I heard that Indonesians bring these Ayam Penyet packages back home and some even to HongKong. Thus I wondered what the hype is all about. Indonesian cuisines are fantabulous in their own home but what is so great about this ayam penyet that they must absolutely have them packaged and bring to their homeland, the country of ayam penyet origin?
And so I was determined to find the answer. Armed with empty tummy and inquisitive mind, I head straight to their trendy branch at Jurong Point (just beside basement NTUC). My appointment (initiated by me) was on a public holiday but that did not deter the owner, the beautiful and young Ms Marvella from joining me and answer my careless doubts.
Ayam Penyet Ria is the one that made us MADLY in love with AYAM PENYET.They are the reason that Singaporeans are crazy for it since few years back and still am nuts.They raise the bar on Indonesian Cuisine and allow many races to enjoy their delicacies under one roof with quality food of generous servings but of affordable prices.
First, I was greeted by 3 gorgeous drinks…Avocado juice, Cendol drink and Lava girl. Lava girl was inspired by one of a kid customer who wanted a refreshing but fun drink. He was ecstatic when Marvella concoct this drink just for him. He absolutely loves it and soon many kids join in. I realised it kinda “stirred” that little kid in me to rise up cos the little jelly balls and the mixture of blue and red syrup and a bubbly soda with lychee fruits kinda makes me feel young all over again.
The avocado was specially formulated from Indonesian Avocado (with no dilution of water intended) with special sugary syrup (unlike some who uses chocolate sauce) imported from Indonesia. It reminds me of palm sugar or gula melaka. And the Cendol is a rich coconut milk dessert with the green Cendol strips which are freshly handmade. And take note, Indonesian Cendol drink has no red beans, so don’t ask for it.Authentically,that is the way it is made. Only Singaporeans are pampered by the treasures (palm seed, jellies, beans) that we always find whenever we eat our own Singaporean style Cendol.
Looking at us ,2 petite ladies, everyone who passes us by,will be shocked at our luxurious table. It was filled with many penyet variations. And every single one of them are drooliciously good looking!
Recently as mentioned, there is a TV program in Suria Channel called “Makan Boomz”.They went around Singapore in search of food clones. Whereby the ingredients are either added or substituted to cater to Singapore’s palate. And Penyet was the theme for one episode. And I thought I have seen all the “clones” till Marvella showed me more….
Above pictures are the Penyet variations that they have. Famously known for Ayam Penyet (chicken) , they continue striving excellence in each unique ingredients to make them “stars”. And I must admit, some of them are pretty good!
Marvella further emphasized that each individual ingredients have their own unique marinations and recipes for their own Penyet. They do not use the same recipe for all. They want the uniqueness of individuality in each Penyet to shine thru. Wow! I really must try each and every one of them.
We were served with Ayam (Chicken) Penyet, Empal Penyet (beef steak), boneless chicken penyet, Cumi-cumi (squid) penyet and soft shell crab penyet (what?!). So the new two clones are Soft shell and squid penyet. There are also prawns and bakso penyet (meatballs),Lele (catfish) and Bawal (pomfret) penyet….which are also commonly found in other Penyet restaurants.
Fascinatingly, the boneless chicken penyet is very different than the common Ayam Penyet.The boneless chicken is created for people (especially foreigners) who hated the hassle of deboning the flesh and all that. And from my tastebuds, I felt that the boneless chicken meat (from breast) are quite tender but has a more vibrant taste of the spices.Much wilder than the typical Ayam Penyet.
The normal Ayam Penyet is already tasty as it is, with the crispy skin and marination that really fully embodied each individual chicken thighs. They took hours to just marinate them and then boiled in soup fulled of spices and then deep fried. Mmm…smell those lingering spices in the air.Yummy!
If you want to know whether the Ayam Penyet will taste great, is first by tasting their simple tahu and tempeh (tofu and fermented beancurd).If these simple fried fritters are deliciously marinated then, you are in for a TREAT! Cos the chicken and other meat items are gonna be SHIOK! Another trick is to bite and look into the tofu, you can see the yellowish turmeric and rich spices inside the tofu and not just the edges only thus that shows its detailed and passionate marination.
