A long queue at a restaurant normally constitutes good food – at least that was the impression that I got when I popped inside Rumah Makan Sipirok in Medan. Standing fans are placed at every corner, yet they were powerless to hold back the droplets of sweat dripping down the customers’ faces as they tucked into South Tapanuli’s finest dishes. Its specialities include bone marrow soup, beef rib soup, and roasted beef with sour and spicy chilli sauce.
First established in 2002 by husband-and-wife duo Zulfikar and Yusniar Nasution, they utilise the recipes handed down by Yusniar’s mum in order to maintain the original flavour of their menu entries. She still prepares the ingredients on her own; her employees are usually only tasked with cutting shallots. And it is partly down to this reason that the couple has so far refused to open up branches.
As for the food, the meat of the rib soup is so tender; it amenably slips off the bone without the need of a knife to scrape them off. The bone marrow soup features a similar characteristic, whereby by using a special straw provided, punters are able to enjoy its savoury goodness by just slurping the marrow straight from inside the bone. Its broth was too salty for my taste, though, yet it’s nothing a dab of green chilli sauce couldn’t fix. The special chilli sauce that tops the roasted beef is made from freshly ground chilli pepper paste, and is sprinkled with lime juice and rounded off with some shallots.
Rumah Makan Sipirok’s popularity has also been down to its affordable prices. Its bone marrow soup is priced at Rp.50,000, while you merely need to fork out Rp.25,000 for its beef rib soup. Even less costly is its roasted beef with sour and spicy chilli sauce, which will only set you back a trifling Rp.13,000 per portion. We brought our meal to conclusion by ordering its fresh cucumber juice for Rp.10,000 to alleviate the bloating in our tummies.
For those who intend to have a go at its bone marrow soup, we’d recommend arriving early as it tends to be sold out by lunchtime. Also, parking here can be a bit troublesome to find.
Jl. Sunggal No. 14, Medan Sunggal, Sei Sikambing B,
Medan, North Sumatra
Open daily from 10am-3pm
Rp.60,000/US$4.60 per person