Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ayam Penyet: which one is best?

Ayam Penyet is a typical Surabaya dish...and it sprung up in several places in Lucky Plaza some years ago...its just fried chicken...done very well, with crispy bits, and smashed! yes, smashed...so as to loosen the up the meat. Eaten with some spicy chilli, it is divine.

One of the more famous ones, which I first tried some years ago in their main branch in Lucky Plaza, is Resto Surabaya. Kin and I thought of having some Indian, and we went to Far East Plaza, to re-live some good experiences we had with Mumtaz Mahal there, but as we arrived...this little restaurant, tucked somewhere in the fifth floor of Far East Plaza...and looks very unassuming...canteen like, I would say...



My eyes sparkled, and we decided to go in...and we ordered 3 different chicken dishes...first ayam pengang with kichap manis:



Ayam Pengang is just plain barbecued chicken. That's not right...Ayam Pangang is a very special barbecued chicken...perfectly done on the charcoal barbeque...so the charred bits are crispy. The Surabaya version is not charcoal roasted, but possibly over a hot griddle...nonetheless, it was perfectly done...no charred bits, but the kichap manis (black sweet sauce) was divine. Kin found it a bit too sweet, but I found it just right. The chicken was a piece of breast meat, and it was tender enough to tease out the fibrous muscle, and with the kichap, very tasty. A bit more kichap manis with bits of red cut chilli floating in it as a sauce adds more punch.

We also had Ayam Opor



Our memories of Opor Ayam as one of our favourite Indonesian dishes was served in the former Sanur...thick, spicy, fragrant coconut milk gravy smothering the perfectly cooked till super tender chicken. Hmm...great memories. So when we saw this on the menu, we ordered it...it was a bit less thick...I mean the sauce...it was more like soup...but delicious soup it is. The chicken is fall off the bone tender...rendered so by probably steaming and then simmering in the broth. Nice.

And the Ayam Penyet



This was an excellent example. A portion of chicken leg, served with a piece of deep fried tofu, and tempeh. The chicken was tender, cooked perfect. The skin, crisp to a fault. The little bits of super crispy batter lingered over the chicken which was smashed with a chopper's side...to render the meat...um...broken (?) and almost falling to bits. The cooking was done so well, even the smaller bones in the leg which was served to us was edible...not only edible, but delicious. The tempeh was also excellent...very flavourful and tasty. The sambal which accompanies is superb too. With great punch, very spicy.

We drowned it all with some selaseh and attap seed drink and avocado juice. Yum! Definitely one of the better Ayam Penyet meals I have had. Shiok lah!




Resto Surabaya
14 Scotts Road
#05-26/26A Far East Plaza
6738 4369
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