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Indonesian Lost Cuisine - Bakso Malang!
As in every country, there will be a signature dish that rhymes in every living person's mind. Sushi to Japanese, Pizza to Italians, Burgers to Americans, Noodles to the Chinese, Kim chi to the Koreans, and many more! Likewise, in each country, presumably a large country that stretches in latitudes, the differential weather conditions would translate into various foods for the people living in that area. For the Chinese, the southern Chinese would prefer soup based cuisines, steamed and noodles! Whist for the northern Chinese, they would prefer rice or dumplings!
In Indonesia, which is an archipelago of more than 12000 islands, situated in the deep South Eastern region, on the plateau of "ring of fire" , and with more than 240 million inhabitants, spread in the archipelago and on its two largest islands of Java and Sumatra. It has developed its own indigenous culture in various province and cities, which ultimately created its own individual signature food identity!
For those that love spicy food, we have from Padang the famous cuisine of Nasi padang food, with the delicious beef rendang and ayam pop to nasi soto where rice is served with a separate bowl of beef pieces,filled with vermicelli and shallots, and a thick broth of beef or chicken essence.Although originated from Padang city in Pekanbaru province in the Sumatra island, this cuisine has spread into the whole of Indonesia and including the neighboring countries in Malaysia,Brunei and Singapore.
I am sure that most of you would have tasted the barbecued or deep fried Gurame fish and this is eaten with chilly sauce( or sambal) with the thick sweet sauce. This is one of the signature dishes served in Indonesian restaurants.
Bakso Malang - this is ultimately the cuisine that has many varieties and it has evolved from the origins of Bakso in Malang, a city in Surabaya province in Java island. It is from here that the original Bakso Malang was created. It is one of the best quality of bakso that I have tasted and with no compromise on its quality and freshness of meat and ingredients used. It has traveled from Malang in Surabaya to Medan in North Sumatra!
I have tasted this bakso malang in a shop (warung named Bakso Malang) in Medan and in Taman Setia Budi Indah (TASBIH) Komplex where it tastes just like the original in Surabaya! It is a cuisine that empowers customers to choose their own types of bakso in their soup or together with noodles. It is very different from the modified bakso that you have tasted elsewhere in Indonesia, as these bakso are normally made and mixed with offals and skins and thus making it very unhealthy! But this Bakso Malang is something that is so different where you can really taste and know the quality used is 100% lean beef. It is really healthy and with a wide spread of selection of other types of bakso. All really taste good and yummy! The shop in TASBIH Komplex also serves Bakso in the various sizes. I remembered seeing the size of a bakso ball with a diameter of 8-9 cm! And inside it is filled with an egg, potatoes, veggies and the 4-5 regular size bakso balls (beef balls)! Cool it is!
They also served mee ayam ( noodles with chicken meat) and these are without skin and are surely healthy! The gravy that comes with the mee ayam has that essence that would make you want more! I have asked the owner, Ibu Hanna about how much worked is done daily and her reply was marketing is done daily at 6 am in the morning and preparation for the day starts at 8am with 8 family members starting with the fresh meat( beef and chicken), minced into paste, rolled into balls and steamed, fried, noddles made, gravy and soup plus the essence are all done daily and sold without any leftovers for the next day! No wonder its always sold out and I guessed the customers know where fresh and quality food is!
So when you in Medan, and would like to have a taste of the original bakso malang, you can make a quick stop at TASBIH Komplex. They are opened from 4 pm to 9 pm daily and they are sold out very quickly! The queue starts at 6pm onwards and is always hard to find seats so be sure to be there earlier! And lastly it is halal of course!