“The lamb satay had a similar aesthetic to the ones you would normally find in Jakarta, yet it’s flawlessly juicy and had none of that stench that tends to emanate from a lamb-based dish.“
My recent short trip to Kuta led me to witness majestic sunsets and unnecessarily splurge on souvenirs and knick-knacks at its myriad of shops. During one of my many afternoon strolls around town, I made a brief stop at Pasar Senggol Kuta – otherwise also known as Kuta Night Market for you English speakers – to satisfy my grumbling tummy. I’ve only just reached the place when I spotted a joint sited at the facade of the market: Warung Kasihan, which intriguingly translates as the “Sympathy Warung” in the Queen’s English.
Specialising in Sate Kambing (lamb satay) and Sate Ayam(chicken satay), this shop was one of a handful that had already opened its doors to potential customers when I arrived at about 3pm. From its humble beginnings as a roadside warung on Jalan Blambangan that was initiated by H. Mardju in 1965, Warung Kasihan has had its ups and downs in its culinary journey. A positive turn of fortune saw the business undergo an expansion, which culminated in the opening of several branches around town. However, it didn’t last long as they had to close them down a few years after. The shop is now run by the founder’s grandson.
It wouldn’t be such a surprise that I opted for both the Sate Kambing and Sate Ayam when I visited the place. Despite the lack of a crowd at the night market itself, the eatery was still packing its fair share of customers. The lamb satay had a similar aesthetic to the ones you would normally find in Jakarta, yet it’s flawlessly juicy and had none of that stench that tends to emanate from a lamb-based dish. The thick chicken chunks on the Sate Ayam were perfectly grilled to a T, while its well-seasoned peanut sauce melted smoothly on my palate.
Jl. Blambangan, Kuta
Open daily from 9am to 10pm
Rp.30,000/US$2.20 per person