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February 11, 2014 | Bukit Tinggi, Padang, West Sumatra Cuisine


Last November, I joined a culinary tour arranged by JalanSutra’s mailing list to West Sumatra. I’ve never been to West Sumatra before, so I guess it’s safer to go with an experienced group, plus I got to try much more food places than if I’m travelling alone. Among so many of Indonesian cuisines, Padang / Minangkabau food is sitting on top of my favorites since I love rich & spicy dishes. So without much ado, here is what I managed to try on our 3 nights and 4 days in Padang, Padang Panjang, Bukit Tinggi and Batu Sangkar. Enjoy!

Ayam Goreng at RM. Pagi Sore

As soon as we landed in Padang, we went to RM Pagi Sore. This place is one of the must visit places in Padang, located at Simpang Kinol, pecinan/ Chinatown area, this place has been in business for five decades. Popular for their ayam goreng kampung (free range fried chicken) that tasted so finger licking good that eating one is never enough, the meat was tender and tasty. Their rendang and other dishes were also good.


RM Pagi Sore
Jl Pondok 143
Taman Area,
Padang, West Sumatra

Sate Padang Mak Syukur

RM. Sate Padang Mak Syukur is another place to try in West Sumatra. Located at Padang Panjang, this place serves Padang Panjang style Padangnese satay. The difference between Pariaman style and Padang Panjang style is in the broth. Padang Panjang’s broth is more yellowish from the use of turmeric, while Pariaman style is more reddish and spicy. The broth is made from offal broth with lots of spices like turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander, galangal root, cumin, curry powder, etc. Mak Syukur already has lots of branches in Jakarta, but trying it at its original location surely is a must.


RM. Sate Mak Syukur
Jl. Sutan Syahrir Silaing Bawah
Padang Panjang
ph +62(752) 83919

Bika Talago

Bika Talago is a humble place that serves traditional Minangkabau baked sweet snack called Bika. It looks like pancake, made with the mixture of rice flour, coconut milk, shredded coconut and sugar. You can also watch the process of making Kue Bika, as they have a very unique baking process, which utilized traditional wood fire with top and bottom heating system. the snack is light and sweet, best eaten while warm/hot.


Bika Talago
Jl Raya Padang Bukittinggi
Koto Baru
Padang Panjang

Aie Badarun

Still in Padang Panjang area, we stopped by RM Aie Badarun for dinner. It’s a popular restaurant that serves Minangkabau dishes. As usual in Padang/Minang eateries, they serve the dishes in small plates which are known as hidang style and we only pay for the plates that we ate. But what amazed me is that they put on our table more than 20 plates full of many delicious dishes that make us want to try it all. Most of the dishes are not common in Padangnese eateries in Jakarta. I don’t remember all the names of the dishes we tried that night, some of it were palai telur ikan (steamed fish egg wrapped in banana leaves), pical (Minang’s version of gado-gado/vegetables salad with peanut butter sauce), sambalado canguak (red chili sauce made with addition of cooked starch water), and the most delicious one is gulai pensi (made from some kind of small snail, cooked in spicy coconut milk) which we tried a little (evil grin).


RM Aie Badarun (Masakan Khas Kampung)
Jl. Raya Padang Panjang Bukit Tinggi KM 6
Tel. (0752) 7006699

Katupek Pical Tek Apuak

Tek Apuak is located in the midst of many food stalls at Pasar Lereng (traditional market located in a sloped terrain) not far from Jam Gadang and we had this for breakfast. Tek Apuak specialties is katupek pical, which a dish consisting of ketupat/rice cakes topped with steamed vegetables, noodles, peanut butter sauce and drenched in gulai cubadak (young jackfruit stewed in spicy coconut milk broth). It was as good as it gets! Also, don’t forget to order a glass of teh/kopi tahlua (tea/coffee served with the addition of raw egg). Their kopi tahlua in my opinion tasted like liquid tiramisu.


Tek Apuak
Los Lambuang, Pasar Lereng
Bukit Tinggi

Gulai ItiaK Lado Mudo “Ngarai”

Right at the foot of the beautiful ngarai sianok/cliff, there’s a place that serves a mean Itiak Lado Mudo (young duck meat cooked in spicy green chili sauce). The meat is succulent, very tasty and spicy it’ll makes you sweat furiously while eating it. It was without doubt the best Itiak Lado Mudo I’d ever tasted so far. Definitely a must try for those who love spicy food.


RM. Gulai ItiaK Lado Mudo “Ngarai”
Jl. Ngarai Binuang No. 41
ph. +62 (752) 35574

Ayam Pop at RM Family Benteng

RM Family Benteng is famous for their ayam pop, so of course we managed to give it a try although it was not in the tour itinerary. Ayam pop is a famous Minang dish made from young skinless free range chicken stewed in coconut water, and then deep fried in a “cold” coconut oil, resulting in a pale chicken that tasted sweet and succulent, served with a mild tomato chili sauce. It tasted delicious, but I still prefer the one served at RM. Indah Jaya Minang at Alam Sutera.


