When the pandemic hit, some people turned to their kitchens and baked banana bread and sourdough. Others tried to learn a new language or a instrument. Then there’s Siu Chen who at 75 years of age started her own restaurant. Chen, a home cook who had been running her own business out of her home, saw few orders with the ban on large gatherings. Bored, she got back into cooking, opening Medan Kitchen, a takeaway and grocery.
I got to try her Indonesian cooking as part of MAMA’s Drive-By Kitchen. I picked up a nasi bungkus and nasi padang, both rice dishes with chicken and beef rendang, wrapped in banana leaf. The bag felt like it was holding a bowling ball, easily weighing five pounds. When I unwrapped my nasi padang looked like a solid mass, so I steamed both so that they would be hot. My second time opening it, the food yielded its mass, a cornucopia of goodies.
I was worried that it might be too spicy for me, but it was perfect. The nasi bungkus was the best I’ve ever had. The chicken was tender, falling off the bone and the beef rendang, lightly rendolent of coconut milk, melted in my mouth.
The same could be said for meats in the nasi padang. The proteins were all fairly mild (including that spicy hard boiled egg), in contrast to the spiciness of the veggies. Each dish held so many different flavors, making each bite a discovery.
I wish I lived closer so I could pickup food here regularly! If you live in the Rosemead area, definitely check them out!
Location – 8518 Valley Blvd #101-102, Rosemead, CA 91770
Website – https://www.restaurantji.com/ca/rosemead/medan-kitchen-/
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes