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Yogyakarta: Ayam Goreng Jawa Mbah Cemplung

Yogyakarta: Ayam Goreng Jawa Mbah Cemplung


“The chicken meat was juicy with a trace of sweetness, which is typical of a free-range chicken, or ayam kampung, as we call it.

Ayam Goreng Jawa Mbah Cemplung is a long-standing eatery located in Desa Wisata Kasongan, which is a clay handicraft centre in Bantul in the southern part of Yogyakarta. A string of shops offering a myriad of export-quality pottery and handmade porcelain ware abound here, with the Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) joint sitting nearby. According to my driver, the shop has been around since 1970 and is a popular spot for local tour guides to take their clients to indulge in its delightful fried chicken.

It was packed to the brim when I arrived. I could see a vacant table inside, but it was just too hot to be eating indoors, especially when the only source of cool air came from a handful of ceiling fans. Instead, I chose to settle myself at a table situated in joint’s porch. There’s a whole-chicken set available on the menu, which I was tempted to try out. However, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to finish it all by myself, I went for a half-chicken portion and a glass of iced tea.

After around five to seven minutes, my food came and it gave me quite a surprise. Despite being half the size of a whole chicken, it was still very huge. A plate of fresh vegetables consisting of daun kenikir (similar to marigold leaves), basil leaves, and cucumber slices was served on the side, along with a small bowl of sambal. The chicken meat was juicy with a trace of sweetness, which is typical of a free-range chicken, or ayam kampung, as we call it. As for the sambal, I had to add a couple drops of sweet soy sauce to reduce its spiciness – yes, it was that spicy.
Upon leaving the parking lot, I saw a group of buses arriving. If I had come a bit later, I might have to fight it out for a table. If you prefer not to eat at a crowded joint, try its other outlet on Jalan Lingkar Selatan Madukismo.

Desa Sembungan, Bangunjiwo,
Bantul, Yogyakarta
T: 0274 926 1977
Open daily from 8am-5pm
Rp.60,000/US$4.40 per person


A die-hard fan of authentic Indonesian delights who loves the idea of travelling to the cradle of those enticing local treats. Yet, you might often find this young lad busy with his guitar – be it alone in his room or, sometimes, on stage.

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