No two sticks of satay are created equal. After going on a bit of a trek over the past two weeks, I am happy that I have found a stall I can call my favourite. This little spot, though out of the way for me, is a place I will return to time and time again when desires for tender charred meats arise.
Jalan Kolam Air, Ampang (Across 7-11 and OM Burger)
Tel: 03 4257 4520/013 369 3934
Perfectly grilled meat
Can be a bit far and there are no restrooms on site
Though the drive over to Ampang is a bit of a put off, the food to be found at Zaini’s is certainly worth it. This stall has been around for 30years and every night you see people lining up to get their fill or packing some to take home for dinner. Either way they are not short of customers and it is easy to see why.
The beef satay here is far from tough and rubbery. It is tender and succulent without being fatty. A piece of fat is layered inbetween the chunky pieces of meat solely to keep it tender as it sizzles and chars over the flame. The dripping fat keeps it moist. The same goes for the chicken satay that is cooked to perfection. No dry stringy bits in sight. The kuah kacang here, although good is merely an accessory and not a necessity. The charred sticky sweet flame grilled meats are bursting with flavour and hardly require a dunk. I reserve the chunky kuah kacang for my nasi impit, cucumbers, and red onion instead. Delish!
So what makes the satay here different from many of the other stalls around town? If you look closely at the fire it is a blueish purpleish glow indicating much higher heat than the regular red embers. This is due to the use of river rocks in addition to coals, which keeps the heat even, and high. Cooking this way allows the meat to cook fast therefore not giving it time to dry out and overcook. This is the secret to tender moist morsels.
Apart from the usual meat offerings, Zaini also sells sticks of chicken liver, perut babat, perut tembusu, and lamb. Aside from the lamb that goes for RM1 a stick and perut tembusu that goes for RM1.20, the rest are 70cents per satay. A packet of nasi impit is RM4.
On a weeknight Zaini sells up to 1000 sticks of satay and on weekends they go up to 2000 sticks. Chicken is their most popular item and they have customers drive in daily from near and far to have a bite. Save some space if you eat here though as many of the other stalls will tempt you with their offerings, I enjoyed the nasi lemak bungkus from the stall across Zaini. This is great to have alongside the satay and the sambal has the right amount of savouriness that I enjoy. The roti bom in this food court is another great find, crisp and flaky with that distinct ghee aroma.
If you have a desire for perfectly grilled satay, this is a must try!