In the evening of the staycation at The Elizabeth Hotel, my BFFs and I went for a simple dinner at Ayam Penyet Ria at Lucky Plaza. Within the old, yet ever-popular shopping centre, there are quite a few eateries offering the Indonesian deep-fried smashed chicken, but Ayam Penyet Ria is one of the pioneers of such a delicacy.
Ayam Bakar S$8.00
Coming together with a plate of plain rice, the grilled chicken was delectably moist and succulent, lathered in finger-licking good kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce). The accompanying tempe (lit. fermented soya bean cake) and beancurd were lightly battered with flour and aromatic turmeric powder before deep-fried.
Gurame Penyet S$9.80
The deep-fried garoupa was as crispy as I'd expected it to be, even though the flesh could be juicier. The crumbs, liberally thrown in all over the fish, were addictively crunchy without any parts of it being soggy. I have to say that the chili wasn't that memorable. It did have a nice degree of spiciness, but the overall taste and texture could be improved further.
Sayur Asam S$4.20
The most common problem with sayur asam (lit. sour vegetables) is that it's too sweet than it's sour. The one we tried at Ayam Penyet Ria did commit the same mistake, but not that bad as the sour taste from tamarind was definitely there. I noted that there were only one or two chayote cubes inside the soup.
Pempek Palembang S$7.00
Pempek is a kind of fish cake from the city of Palembang in South Sumatra, Indonesia. Served fried by the eatery, each of them was savoury enough for my taste buds, especially the one with a boiled egg yolk inside. The dark sauce, however, was somewhat too sweet and it could definitely be spicier.
Soda Gembira S$2.50
At first glance, I was wondering why the soda gembira (lit. happy soda) appeared so clear instead of cloudy, only realising a few seconds later that they didn't pre-mix the cherry soda with the condensed milk that was placed at the bottom of the glass. It was decent enough to cool myself down after the meal, but so far I haven't found a really good one in Singapore.
Pika's advice: As we didn't try the deep-fried ayam penyet the other day, you should. I can recall from my previous visit some time ago that it was pretty delicious.
Ayam Penyet Ria
304 Orchard Road
#04-25 Lucky Plaza
(Daily: 12 noon - 9.00pm)
*Prices quoted are nett prices.
Have a nice meal,