Biting into a whole cardamom is always unpleasant; it’s soapy and pungent, with a concentrated punch. But the thing is, as I know from when I’ve used it in my own cooking, it’s a good sign: that a dish has great spices, and not just ground powders. And Medan Ciak serves up Indonesian food with great flavour.
We arrived early (11.30am) to avoid the lunch rush as I’d heard this place packs out at lunch time, and indeed it did seem to. Cheap and cheerful, it’s popular with university students, but having tried the food, I can imagine various foodies putting it on a do list!
The Longtong Sayur looked the most foreign to me, even though I was tempted by a special of an Indonesian style of wonton with roast pork. I’m glad I ordered it: a rich sauce and gravy, lots of different bits of food (a hard-boiled egg, crispy dried fish, a piece of chicken) and with the base starch a sort of rice cake, which was unfamiliar to me.
My friend went for a Nasi Padang, an Indonesian combination rice, and it was colourful and flavourful and a good combo of things. Oh, we had some tasty prawn crackers as well, and I had a coconut water. Most of the mains are $12 or $13: laughably inexpensive. I’d be game to come back and try every single dish on the menu.