Satay Zainah Ismail

by Arslan Z. on Thu, March 22, 2018

Hearty, smoky, sweet and most importantly MEATY, I'd use these 4 words to illustrate the legendary Satay Zainah. "Kipas Susah Mati" satay (die-hard satay fans) consider this old shack as an institution...

3 generations of satay perfection!

Foodster's Verdict

Satay Zainah Ismail
  • Address

    1077, Lorong Kiri 20, Kampung Datuk Keramat, 54000 Kuala Lumpur
    Tel: 016-618 1649

  • Open

    06:00 PM - 11:45 PM, Daily

  • Pros

    They grill the satays to order! Only piping fresh satay here

  • Cons

    The kuah kacang can be a little thicker

  • Price Range


  • Parking


  • Certification

    Muslim Owned

Coming from a family of satay pioneers in KL, Satay Zainah followed her Grandfather's (Majid Satay) footsteps and continued their satay legacy. I have to say I'm quite bummed that it took a while for me to try out their satay, as I've always been a hardcore fan of another Keramat Satay joint but that is another story... A good friend of mine suggested this place and it is an eye opener! "Shhh..." this might be my new favourite satay joint.

What gives Satay Zainah that distinctive sweet and smoky flavour that they're known for is their enduring method of grilling up satay on wood charcoal,

Grilling your satay the old school way

We ordered up 4 different types of satay from them. Satay Daging, Ayam, Hati and my favourite Perut! The rumour is true, Satay Zainah is one of the meatiest satay you can get. You can feel the weight of the meat as soon as you pick up the stick. On average, if you wanna finish a stick of Satay Zainah you'll need to take at least 3 to 4 bites of it! That's how generous they are with the meat.

Other than the generous, chunky portions, each meaty stick is marinated with their family's secret recipe. This is a behemoth blend of herbs and spices that have been in Zainah's family for 3 generations. There's definite prominence of ginger and lemongrass but the rest is a closely guarded secret.

Satay Zainah's is notably known for being sweet but the ginger that's in the marination cuts off the sweetness perfectly.

They have their own way of grilling their satay too. It goes through 3 different stages of grilling.

Stage 1 sears the meat to lock in that sweet marination and juiciness, stage 2 is to make sure the meat is cooked properly and lastly stage 3, charring the satay to give it that added smoky flavour!

Basically if you want a pretty damn good satay, Satay Zainah won't disappoint you.

Satay Zainah is a Finalist for FriedChillies BEST MAKAN AWARDS 2018 in the category of Best Satay. Vote for them HERE. Voting will run from the 16th April to 6th May 2018. Undilah for your favourite makan spots and online food media in our PilihanMakan Umum. #makanbestawards #practiceround #pilihanmakanumum