The Legendary Kari Bihun Tabona of Medan

Heri Sisworo

Heri Sisworo

On English

Medan is a melting pot where you can trace a lot of different cultures fusing into one. As the biggest city in Sumatra, Medan also has many wonderful original dishes. You might have heard lontong medan, mie gomak, bihun bebek, or bika ambon. All of them come from Medan. There is another one called Kari Bihun.

Kari bihun. via Instagram/jokowhn

It is basically a curry, just like its name which literally translates to vermicelli curry. It is very popular in Medan, especially in one particular restaurant; the Tabona. Here is what you need to know about kari Bihun Tabona, a unique dish from medan.

Kari Bihun

the rice vermicelly curry. via Instagram/the.toothfairy

The mainstay menu at Tabona Restaurant is vermicelli curry. Locals usually come to this restaurant for breakfast. In one serving of kari bihun, you will get vermicelli, boiled potatoes, and various side dishes such as meat, liver, intestine, skin, and also gizzard. The curry broth here is thick and really delicious! The combination of various spices gives it a delectable taste.

Tabona Restaurant

The delicious curry. via instagram/l.limchan

Tabona Restaurant has been established for decades. The original recipe for kari bihun has been passed down for generations. Since the place is not too large, this restaurant seems to be always crowded with visitors. Most customers come during breakfast and lunch hour. The easy way to identify when the restaurant is full is by the many vehicles parked around the restaurant. There is usually a traffic jam during the restaurant’s busy hours.

Other Dishes

Chicken dinner. via Instagram/kemanaakumakan

Tabona is not only kari bihun, though. They also provide other dishes too. There is chicken noodle with dumplings. Needless to say, you can also have refreshing drinks to accompany whatever delicious dish you choose. Some customers even combine different dish into one. For example, you can eat chicken noodle with curry broth. For the side note, all the dishes here are halal.

Location and prices

The lovely curry. via Instagram/sun_thing

Tabona Restaurant is located at Jl. Mangkubumi No. 17, Medan. The location is close to the office and commercial district of Medan. It is indeed very easy to find and you might encounter many bank or office workers there during lunch hour. The operating hours start at 07:00 and close at 17:00. One serving of kari bihun here will cost you IDR30,000 to IDR40,000, depending on the side dishes you choose.

Chicken noodle in Tabona. via Instagram/kartika_lin

Culinary exploration in Medan is never boring because there are so many choices that you can pick. One of the most popular, and thus the best choice, is kari bihun at Tabona Restaurant.