“Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table.” Charles Pierre Monselet (1825-1888)
I was aesthetic when my friend (HW) told me about The Grand Palm in Mascot. So, the special thing about this restaurant is that it's probably the first restaurant in Sydney that serves food from my beloved hometown, Medan (Medan is located in North Sumatra (Indonesia). This fourth largest city in Indonesia has a diverse and rich food culture. Food is what Medan city is known for). One other thing to note, even though the restaurant menu reads Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, the cook is actually from Medanese background.
The restaurant was empty when we got there, maybe because not many people know about this newly opened restaurant yet. The interior is really simple. I quickly picked up the menu and browsed through what they have to offer. There were three of us and we decided to order and share everything.
One thing in particular that we really like about this restaurant is, the food is less oily and salty compared to other places.The true Medanese style.
First item that really caught my attention was the Mie Siantar. Like the name of the noodle it's originated from a part of Medan called Siantar. The noodle is cooked with stewed pork, BBQ pork, fish cake, mushroom, steamed vegetable and wonton. It's a very simple noodle but I truly appreciate it as it's one of the flavours that I have been longing for. But, my husband and HW loved the noodle too. They found it pretty tasty.
Mie Siantar $8.00
Then we ordered a Nasi Goreng Ikan Asin (Salted Fish Fried Rice). It is fried rice cooked with peas, bean sprout, onion, salted fish, eggs and served with cracker and Indonesian salad (Acar). This is so good, it has the perfect balance of saltiness and smokey flavour. Again, we loved the fried rice as it is not as oily as what you get from other places.
Nasi Goreng Ikan Asin $8.00
Then we had another fried rice, Nasi Goreng Terasi. It is cooked with red capsicum, shrimp paste chilli, lettuce, shallot, ham, prawn, eggs, served with cracker and Indo Salad (Acar). I think because the salted fish fried rice was stronger in flavour, we couldn't fully taste this one, but we still enjoyed the spiciness and the fragrant of the shrimp paste. There were generous amount of prawns with the dish too!
Nasi Goreng Terasi $10.00
Next, we ordered something "off" the menu, just because HW said his friend did that. So we asked the staff if we could order a Medan style fried rice noodle, it's one of Medan's signature noodles. It's called Kwe Tiau Kangkung Belacan (Fried rice noodle with shrimp paste and water spinach). Unfortunately, they didn't have kangkung (water spinach) for the day, hence we proceeded without it. The noodle didn't look exactly the same as what we have in Medan, but it's similar and the flavour is quite there, I was just happy to be able to taste it again, I know I can't expect the exact same one. My husband and HW did like it too, they thought it's different. It's slightly spicy, taste and texture is rather unique.
Kwe Tiau Kangkung Belacan
(Sorry forgot to not down the price)
If you think we are full, then you are wrong. We couldn't go without trying the grilled chicken. To my surprise, the flavour of the marination is exactly like what I could find in Medan. It's sweet, smokey and tasty right to the meat. We were all cheering for the chicken, with the chilli paste to compliment, in our minds we thought we gotta come back for the chicken.
Grilled Chicken $5.00
Because we had so many dry dishes, we ordered a Tom Yum soup. It's a decent soup, with pretty good amount of prawns. But nothing really distinguished, just a soup to go with our meal.
Tom Yum Seafood Soup $6.00
Gotta love the condiments here. They have the typical Medanese Chilli condiments. The green chilli paste and the marinated cut chillies. These make me feel home.
After we finished our meal feeling satisfied and content, the cook came out, she asked if we've enjoyed her food in Medanese dialect, I told her they were all great and that I was very pleased to have found this restaurant that serves food from my beloved hometown. Then she offered us "If there's any other Medanese food you guys want to eat, just let me know, I'll try my best to cook it for you". That moment...I was in Jolly Land!
Some people might come here and think the food is dreadful, but I found this place a gem. It brings back the bonds and memories while I was young. Food that I grew up eating...
The Grand Palm
1/710 Botany Road
Mascot - NSW
Ph (02) 8338 8500Closed on Thursday