The trick to enjoy both the cycling race of Tour de Singkarak and famous Minang cuisine at the same time is to know when to utilize a really small margin of time to do the latter. Much to my surprise, this time I didn’t really need any planning at all because of the just-in-the-nick-of-time information my friends gave me. It’s pretty much do or don’t situation and my encounter with Bofet Sianok was a heroic mission accomplished with flying colors!
We were heading to see the start of the second stage of Tour de Singkarak 2013 in the city of Payakumbuh, a few dozen kilometers from the hotel we stay at in Bukittinggi. Still drowsy from the exhausting first stage and the heat back at Bonjol and now welcomed by a really cool misty morning, I fell asleep in the bus while corresponding with Uni Reno Andam, the writer of Rendang Traveler and a native of Payakumbuh, about what to do in the city.
By the time I arrived in Payakumbuh, it still took me quite some time to decide whether to really seek out the place Uni Reno just recommended me – the legendary Bofet Sianok. I asked several townspeople for the whereabouts of this place and they said it’s just nearby the city’s market and apparently all the townspeople I asked knew about this place. That indeed intrigued me more.
I then decided to look for it and scour the area around the market while also asking more people about the exact route. It’s already 9.15 and it’s unimaginable if I missed the start and moreover, the bus. Luckily, I finally found it and its rustic coziness really gave me the mood to make a scene as a foodie ready to act with his camera.
Lucky again that Mr Heru, one member of the family who owns Bofet Sianok was also there and he’s more than welcome to have a foodie around. After a brief intro, he also informed us also that recently a team from local television paid a visit for a scene in one of its shows. Somehow it’s a good thing for me to find an establishment already familiar with getting coverage from media since it’s gonna be easier to ask around and especially, taking pictures.
I immediately set myself on the course on why I was getting here in the first place. Bubur Kampiun was the sole reason and I was really having one of the best time of my life there. Its richness aligns well with all the balance needed from this somewhat complex dish. Bubur Kampiun as we know it comprises of several desserts of the same one from Bubur Sumsum, Bubur Kacang Hijau, Srikaya (sugar-apple fruit), shredded coconut, coconut milk, and gula kinca (liquid brown sugar). This may sound too much but Bofet Sianok was able to make it still fulfilling but not that sweet like Turkish delights for example. This wonderful dish that consists of many textures and layers. Additionally, the fact that it’s actually a one-stop journey of many Indonesian desserts in a single plate was a awestruck experience for me. Personally, I haven’t had any even though I’m living in Jakarta, where most Minang cuisine are actually accessible with ease.
I managed to finish around 9.45 and then hurried back to the starting point to capture great moments of it, although in my heart I’m yearning to back for more. I’d love to have again the exotic ampiang dadiah, or the Minang yogurt with condiments of shredded coconut and the liquid sugar, since I had my first months ago during my trip to Lintau with STP Trisakti!
Mr Heru said in particular that this dish is a must-have for my next visit. That I do not know when but surely, it’ll be a certain thing for my future plan – especially also because I want to bring my wife on a road journey to enjoy Danau Singkarak and the beautiful rolling hills of West Sumatra.
I shall return for sure, Bofet Sianok!
Must eat: Bubur kampiun, ampiang dadiah, nasi goreng
Spend: IDR 20,000 – IDR 30,000 / person
Address: Jalan Jenderal Ahmad Yani no. 8, Payakumbuh, West Sumatra – Indonesia
Telp: +62.752.925.30 / +62.852.862.860.05
Opening hours: Everyday, TBA