I don’t know what I was thinking back then when people were saying good things about Ayam Lengkuas, a fried chicken hawker stand in Setia Budi neighborhood many years ago. All I did was to try other stuff aside from this one! Finally, I decided to have my virgin flight there.
As we all know, Setia Budi has ample choices for good street foods. Back then I had my own favorite warteg for my regular intake of rice with omelette and stir-fried veggies, or there was also this seafood shack that had really good grilled cuttlefish and fried tahu with sambal. I could even indulge my weekend morning at a warkop (street side coffee shop) for coffee, toast, or instant noodles; and of course, there’s also this affordable Chinese restaurant that I usually frequented but outrageously I never tried Ayam Lengkuas at all.
Years later, I finally got my chance to make redemption and arrived there just before dinner time. Much to my surprise, they already ran out of the breast cut for the grilled chicken and I had to opt for the thigh. While many people often select this latter cut, I am proud to say that I always love the former because of the meat volume and it is less fatty (although I don’t really care about that fact – as a foodie!).
Anyway, the grilled chicken came with rice, lalapan (raw vegetables), a really spicy sambal, and additional fried tahu and bawan jagung (corn fritter) by request.
But wait a minute! That sounds too normal right? Well, that’s because lengkuas (galangal) in Ayam Lengkuas means that all the serving has to be equipped with this ingredient!
The proprietress of Ayam Lengkuas decided long ago to differentiate themselves with other fried chicken joints by adding shredded galangal instead of the usual coconut. You can still sense the umami richness from either of these but the taste character is of course different. At any rate, it suits a lot with both fried chicken and the grilled chicken that I specifically ordered. The coolest thing about this place is that you can always ask for more lengkuas and the owner will provide you generously.
Additionally Ayam Lengkuas also has other stuff like fish, soups, sayur asem, and different kinds of rice from the usual white, uduk, or yellow. Plenty of option for just a simple fried chicken hawker, right?
As much as I regret those days when I can still come here anytime I want, but it’s all paid off by only one visit. It’s not going to be my last but for those of you who haven’t, do make it your first – like me.
Unsuitable for vegetarians
Jalan Setia Budi Tengah (across Apotik Setia Budi), Jakarta – Indonesia
Everyday, 10am – 11pm
Spend: IDR 15,000 – IDR 25,000 / person
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE June 2014 edition
Download it for free here via SCOOP!
Photos by: Rian Farisa