Give and take…

It will be officially declared open tomorrow – the 11th of November, this “authentic Indonesian restaurant“…

Ayam Penyet Ria, Sibu 1

…that has outlets in other towns and cities in the country and also in Singapore and Hong Kong, if I am not wrong.

Located here (2.318561,111.832075) in the Sungai Antu vicinity across the road from the RTM building, right next door to this place that I had not been to for a long long time

RTM Sibu

…it had its soft opening yesterday, Monday.

I guess everybody knows only too well that I am not really into franchise chains but nonetheless, I have a soft spot for our own ASEAN cuisines and that was why I could not wait to drop by to give it a try. One can opt to sit outside…

Ayam Penyet Ria, Sibu outside

…if so desired, or inside…

Ayam Penyat Ria, Sibu inside

…but like most, if not all, franchise places, the decor…

Ayam Penyet Ria, Sibu decor

…and ambiance aren’t much to shout about and of course, comes nowhere near what they have here.

My missus had their ayam penyet plus rice (RM9.50)…

Ayam Penyet Ria Sibu ayam penyet

…which I thought was all right but I do prefer the ayam gurih here that comes with the three different types of very nice sambal dips.

However, I did think that the ayam bakar plus rice (RM10.50)…

Ayam Penyat Ria, Sibu ayam bakar 1

…that I had was very nice, very tasty and very tender…

Ayam Penyet Ria, Sibu ayam bakar 2

…and especially considering that what we had had at that other place the past few times had been way overdone, rendering the meat hard and dry and quite unpalatable, I would give the thumbs up to this one here and yes, it was nicer than what we had here as well. I would have loved it a lot more though if the chicken had been of the firmer type that my missus would buy home to cook – she would insist that it would be nicer than those that would usually be too soft for our liking (those that would disintegrate far too easily in soups, curries or stews) and I would agree with her on this.

The gado gado (RM6.50)…

Ayam Penyet Ria, Sibu gado gado 1

…was very nice! The keropok on top tasted great too – nothing like the hopeless bland ones that we may get as one of the sides in those wanna-be western fusion restaurants here and it went absolutely well with the peanut sauce. Frankly, when it was served, I did not think it was going to be all that good, probably yet another disappointment like what we had here and never ever ordered again…but I was pleasantly surprised!

I always felt that our once-called Rojak Kassim is a variation of the Indonesian gado gado but of late, since that old Hj. Kassim moved to Kuching, it has not been easy to find really good ones here and other than that, it has become really expensive – RM3.00 for a little bit of the cucur (fried fritter), cucumber and tofu puff…and you may get a little bit of taugeh (bean sprouts) sometimes. Of course, this is more than double the regular price but there is so much more to enjoy and other than the keropok, the taugeh, cucumber, cabbage, fried tofu and tomato, it even had egg…

Ayam Penyet Ria, Sibu gado gado 2

…and potatoes in it – things we had and loved a lot in Rojak Kassim a long long long time ago but we have not seen any since in any that we can buy in town these days. I certainly would love to order this again the next time I drop by here.

We also loved their sup tulang (beef bone soup), RM7.50…

Ayam Penyet Ria, Sibu sup tulang

…which was very much nicer than what we had here or here. The meat was not exactly fall-off-the-bone but it was tender enough for dear ol’ toothless me to enjoy without having to struggle over it.

This was the chili dip that came with the soup…

Ayam Penyet Ria, Sibu sup tulang chili dip

…and we did mention to the boss that they could have been a little bit more generous…with this and also the miserably-little bit of sambal by the side that came with the chicken dishes and he assured us that they were waiting for the special tray or something with which they would set up a special place or counter and customers could just go and help themselves, self-service. Now, that would be very nice as I often saw a lot of the three sambals at that other place left untouched and I thought that was such a waste. He also said that there would be chili as well that one could add to the sambal if one likes it a lot spicier – now, that is indeed a splendid idea and we sure are looking forward to that!

As for our drinks that day, I had the sirap Bandung (RM4.00) while my missus had their cincau (RM3.50)…

Ayam Penyet Ria, Sibu sirap Bandung & cincau

…and the total in our bill came up to RM41.50.

Yes, I did order a little bit too much for the two of us that day but I wanted to try as much as I could and all things considered, give and take a little here and there, I sure would not mind dropping by again sometime. Perhaps the next time around, we could order one rice to share (RM1.50), one chicken and the gado gado and soup…or perhaps a combination of some other items from their menu…and yes, they did seem to have everything listed unlike that other place where I would always get quite pissed off as they never had the tengirri nor the ox-tail nor the ayam pansoh…and dunno what else they had on theirs. If they never intend to serve those, then they should not have them on their menu – it’s as simple as that!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

22 thoughts on “Give and take…”

  1. What does penyet mean? Ayam is chicken right?

    Yes, you’re right…and this franchise place gives the translation of penyet as “smashed” which I do not think is very accurate or maybe, it is in Indonesian. For us here, if I accidentally sit on a bun, for example, and flatten it, then we say it is penyet so to us, it means flattened or squashed, rather than smashed.

