“From its tender texture and zesty flavour, the culinary Sherlock Holmes in me could deduce that it was boiled in spices prior to being thrown in to the frying pan.“
Not many eateries in Jakarta dedicate themselves to exclusively serving Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) – most middle-of-the-road warung would still have other choices such as Ikan Lele (catfish) and seafood – but then again, Ayam Goreng H. Mardun Martinah is not your ordinary joint. It has solely offered Ayam Goreng since it was established in the 1960s – a fact that prompted me to take a closer look.
Located on Jalan Mangga Besar Raya – just a few steps away from the Mangga Besar police station –Ayam Goreng H. Mardun Martinah’s shop is quite small in stature, with a capacity of around 20-25 people. A few photographs of the late H. Mardun and his wife can be seen adorning the walls of the place. One of them caught my eye instantly – a framed collage of snapshots showing the eatery that was taken from 1969-1970, as written on the photo. A blast from the past that would surely make any patron of this fine establishment think back to the days gone by.
Enough of the nostalgia, though; let’s get on with what I came for. I was surprised when the waiter came over to set up the food on my table, only to place a number of small plates filled with side dishes to accompany my Ayam Goreng. There were peanut sauce, pickles, marinated, shallots, and fried tofu – reminiscent of a meal at a Korean restaurant.
The Ayam Goreng was impeccably fried, leaving it not too dry and preserving the juiciness of its meat. From its tender texture and zesty flavour, the culinary Sherlock Holmes in me could deduce that it was boiled in spices prior to being thrown in to the frying pan. As for the side dishes, the peanut sauce was the clear winner here – not too thick, topped with a mild trace of chilli to add that much-needed spicy kick. For a meal to share with your loved ones, it offers a whole chicken for you and your friends and families to make short work of.
With this sort of enticing delicacies on offer, it’s pretty obvious why this shop has lasted for as long as it has. If you reside somewhere nearby Jalan Panjang, there’s an Ayam Goreng H. Mardun Martina outlet there that you could pay a visit to.
Jl. Mangga Besar Raya No.90A
T: 021 629 0229
Open daily from 9.30am-8.30pm
Rp.40,000/US$2.90 per person