Self-control is a prerequisite trait if you plan to explore the culinary treasures of Padang, especially with the risk of suffering high levels of cholesterol and gaining weight from all the coconut milk-based dishes on offer. One such dangerous-yet-delightful dish that is huge in town is Gulai Kepala Ikan (fish head curry). Despite its ubiquitous status, only one eatery has earned the title of best Gulai Kepala Ikan shop in town: Rumah Makan Keluarga.
Founded in1980, Rumah Makan Keluarga is situated in Bungus, which is about 40 minutes away from the city centre by car. It also has branch on Jalan Khatib Sulaiman in Padang. It was initially housed in a simple wooden shop prior to settling down in a permanent brick-and-mortar establishment. Its close proximity to Bungus Fish Market has enabled it to provide fresh fishes for its punters – one of the main reasons behind the popularity of its signature treat.
Arriving at lunchtime, most of the customers were unsurprisingly having its fish head curry. Served in coconut milk gravy and seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices–including cassava leaves–the restaurant also puts in some sour carambola to enhance the freshness of the dish, resulting in a perfect combination of sour and savoury in one plate.
Jl. Raya Padang-Painan,
Open daily from 9am-9pm
Rp.120,000/US$9 per person