    I do not know whether it is literally clobbered or not but it sure does not look like it…like what they used to do to chicken chops a long time ago – they deboned and spread out the meat and then clobbered it with the hammer-like tenderiser thing. Still, I would think clobbered chicken is a better translation for ayam penyet, if you ask me.

  2. All looks great especially the ayam bakar & gado gado. I like the rottan chair.

    Rottan furniture is a class of its own, very very nice but I can imagine brushing all the dust away manually using a brush…and they say, in our damp humid weather, it may breed bed bugs…plus the little nails may start coming out after a while.

  3. food looks tasty! btw quite a few restaurants are choosing 11/11 for their opening date … i guess it’s auspicious! 🙂

    I am pretty sure of that. I hear a lot of couples are getting married too…on a Wednesday!

  4. I cannot remember ayam penyet from my younger days, and have only recently eaten it. I wonder if it is a fairly new dish or that it never took off in Singapore till the past few years.

    Here too. I think it is Indonesian in origin, not Malay or Malaysian…or for that matter, Singaporean. Still, even in those days when I used to enjoy the best Indonesian nasi padang in Singapore (Rendezvous, Bras Basah Road, 1973), I never heard of ayam penyet there either.

    1. It is interesting that you mentioned Rendezvous. That restaurant was a family favourite, with my father taking me there since I was a little boy. A couple of years ago, I went to their new premises near Boat Quay. The food seems not quite the same anymore and a little disappointing even though the new place is very nice and comfortable.

      Yes, those were the days. There was Tiong Hua next door, not as nice but we would go there sometimes when Rendezvous was full. Oh? They’re at Boat Quay now? I only know there is a classy hotel at its original place and if I am not wrong, there is a nasi padang restaurant in the hotel itself. Needless to say, anything in a hotel will definitely not be as nice…AND expensive. I did not bother to drop by and check it out.

  5. Lovely set up and the dishes look nice and tasty. My hubby would eye that soup tulang. Hehe. Ayam penyet is for me!

    The soup is good, would not mind ordering that again. Thought the penyet was just ok, the bakar was nicer.

  6. The exterior sitting area looks quite nice. There are a few ayam penyet restaurants around but I have not visited any yet. I’m quite curious what is so special about ayam penyet. What I know is that the chicken is fried and then bashed up 😀 I would love it, I think seeing that I love fried chicken.

    It seems to vary from place to place – some nice, some not so. I guess that is the thing with most everything else – not all the same. The one here is not so great, I think – I’ve had nicer ones elsewhere. Maybe it is not so much how they cook it, more what they marinate and garnish and serve it with.

  7. I always loves keropok, can’t stop eating it… kaka…

    You have this franchise at a few places in Singapore, right?

  8. The rojak looks good.. sauce looks thick.. for the food above, the price is “heavier” than the “Umbrella”, don’t you think? 🙂

    No, just a little cheaper but does not come near in more ways than one, not at all. What to expect, a franchise place – not bad but not great, others are nicer and not all that cheap but cheaper than the more upscale cafes and restaurants…and nicer and more comfortable than the regular kopitiam.

  9. The drumstick looks quite big!

    I did not like the texture of the meat so I may go back to try the other things, not likely to order the chicken again.

  10. Ooooo ayam penyet restaurant.. There’s one nearby my workplace, it’s called Ayam Penyet something.. There’s chicken, rice, a bowl of soup, nice.. Then there’s also gado-gado, same with yours, with lots of keropok, nice jugak.. But we don’t always go there, coz the lady boss doesn’t like fried/dry stuffs, sigh..

    Maybe it’s the same franchise? If it isn’t, then it is probably nicer. You know franchise places…nice, not great, cheaper but not all that cheap…and nice and comfortable enough.

  11. Interesting place… i did not manage to try any Ayam Penyet during my trip to Indon recently, but i had a decent Gado-Gado and an out-of-the-world-delicious Ikan Bakar, will share on my blog real soon!

    Those would be the authentic Indonesian stuff. Ikan bakar in Penang not nice meh? I like the ones over there a lot…not the ones here. They bury the fish with sambal and bakar so the taste of the fish is completely drowned out. Cannot taste the sweetness and freshness of the fish like the ones I had in Penang.

    Hmmmm….looks like blogger is slow in updating the blog links and everyone is commenting on yesterday’s post.

  12. We have a few places which sell ayam penyet. I love them especially with white rice since the meat itself is so flavorful and aromatic.
    Oh yea…the dipping sauce is a must to go with it.

    Without the sambal, in the case of some, there really isn’t much to it – nothing more than just fried chicken. I still like the place here where the rice is served wrapped in banana leaf. Have not been for quite a while now, opens only at night and the chili dip is pretty good, my girl loves it!

  13. Tried their Ayam penyet before, but I still prefer the one at Rumah Hijau, Kuching.

    I am pretty sure of that, Rumah Hijau is not a franchise. Drove past when I was in Kuching that day, did not manage to stop by to try. Read a lot about it.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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