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Monday, May 2, 2011

Myday : My great great grandpa’s restaurant 品香茶樓 (Rumah Makan Irian)

My  family (from my mom’s family) runs a small antique restaurant since 1920 in a small town in North Sumatra called Binjai. Our family restaurant, 品香茶樓 (Pin Yin: Pin Xiang Cha Lou) or Rumah makan Irian, has now being managed by five generations and now being managed by my cousins (the eldest grandson) and my aunty. Our restaurant has been operating based on Cantonese traditions in-and-out. However, we have infused some of Peranakan touches in our menus.
Irian 75years01
Saw and witnessed different ages of Indonesia and become the oldest restaurant in Binjai makes Rm.Irian have lots of histories and memories inside and most importantly legacies of culinary and traditions.
manual lift 
One of its unique is that we are still using manual lifter (as seen on the pic beside). The kitchen is on ground level and dining place is one second stories so in order to save time, they use this cute manual lifter.

Some of Rm.Irian best signatures ( always and forever) and all review done by my cousin, Hari Quang, who manages the restaurant now.menu irian 
Irian Mie Cin
Mie Cin or you might have heard it as ‘I Fu Mie Goreng’. Well, let me tell you this: there is no such thing! I understand that some other restaurant and food vendors that try to imitate our I Fu Mie have certain difficulties in cooking their hard-as-rock noodles. Unlike our hand-made noodles, the noodles they use are usually factory-made. These noodles have different texture and taste.
I don’t know if the name ‘I Fu Mie Goreng’ came from the lack of creativity or in fact that the noodles are actually stir-fried like the general fried noodle. One thing for sure is, we honors tradition and we are using the name given by our ancestors. So let’s call Mie Cin as Mie Cin, not ‘I Fu Mie Goreng’.
Irian I Fu Mie
It is one of our specialties. I Fu Mie is a Cantonese cuisine, traditionally handmade in our restaurant. It is deep-fried crispy noodles with chicken and vegetable dressing.
Once heard a customer said,” to visit Binjai without eating I Fu Mie is like climbing a mountain and go back down without seeing the sunrise”. It’s a little hyperbolic, I guess, but I totally understand him. Where-else in this town or even in this province can you find the original I Fu Mie?
My Grandmother once told me that long time ago, the first generation chef in our restaurant made the noodle with the help of two pieces of big, fat bamboo. In order to use them properly, he would move in a certain way that made the chef looked as if he was dancing the Kuda Lumping. She said,” the noodles are so special that even seeing the making process can entertain one’s eyes.”
Irian Ang tho Mie
It looks like the shark’s fin soup. It is a creamy noodle-soup enriched with egg and crab’s meat.
Several years ago, a customer asked me why the noodle is called Ang Tho Mie. Where did the name come from? Ang Tho Mie means Red Plum Noodle. The noodle is cooked with chicken eggs nowadays, it used to be duck eggs. The yolk of the duck egg became a natural colorant, giving a reddish glow to the creamy liquid. When the noodle is served in a round bowl, it looks like a giant red plum.
Due to customers’ demand, we use chicken eggs now. They are said to possess less fat, calories and cholesterol compared to duck eggs. However, we are more than willing to serve it in original style when a customer order it.
nasi goreng irian
Nasi goreng Irian (fried rice)
Looks like ordinary fried rice, but try it first and I am quite sure you will ask for more. Usually it cooks with lots lots of toppings, you can find crab meat inside, fish balls, eggs, chickens and chilli padi (but it doesn’t spicy at all).
Irian Cim kong cimkong


and still have more menus ( all the pics are in my other hdd and I forgot to bring it along with me right now…so more to come….)
PS. must try Irian fried chicken (super duper crispy), chicken wings cold plate en much more…
reunion dinner cnyI grow up by its food lol…cause every CNY, our sa cap meh (Chinese new year reunion dinner), foods are all bought from here (and it never change and it become a habit to our family which I think it is a good thing and always craving for it ).
fyen[8][8]It makes me hungry now…and can someone da bao for me and delivery them to Singapore please….:P

Recipe : Indonesian sweet pancake (martabak manis terang bulan)

Living outside our hometown, for sure we will miss our hometown foods especially its snacking such as martabak (pancakes/ crepes) manis (sweet). In Medan, you can choose either thin or thick pancakes. I love thin one better than thick, cause crispier n crunchy.

One day on our way to market for having our brunch, he suddenly said he was craving for martabak manis (Oooou…wat happen to u hunny?). So I made him one hahaha…although it was not made by expert martabak-man but at least I tried my best to fulfil his craving hehe…

martabak terang bulan


  • 250 gr all purpose flour (can substitute it with 230 gr flour + 20 gr tapioca flour to make the skin smoother)
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 150 gr sugar
  • 375 cc warm coconut milk or milk
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • Fillings : sweet condensed milk, chocolate rice sprinkle, cheedar cheese, sugar, coarse ground peanuts, margarine ( n all of them are optional…put watever u love cause u are the boss :D heheh)


  1. Warm the coconut milk (or milk) in microwave for couples mins and mix it with the yeast, stir  well and set a side for 5 mins
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients and gradually pour the wet ingredients (milk +yeast) into the flour mixture, stir until well combine.
  3. Add in eggs one by one and keep stirring…stir stir stir…
  4. It is better to sit the mixture for 15 to 20 mins and cover it with warm damp cloth so the yeast can work to its best hehe
  5. Heat up the non stick pan and smear it with butter or margarine. Pour the mixture (stir it first before use) to the pan and cook for about 10 mins or until the the top full of holes. Put lil bit margarine/ butter and grease it on the top then sprinkle some sugar on it.
  6. Take out from the pan and feel free to put watever fillings you want on it. Fold into half and spread the outside skin with margarine again to make it shinny and make it looks more mouth watering :D
  7. Serve it warm en njoy fellas…


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