The empal penyet is made of beef steak hand cut and smashed into fraying bits. Tender and nice. But I already have my favourite Empal Penyet which is in Waroeng Penyet.So this one is not bad. Overall,the chilli is quite feisty. Don’t forget to drink lots of water!
I am not the Tahu Telor fan…seriously, I have no idea why people are so hooked on them. But when I first laid eyes on this special “crispy tofu mountain”, I know, I shall never see Tahu Telor the same way again. It changes my life. It’s like a mixture between tahu goreng and gado-gado. I like the part when the whole “mountain” is equally drenched in the spicy gravy. I like it!
Ok,the two special clones. The soft shell crab was a delight!Often only found in Japanese Restaurant,this is exquisitely interesting to be part of the Penyet family.
I like eating this crab without the hassle of peeling or crushing the shell. I just eat them all..the flesh,shell..everything! It was crispy on the outside but exceptionally soft on the inside. Im not sure where it is from, but somehow I can taste the slight sea saltishness in its flesh.
Next clone was the Cumi-cumi. The squids are freshly fried and so it was tender yet, slight chewy. Almost like Old Chang Kee squid but much better and fresher. I love! Do take note, that most of these food are best eaten on the spot,freshly cooked in the restaurant itself.
I did try their Rawon soup which uses Buah Keluak (Pangium Edule nuts),a very distinctive but of acquired taste, very diluted as compared to the dollops of thick gravy in the Malay,Nasi Rawan.Even the simple Soto (which uses Soo-oon (cellophane noodles))is rich with Indonesian Spices that I felt like I was in Batam enjoying their street hawker fare.The sayur asam (sweet sour veggies soup) is thicker than usual with tamarind as its main ingredient.
Ayam Penyet Ria are proud of the fact that they they source out the best spices and ingredients from Indonesia and import them back to Singapore for their food.They strived to create an authentic Indonesian food with a balance with the cold benefits of the veggies and the heatyness of the fried fritters kinda like their own version of “Yin and Yang”.This is one restaurant, that I saw Kangkong is used as one of their sides. And their veggies aren’t those lying feverishly at the sides,whereby often patrons leave it out as a decorative condiments.They are quite fresh and crunchy,seriously.
They want to bring out the best of Indonesian cuisine to the people in Singapore.It’s no wonder , the Sultan Brunei is said to love their fourth level restaurant in Lucky Plaza and will book the whole premise for his royal dining when he drops by.Hmm….
Ramadan promotion is in the making. Do drop by for updates. A new branch is coming up in Bedok new shopping mall and I heard there is a new interesting snack popping up in their menu. I cannot wait to try!! *droolz
So what are you waiting for? Come on down for iftar!
Thank you to Ayam Penyet Ria for this gracious invitation. And especially to my dining companion Ms Marvella and not forgetting the hardworking staff: Teddy, Anita, Wati , Li Han and others….
Disclaimer: Food featured are subject to my personal taste. I hold no responsibility for your body’s gastronomical adventure.All food shown are either from Halal-certified or Muslim owned establishments(with no liquour/alcoholic beverages).I will try my utmost best to update and maintain the relevant information shown,insya-Allah…but your body,your responsibility.Do ensure that the Halal-certificates are up-to-date,renewed (not expired) and displayed promptly before ordering/consuming. If in doubt,always ask the staff with a smile.Remember: Use ur senses especially your heart.But mainly, ask your iman (faith). Don’t assume: A headdress/scarf lady is not equal to HALAL. “No pork no lard” signage is not equal to HALAL. A crescent moon and star symbol is not equal to HALAL. Not all Mediterranean (e.g Turkish kebab), Malaysian, Indonesian cuisines (especially Nasi Padang food) is HALAL. Whatever franchise that is HALAL in Malaysia,Indonesia or in any muslim country does not mean it is HALAL in Singapore or anywhere else. Your body,your responsibility, check its HALAL authenticity.More on disclaimer?Thank you for your kind attention.