When it comes to Indonesian food, none is more famous than Ayam Penyet, essentially a flattened deep fried chicken served with tempeh (made from fermented soya bean), tofu, and those oh-so-addictive sambal.
Ayam Penyet Mak Maya, Kampung Baru
My first ayam penyet was at Waroeng Penyet just over a decade ago, and it was love at first taste. I’ve been on a look out for ayam penyet stalls in its most “pure” form ever since, for a lack of a better word.
A hunt that led me to Ayam Penyet Mak Maya at Kampung Baru, my current favorite.
Mak Maya is located at Kampung Baru, directly opposite to one of my favorite Nasi Padang restaurant. The restaurant itself is a bit of a time capsule from the 80s, with plastic chairs and laminated table.
I always order mine with extra sambal
What sets Ayam Penyet Mak Maya apart from other such stalls is their sambal. The sambal is prepared “fresh” on the spot by grinding fresh ingredients to the paste form we’re familiar with.
The result was expectedly excellent, spicy, aromatic, and pure. I love it.
ayam or ikan for you?
Other than ayam penyet (chicken), they also have ikan kembung (Indian Mackerel), and ikan keli (catfish) deep fried in the same style.
These are served with deep fried tauhu, tempeh, and a slice of raw cucumber, cabbage to go with plain rice. The sambal of course ties everything together to make a plate of super satisfying lunch.
if you love it spicy, you’d love it here
If you want a good meal of ayam penyet in the heart of KL city, this is one to check out.. before Kampung Baru is eventually being redeveloped.
Address: Ayam Penyet Mak Maya 58, Jalan Raja Muda Mus Kampung Baru, 50300 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.164533, 101.708807
Penangites always love a proper plate of char kuih teow and would usually regards CKT prepared by non Penang Hokkien as a bit of suspect. So naturally, most of us probably won’t sample char kuih teow manned by a Malay operator, since it’s .. well, usually not at all similar to the “original” version in which we’re familiar with.
It’s a game of fire and showmanship
However, being a food writer, it is also very important to be open and be willing to try all sorts of food and dishes, including those that may looked to be going against my “cultural heritage”, a decision which brought me to many wonderful surprises and great experience, including this kuih teow basah stall at SS15 that I tried a short while ago.
The stall operates out of a van usually parked just outside the SS15 wet market on Jalan SS15/8a. There’ll be a few ad hoc tables set up right next it, comfort isn’t of any particular emphasis.
The cooking though, was a bit of a show, with flames threatening to blow up the entire operations, though any experienced hawker adventurer would find this a welcoming sight. And indeed it was!
simple looking kuih teow basah, but oh so delicious
The resulting plate of kuih teow was nothing like the type I’m familiar with, it came with kuih teow (of course), egg, bean sprout, cockles, and a couple prawns with shells still on. It was also really wet, and spicy in a way that’s different from what I’m used to, yet it was very delicious in its own way, with the sauce packing a strong sweet seafood flavor and the dish having its own “wok hei” if you will.
If you’re a fan of kuih teow, give this a try as well, you may be surprised.
Address: Kuih Teow Basah Food Truck Jalan SS15/8a (outside wet market) Subang Jaya, Selangor GPS:3.074237, 101.587796 Hours: night
Over the CNY period my family and I went over to Aman Suria to meet up with a couple cousins for lunch. At the time was also a period when my dear friend Suanie kept talking about Kesom Kafe and their nasi kerabu basically every few hours, so I decided it was a good venue for us to gather for lunch.
Cafe Kesom, they could use a bigger sign board tho
Well, to start, it took me a couple go-around to locate Kesom. See, the restaurant is located right below blook warehouse (same owner apparently), whose signboard is about 10x bigger than the tiny little yellow-on-white Kesom board located behind some plants.
It’s like they purposely want to make it difficult.
now that’s what I call a sumptuous lunch
Once inside though, the treasure hunting effort paid off.
Kesom is tastefully decorated like a modern cafe, but carries some of the most traditional Kelantanese dishes prepared properly and served on wax paper akin to roadside stalls in the East Coast, all for asking price that is more than reasonable.
pulut inti, mee siam, nasi dagang, nasi kerabu
The nasi kerabu (RM 8) and nasi dagang (RM 7) were both delicious and packed with all the traditional ingredients you’d expect these dishes to have. The blue rice, chopped greens, meat floss, sambal, and even telur masin were all there. It was superb.
some centerplates to share
Additionally, they also offer quite a few dishes for sharing. Ayam goreng berempah (RM 7.90) was crispy and crunchy, gulai ayam kawah and tempe were all rather delicious as well.
For those who likes traditional Malay kuih, I’d also recommend their pulut inti.
good times with family & relatives
After lunch at Kesom, I somehow understood Suanie’s obsession, and while I won’t have the same nasi kerabu 5 times a week, I think anyone who love this traditional Kelantanese dish should pay Kesom a visit.
To be fair, Nomad Adventure does offer food after the whole ordeal, but if you want something slightly more exciting, the closest option would be Mee Kari Ami, just minutes of drive away.
Mee Kari, with home-made sauce
Mee Kari Ami is probably the most happening place in this otherwise sleepy kampung. The old fashion restaurant offers mee kicap, mee sup, and laksa in addition to mee kari. Each bowl costs RM 4, but if you go for “special”, it’ll be RM 5.50, and “besar” is RM 6.50.
with crackers and fish cake
We went for their ordinary version of Mee Kari which comes with crackers, fish cakes, and some sort of homemade chili sauce which gives it a bit of a kick, but not overly so. To be fair, it wasn’t the absolute best curry mee I’ve ever had, but it was one hell of a satisfying meal after a day at the river.
If you had a chance at Gopeng for some white water rafting or other activities, give this place a try.
It’s a bit of a tradition that our group of colleagues at work takes turn to buy lunch for everyone, usually at the frequency of about once a year or so (when got bonus lah). Several weeks ago, it was Iman’s time, and she managed to get another colleague to recommend a “new to us” place – Fatimah at Kampung Baru.
Fatimah Selera Kampung, at Kampung Baru
In a way, many of the Malay restaurants in Kampung Baru offers similar dishes at first glance, and it usually takes someone with experience in the area to know which are the must-order dishes in certain restaurants. For Fatimah Selera Kampung, what I enjoyed most was their daging salai, prawn gulai, and most definitely, the tempe. If you’re a fan of tempe, don’t miss it.
However, the true star at this restaurant, to me, has got to be their killer jangung drink. It’s basically shaved iced with corn, and it’s really, really awesome. If you’re a fan of ais kacang, this is a little bit like that, but better.
plenty of local dishes to choose from, including daging salai
Additionally, they also serve ikan bakar, asam pedas, ikan masak lada, ikan goreng asam, rendang, ulam, and more. For the lone rangers, there are also nasi/mee/meehun/koay teow goreng.
jagung ais is not to be missed!
Prices at Fatimah Selera Kampung is in tune with other such places in Kampung Baru. You may also want to check out Makanan Padang Asli (if you’re a tunjang/beef tendon fan) and Grand Garuda (for another nasi padang alternative) if you’re around the area.