Rumah Makan & Restaurant
Family Benteng Indah

Jalan Yos Sudarso No. 3
ph. +62(752) 21102 / 626299
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 8am – 9pm

Nasi Kapau Uni Lis

Located in Pasar Ateh (upper market) Bukit Tinggi, this is a must try place for Nasi Kapau. Nasi Kapau is a type of dishes that originated from Desa Kapau (Kapau Village) – about 40 minutes from Bukit Tinggi. The specialty in Nasi Kapau Uni Lis is their Gulai Tambusu, a dish made from cow intestines filled with egg and tofu, cooked in spicy milk coconut sauce. The appearance may not be appealing, but trust me, it’s very tasty and savory. I can easily eat 2 portions of rice with this gulai tambusu.


RM Simpang Raya

A typical Minang restaurant, located strategically right across the road from Jam Gadang monument. We went here for dinner, since we’re still quite full from all the meal we had, we only tried the gulai otak (beef brain cooked in spicy coconut milk), soto padang and tomat top. We are curious what is tomat top, and it turned out to be a warm drink consisting of tomato slices with warm milk and raw (yes, raw) egg. We thought that the drink might taste weird, but it was quite good.


RM Simpang Raya
Jl. Ahmad Yani
ph +62(752) 22585
fx +62(752) 21060

Nasi Kapau Uni Des

The next day, after checking out from our hotel, we went hunting for another famous nasi kapau seller. The one we’re after is the sister of Uda Afdal (who’s selling nasi kapau at the previous World Street Food Congress (WSFC) in Singapore) called Uni Lis. There’s no exact location of the stall, they moves/operates depending on market day. That day they are opening the stall at Haur Kuning traditional market. It’s a very humble wooden hut, but the dishes were pretty serious, ranging from rendang ayam hitam, gulai tambusu, gulai tunjang, dendeng batokok, asam padeh, pangek ikan mas and many more. They explained that all the dishes did not use any MSG (mono sodium glutamate), so you can really taste the dishes as it is. Although I have to admit the dishes were quite good, I think there’s nothing wrong to enhance it with a little msg.


Kopi Kawa Daun Kiniko

We stopped by this place to try a drink called kopi kawa daun which literally is a drink made from smoked coffee leaves. So it looked like tea, but have some coffee aroma.


RM Pondok Flora BatuSangkar

We had lunch at RM Flora that day, the place is famous for their grilled fish, but we noticed that some of their dishes like … were also tasted very good, plus the view from this place is breathtaking.

RM. Pondok Flora
Jl. Raya Batusangkar – Sungai Tarab
+62(752) 57922

Apolo Chinese Food Restaurant

It was raining hard by the time we reached Padang that day, we decided to take a break from all those Minangnese dishes and stopped at Apolo Chinese Food Restaurant for dinner. We ordered their cap cai, sapi lada hitam, chicken kung pao, fu yung hai, cumi goreng tepung and fried rice to share. Although all of the dishes in this restaurant contain no pork, It was quite good.

Es Durian at Ganti nan Lamo & Iko Gantinyo

There are two famous places that offer durian dessert near where we had dinner. The oldest one is Ganti Nan Lamo and the newer one, located just right in front of the first one is called Iko Gantinyo. We tried both of them and we all agreed that the es Durian at Ganti Nan Lamo tasted much better than the latter.


Es Durian
Ganti Nan Lamo

Jl. HOS. Cokroaminoto No. 31B
ph. 0751 39464

Martabak Kubang Hayuda

We made a quick stop to restoran Hayuda to buy some martabak, Minangnese martabak is known as martabak kubang, the skin is fried with a batch of mixed minced meat, egg and scallion. It tasted good as it vanished so quick, and we regretted we didn’t buy more of it.


Warung Kopi Nanyo Baru

On our last day in Padang, we went to the Chinatown area for breakfast. Warung Kopi Nanyo Baru is an old school coffeeshop that still serves coffee using the old style. There are also several stalls in front of the premises that serve quite good chicken porridge, beef satay, chicken noodles, etc.


RM Simpang TPI Ni Yas

For lunch we went a bit out of town to Bungus area to sample the delicious gulai kepala ikan (fish head curry) at a place called RM Simpang TPI “Ni Yas”. The fish head was so big, I’m not sure what kind of fish they used, but it surely tasted good as I practically licked my plate clean.


RM Lanun Ombak

Since we’re rushing to the airport to be on time, we only had a quick stop at RM Lanun Ombak. It’s quite a big restaurant serving typical Padang/Minang food. There are several stations for preparing food and we can see so many plates of those delicious dishes. Some of their specialties are ikan bakar, kepala ikan kakap, ayam pop panas, asam pedas daging, sop daging sapi and palai bada We only bought nasi bungkus to eat at the airport. It was good, although it looked like a pricey place, I think I’ll stop by the next time I go to Padang.


Rumah Makan
Lamun Ombak
Jl. S. Parman No. 232A Ulak Karang
West Sumatra
ph. 0751 7052922

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  • Tika Rusly

    Mantab banget, Jen… cant wait to try them all when I’m in Padang this Oct hehehe 😀

  • Cipto

    I am from Indonesia and now working overseas. I travelled a lot to Sumatera Barat when I was visiting my hometown in Pekanbaru. Those picts bring a very sweet memory to me! Thanks for your great effort in documenting the culinary trip with great image quality. 🙂

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