I didn't realise that Lucky Plaza has about 4 or 5 restaurants selling ayam penyet so when I asked Jal to meet me for lunch at "The Ayam Penyet Stall" at Lucky Plaza, he asked "which one"? Even Ayam Penyet Ria has 2 branches in Lucky Plaza.
I was hankering for some good ol' fashioned ayam soto and Ayam Penyet Ria has one of the best renditions (that I know of) of the classic Malay-style chicken soup. Although I went to its branch on the 4th floor the last time I was here with Ernie, we decided to try the one on the 1st floor this time.
Jal got the Ayam Penyet ($6.90), half a smashed chicken served with blanched kangkong, batter crisps, fried beancurd and beancake and a raw cabbage. The accompanying sambal looked mild but was tongue-numbingly spicy. Still, we all liked it, it was sweet, hot and robust.
We all got the Sayap Penyet ($6) smashed chicken wings to share. Like the ayam penyet, this was juicy, succulent and well-marinated so the flavour of the marinade was fully seeped into the meat. Although the blanched kangkong was tasteless on its own, it was brilliant when smeared with the fiery sweetish sambal. I really liked the beancake, which was soft, crumbly and mild, as opposed to the slightly sourish beancurd.
The Sop Buntut ($7) oxtail soup, wasn't too bad, the oxtail was fork-tender and practically melted on the tongue. Carrots and potato provided texture and sweetness to the heady clear soup.
We'd asked for them to hold off the coriander in the Oxtail Soup but they'd obviously forgot about it, so we sent it back and got one without coriander.
My Soto Ayam ($6.50) Chicken Soup was yummylicious. This was chock full of flavoursome shredded chicken, clear vermicelli, cabbage strips and half a hard boiled egg.
I love the richness of the chicken soup, and how the tumeric and cumin provided a distinctive Malay accent to the soup.
The drinks that quelled our burnt tongues, from left to right, Soda Gembira ($2.10) Happy Soda, a fizzy version of bandung (rose syrup and sweetened condensed milk) and Lime Juice ($2)
Ayam Penyet Ria
304 Orchard Road
#01-45/46/47 Lucky Plaza
Open daily from 11am to 10.30pm