Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hunting for ayam penyet in singapore!

by Farah 'Fairy' Mahdzan (21 Oct 2005)

It was a Sunday afternoon and Orchard Road was swarming with people

- among them,

sizeable crowds of Filipina maids, happily socializing on their day off

from work.

As I ambled along in multicultural Singapore that fine September day,

a signage

at Lucky Plaza made me stop dead in my tracks.

Firstly, it was the TEH BOTOL advertisement that caught my thirsty eyes.

Secondly it was the intriguing menu that was being boldy publicized


The English translation provided on the Indonesian sign was

"Smashed Fried Chicken."

(I don't know about you, but I always thought penyet was spelled


Maybe it's different the way Malaysians say it ('penyek') as opposed

to how

Indonesians say it - 'penyet'. Food for thought!)

The SPCA would hate me for this, but of course my mind started

to conjure

comical images of poor chickens being flattened to death with a

steamroller in

the slaughterhouse, all ready to be served up as ayam penyet.

Nonetheless my curiousity got the better of my imagination.

So off I galloped into

Lucky Plaza to check out what this ayam penyet business was about.

And apparently this was it.

A recipe straight from Surabaya, ayam penyet is fried chicken

condimented with some

killer sambal and kangkung plus cabbage and ulamraja leaves

(for the 'cooling' factor),

And yes it did look like the chicken had taken a bit of beating.

Naturally, we had our chicken with white rice.

The ayam penyet is nice and savory and makes for quite a bit of a meal.

The sambal

was hot and made us perspire like athletes. Eating sambal is a sport on

its own anyway.

I had also ordered a side of bakso meatballs, which I could barely finish.

Fried chicken,

bakso meatballs and just plain greed will do that to you.

Our good friend Tante Safe of Singapore bought us lunch. Thanks Tante. :)

Would I eat ayam penyet again? Absolutely.

To wash our meal down, we had our mugs of teh botol. At 1.80 Singapore

dollars a pop,

it is the priciest Sosro drink that I've ever had if you compare the

conversion factor of

the rupiah (close to Rp.10,000). A bottle of teh botol in Indonesia is

typically around

Rp.2,000 - Rp.3,000.

And really, no true teh botol-er would drink their teh with ice.

Come on, it's even documented

"Devotees say that for the best experience you should sip Teh Botol Sosro with a straw, straight from a bottle that has been fridge-cooled: Don't pour it into a cup and put ice cubes in it."

So much for being a teh botol devotee at Ayam Penyet! The teh botol

was actually from

the Tetrapacks. The inclusion of ice gives the illusion of a full mug.

Oh, and remember my little imagination of chickens being splatted

for the purpose

of being served as ayam penyet? Here's a little animation to put

that thought to

virtual reality.

No chickens were harmed in the making of the following


The same cannot be said for the fates of the chickens

featured above.


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