Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hunt for the perfect Ayam Penyet

Ayam Penyet is an Indonesian dish of fried chicken - heavily seasoned, lightly battered and then lightly smashed flat. "Ayam" means chicken and "penyet" translates to smashed - so Ayam Penyet means Smashed Chicken. Many also translates this dish to Fried Smashed Chicken.

It is usually served with fried tempeh (fermented soy product), fried tofu, a slice or two of cucumber and fiery chilli.

I've been craving for good Ayam Penyet recently.

During our trip to Batam, I was delighted to see Ayam Penyet Ria at Nagoya Hill Shopping Centre. Ayam Penyet Ria is a popular shop for Ayam Penyet in Singapore that I've never managed to visit.

But.. the Ayam Penyet was disappointing. The marinate wasn't tasty enough, it wasn't crispy enough.. the portion was terribly small and overall, it just wasn't enough to satisfy my cravings. Based on the reviews I've read on the restaurant, I'm not sure it's the same chain, actually.. So maybe I should go and try the real Ayam Penyet Ria in Singapore.

Disappointing Ayam Penyet in Batam

There are, however, a couple good Ayam Penyet places that I know about.

One is all the way across the other side of the island at Choa Chu Kang's Lot 1, highly recommended by Petunia. I seldom like food in shopping mall food courts, because I think that they are usually cooked without "heart". They may look alright but there is no real depth in flavour because they are mostly run in a franchise or chain-store manner.

But the Ayam Penyet at this store in Foodfare is pretty good - crispy, flavourful fried chicken, albeit a tad too dry and wonderful, fiery chilli paste. The best part is the furry-looking stuff on top - some say they are fried shredded lemongrass and others say fried shredded coconut. Whatever they are, they are bursting with the flavour of spices and go very well with rice.

The furry stuff on top of the chicken is what I like most about this Ayam Penyet at Lot 1

Another place with great Ayam Penyat is Dju Dju Indonesian Food, at 304 Serangoon Avenue 2, #01-14. This is a stall in a local coffeeshop run by a whole group of aunties. They have also recently opened a store in Food Junction at the Nex shopping mall. The chicken is well seasoned and well fried, also a tad dry but the skin is so flavourful I tend to overlook this one small flaw. The chilli is extremely spicy yet oh-so-fragrant, with a hint of freshly squeezed lime. Apart from the Ayam Penyat, I also like the Mee Rebus and Otah in this store.

Ayam Penyet from Dju Dju

I'm still on the hunt for the #1 place for it in Singapore. Where is your favourite Ayam Penyet store located?


Blur Ting said...

I was equally disappointed at the one in Batam. The portions are baby size!

Have you tried the Ayam Penget Ria in Lucky Plaza yet? It is good. Nothing like the ones in Batam. They have a new outlet in Bedok Food Mall. Near my place!

Lrong said...

Would love to sink my fangs into this dish...

I am Hap(py) said...

I thought the one i ate at Giant Tampines Food Court was decent. Was thinking of going there to eat! NOM NOM!

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