure that RM On Do Batak Grill is the only restaurant in Indonesia that has attempted to add a touch of Korean flair to the Batak cuisine. Obviously I was sceptical at first. You see, both are from two very different worlds. According to hearsay, the joint is owned by a man of Batak descent and his Korean wife who established the place 11 years ago.
Its menu consists of authentic Batak delicacies such as Babi Goreng (fried pork meat), Ikan Tinombur (grilled fish), and Daun Ubi Tumbuk (pounded cassava leaves in coconut milk), along with Korean dishes such as Kalbi (barbeque pork short ribs). I tried them all, apart from the cassava leaves.
The Batak dishes were loaded with spices – as you might have expected from the local food here. Served with sambal andaliman (Szechuan pepper chilli), the Babi Goreng sports a crunchy exterior and very tender meat. The sambal gave off a lingering aftertaste at the tip of my tongue that enhanced the pork’s savouriness. Served fresh with some sambal andaliman, the Ikan Tinombur also features the same aftertaste as a result from the sambal.
The tender pork meat of the Kalbi came with a sweet aftermath that, when mixed with the sambal andaliman, culminated in a uniquely fresh taste–one that I’ve never tasted before.
I had such a pleasant experience at RM On Do Batak Grill. As I concluded my meal, a waitress came around and handed a glass of Soojong Gwa–a chilled ginger beverage that helped a lot in soothing my palate. Looks like the unlikely Batak-Korean combination actually works after all.
Jl. Pabrik Tenun No. 45,
Medan, North Sumatra
T: 061 451 608
Open daily from 11am-4pm