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
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.
A few days before bulan puasa, we had several rounds of short lunch excursions, one of which was the famous asam pedas place at Man’s Cafe in Kampung Baru. Since Ramadan has passed, I thought it’s appropriate to write about this place as it is back in business for lunch again.
Update: Place has since moved down the road next to Akar Homestay
updated pic of the new Man’s Cafe Asam Pedas
Asam Pedas Kampung Baru, or Man’s Cafe Selera Kampung
Located at the “entrance” to Kampung Baru from Jalan Tun Razak as you turn into Jalan Raja Muda Musa, the little eatery is yet another zinc roofed structure that has seen better days as a residence. Dining tables with plastic chairs are scattered about the former porch and living room of the house, with a couple rows of delicious looking dishes presented at around the entrance.
ulam, ikan bakar, sambal, tempoyak, and more
Like most Malay mixed rice places, there’s a pretty good variety of choices here – starting from over half a dozen choices of ulam, to kari ikan, ayam goreng, several types of sambal (including tempoyak aka fermented durian), telur dadar, sambal chili, terung chili, and good mix of ikan bakar.
the all important Asam Pedas (bottom right)
While those dishes we tried were all pretty good, the highlight of lunch was their signature dish – asam pedas. It is basically curry cooked with salted vegetable that’s not unlike the Chinese spicy vegetable (a good version can be found at Peng Heong Hakka Paikut Rice in Klang), but cooked with fish instead. It was sour, spicy, and absolutely intoxicating.
If you’re up for something that can jolt your senses, Man’s Asam Pedas cafe is one of those places to check out.
Address: Man’s Asam Pedas Cafe Intersection of Jalan Raja Muda Musa & Jalan Raja Uda Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.165282,101.709029
A couple weeks ago we continue our journey in the exploration of Minang food within the KLCC vicinity, and this time around it’s Restoran Grand Garuda Baru at Kampung Baru.
Grand Garuda Baru, Kampung Baru
The restaurant is rather big but with pretty simple decoration. It seemingly sits between the old school type of shack like Masakan Padang at Jalan Raja Muda Musa and the higher class establishment like Puti Bongsu. One good thing though is that it is air conditioned, and plays some pretty funny sounding MTV if you’re not familiar with Minang language (sounds like a cross between Malay & Japanese)
masakan Padang in all its glory
As of the food, it’s typical Padang dishes. We had the famous ayam pop, the beef tendon that must not be missed, and the daging salai (smoked beef) that’s so crunchy I wish they come in a plastic bag so I can bring them to cinema.
The tempe, sambal chili, terung (eggplant), and nangka were pretty delicious as well. it was pretty satisfying overall.
don’t forget to have this little dessert
The bill came to be about RM 30 ish per pax, which is pretty decent for the type of food we get.
If you have a big group, Restoran Grand Garuda should definitely be in your short list for Padang food.
One of my favorite animal parts to consume is beef tendon. I always remember the first time I had it, it was at some obscure beef noodle stall back in Penang with my late dad. I was hooked with the soft texture and the subtle taste from the first bite.
From then on, I always try to order extra beef tendon whenever I had Vietnamese pho or beef noodle, but it didn’t occur to me that there are actually Malay dishes that also serves up this most awesome delicacy. Enter Masakan Padang Asli at Kampung Baru.
Kampung Baru Masakan Padang Asli
Masakan Padang Asli (as stated on the banner, probably not actual name) is one of those old school traditional house-converted-to-restaurant establishment in Kampung Baru that has existed from eons. It is located at the intersection between Jalan Raja Muda Musa & Lorong Raja Muda Musa 6. Parking isn’t the easiest to find, but it’s well worth the trouble for what this place has to offer.
good variety of dishes to choose from
The variety of dishes here is pretty big, and since it is Padang, or Minangkabau cuisine, the choices is a little bit different from the usual Malay stalls or mamak nasi kandar places. You’ll also notice that a heavier dosage of kunyit is used in many dishes (aka Negeri Sembilan cuisine.)
these were what we ordered, everyone had tunjang (beef tendon)
The must order here is tunjang (beef tendon) and the paru (beef lung). The tendon is super soft and melt in your mouth, while the lung crispy and fluffy without being tough.
Other dishes like the expertly prepped fried fish, curry chicken, and bergedil are worth checking out as well. Prices can come to around RM 10ish per person, but do check it out if you love Padang food. It’s pretty awesome.
Address: Masakan Padang Asli Jalan Raja Muda Musa & Lorong Raja Muda Musa 6 Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.164654, 101.708920