Ever since my friend introduced me to Ria Ayam Penyet a couple of years ago, I was hooked onto its fiery chilli and crispy batter until I need my fix of it every now and then. But I didn't have much ayam penyet experience outside the Ria brand, so its time to try Waroeng Penyet for a comparison!
Eating at its newer Liang Seah Street branch, I first heard of the brand when it started out at Marine Parade, as people raved about their chicken and such. The cheerful-looking eatery needed diners to fill up an order sheet and make payment at the counter before they send it to you. Thankfully I didn't have to wait too long for my meal as there were few other customers during my visit on a Saturday evening.
Ice Lemon Tea ($1.80)
Nicely sweetened, the thirst quencher was particularly refreshing with the addition of lime.
Coconut Rice ($1.00)
Given a choice of plain or coconut rice, I opted for the latter and pretty much liked its fragrance and fluffiness. A plus to go with your main!
Ayam Penyet ($6.00) Bawal Penyet ($6.50)
Here comes the lead! All the while that I have been eating ayam penyet, the chicken meat itself had never been the star as something this deep fried and smashed tend to be drier and tougher. Likewise, there was no surprise here as I spent quite a while chewing on the thigh meat.
That being said, the accompanying sides that were suppose to steal the show did nothing either. The chilli didn't pack as much punch while the batter flakes were lumpy and slight moist. Even the basic tofu and tempeh didn't feel as fresh.
Girlfriend chose the fish version that came with two smaller whole pomfrets, but nothing really stood out anyway.
Kangkong Belacan ($3.90), Siomay Bandung ($5.00)
Sharing some sides to go with the penyets, the kangkong's sauce was leaning to a pleasant sweet side, while the other, a kind of steamed mixed dumplings with peanut sauce, had potatoes, tofus and sticky fishcakes as its ingredients and didn't go well for me.
Price for two was $26.50 with no additional taxes. Admittedly, I wasn't too impressed with what I had but like some suggested, branches will never be quite the same as the original outlet. Perhaps I should head down to Marine Parade sometime soon but for now, Ria still triumphs!
Waroeng Penyet 1 Liang Seah Street #01-12 Tel: 63371452