A friend of mine once proudly said that he “ate 70 sticks of satay” in one sitting. Pointless accomplishment? Perhaps, and I didn’t really believe him. But what is serves to illustrate is that we love our satay. It really doesn’t matter where you are in Malaysia, as a stall serving delicious skewers of well marinated meat is probably just around the corner. So it was one dusky Sunday I found myself in the town synonymous with sate. Kajang, of course. The mission was to find out hands on about a rather amusingly named satay stall: Willy Satay.
Located at Ramal Junction Food Court and easily accesible by highway from mostly anywhere in the Klang Valley, Willy Satay has been in business for around five years. The founder, Mr. Farizki bin Rosman, started off Willy Satay as a small stall just a bit down the street where they currently are now. Good food always brings in the crowds, and suffice to say, that was exactly what happened to Willy Satay.
Their stall is located at the corner of the entrance to the food court. You can’t miss it, with their big signs… and the smoke and smells from the rows of charcoal grills behind their service counter. I actually spent a few minutes just taking photos and ended up a ‘smoked’ version of myself. The next thing you notice is the line: on Sunday they open at 6pm, and I had arrived around 730pm thinking it was early. No dice; already there were 10-12 people ahead of me. And the thing is, you have to book a table first before you order at the counter. It was pretty tough on a weekend as the food court was pretty full.
Nevertheless, I managed to score a table that was quite far away. I put in an order of 5 sticks each of chicken, lamb and beef satay (they had perut, but I don’t like offal… maybe for another day). Alas, even then, they had run out of ketupat, and that was a real disappointment as I’ve read elsewhere that they serve REAL ketupat, in the leaves, and not the plastic supermarket ones. The fifteen sticks cost me RM12.50, which isn’t bad. Then I waited.
And waited. After about 40 minutes, I kid you not, my satay arrived on a polystyrene plate with a couple of small bowls of kuah kacang spiked with sambal, and a small amount of cucumber and shallots.
The satay looked gorgeous though. Visually I could see how Willy stands out from a lot of satay stalls: the meat threaded on those skewers were chunky and large, and glistened with fat. They had beautiful char marks, and an aroma that was crazy good. Not wasting any more time, I grabbed a stick and dipped it in the peanut sauce. Mmmmm. Delicious. Moist, meaty and not at all burnt tasting despite the char marks. The flavour of the marinade was rich, the spices full-bodied without overwhelming the tongue. Best of all, the marinade didn’t mask the flavor of the chicken, beef or lamb. It was a lovely balance. The peanut sauce was really good too, sweet and actually pretty spicy from the sambal, though my complaint was that it was too cold by the time it got to the table.
I was told that the chicken satay, unsurprisingly, was the best seller, followed by the beef. Recipes? A secret of course. All I was told was it was a “turun temurun” family recipe of the founder. They do catering too, if you’re interested.
Fifteen sticks of satay was actually a lot to order for two people (my brother was with me). I only say this because after 3-4 ‘cucuks’ each, we were satiated. It was that satisfying. Complaints? Not much. Maybe the cucumber and onions given were too little, but that just means room for more satay.
I’m thinking again about my friends boast of eating 70 sticks of satay in one sitting. I’d love to see him try that at Willy Satay.
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