“Although I’m no stranger to Ayam Taliwang having eaten it before in Jakarta a couple of times, this was to be the first time that I would ever try it in its land of origin.”
To visit Lombok without devouring some Ayam Taliwang (spicy grilled chicken) would be akin to going on a holiday to Bali without paying a visit to any of its beaches – it would be an incomplete sojourn devoid of one of the very aspects that makes the place special. Thankfully, you can find eateries specialising in this local dish in every nook and cranny of Mataram.
On my recent trip to the island, I ate my way through several Ayam Taliwang joints and discovered what makes each and every one of them tick. The first establishment that I came across was RM Ayam Taliwang Kania, a restaurant that has been in operation since 1994. With a branch over in the city of Bima, Mataram’s RM Ayam Taliwang Kania is situated on Jalan Pancausaha in the Cakranegara area, which is the traditional shopping district of the city.
Housed in a shoplot, it provides an alfresco dining area complete with a number of beruga – Lombok-style gazebos. There’s ample parking space to be found in front of the shop, while locating the place is a piece of cake thanks to the decently sized signage hanging in front of the building.
I reached RM Ayam Taliwang Kania at around 3pm, and the place was near empty. Although I’m no stranger to Ayam Taliwang having eaten it before in Jakarta a couple of times, this was to be the first time that I would ever try it in its land of origin. It has become public knowledge that the people of Lombok take pride in the extreme spiciness of its cuisine.
Just to be on the safe side, I opted for the joint’s not-too-spicy version of the dish. It only took the kitchen ten minutes to have my food ready on my table, since the kitchen wasn’t too busy at the time. The chicken tasted significantly superior to those that I’ve sampled back in Jakarta. There were two different types of Sambal Pelalah (spicy coconut milk sauce) served along with the grilled chicken: sweet dark brown and super-spicy light brown. Customers are able to mix them up on their own according to their preference.
Jl. Pancausaha, Mataram
Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat
T: 0370 625 547
Open daily from 11am-11pm
Rp.60,000/US$4.30 per person