Eating Around The World

Bihun Bebek Kumango :
Jl. Kumango no. 15, Medan
Telp. 061-4512517

Like many of its city contemporaries, Bihun Bebek Kumango is an icon, and one that built its reputation not just by being particular to Medan but also on the strength of a single dish.

But unlike many of its contemporaries, this verson of bihun bebek—vermicelli topped with slices of boiled duck—defies many criteria that usually make up an icon: 1. It is good but not that good; 2. It is eye-poppingly expensive; 3. The portion is humongous by any standards (which may justify the price); 4. The place is exceptionally soulless and rude. Wait, strike no. 4, because I just remember that the opposite is more often than not the exception in this city.

Still. After the bitter aftertaste of being turned down the morning before for arriving two minutes after 11 am, I still can’t discern any standout quality other than hints of refinement that on a good day would be sufficient to make me sit up and take notice. It may be that my palate has been numbed slightly by days of hard-core eating, but for all the subtlety in the world you still expect your noodles to be at one with whatever broth it is that it is supposed to soak up. And, in my own defense, the bihun bebek in Muara Karang is among my favorite restaurants in Jakarta. Surely this suggests that I too, given the right ingredients, can be a fan.

Opening hours: 06.30 – 11.00