Fish head curry is one of my favorite things to eat in the entire world. So when I was in Jakarta, I went to a restaurant called Rumah Makan Medan Baru specifically to eat their famous fish head curry. Read my full Jakarta travel guide for food lovers here: http://migrationology.com/travel-guides/jakarta-indonesia/
Rumah Makan Medan Baru
Located just north of the Jakarta National Monument, Rumah Makan Medan Baru is a popular Indonesian Medanese restaurant that is known for serving gulai kepala ikan (fish head curry). From the outside of the restaurant it looks very small and just like a shop house. So I was surprised when I walked in to find multiple dining rooms, lots of tables, and lots of happy customers eating curry. Most of the curries and dishes are all prepared and sitting at the front of the restaurant, and when you sit down, you’ll be delivered a selection of different dishes all to your table.
The gulai kepala ikan (fish head curry) was absolutely incredible – one of the best versions of any fish head I’ve ever head. The fish head was covered in an almost ridiculously rich and creamy coconut milk curry that was very fragrant and flavorful. The fish was also very meaty and juicy. Along with rice, it was sensational.
Another dish that Medan Baru is famous for is burung punai goreng (fried pigeon). We got two of them, and they were seasoned with some spices and then fully deep fried to a crisp. Again, the little pigeons, even though there’s not a lot of meat to eat on them, the meat that was there was so succulent. I loved it. For some bites of the fried pigeon, I dipped it into the different sambal chili sauces that were on our table as well. Both dishes were extraordinary.
Additionally I also got a bowl of daun pepaya (papaya leaves), that were a little bitter, but went really well with the sambal as well. Finally, I ordered a plate of gulai daun singkong (curry cassava leaves), which were also fantastic.
Total price for everything – 406,000 IDR ($30.69) – Rumah Makan Medan Baru is not a cheap restaurant in Jakarta, but it definitely serves one of the best fish head curries in Jakarta, maybe in the world.
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