SERAI Sate Kajang,
Jalan Medan Ipoh 1E,
Medan Ipoh Bistari,
Food type: Satay
Food rating: 1/10
Nearest tube: –
(Editor’s note: Please note that the scoring of food in Malaysia is based on a linear scale)
I do apologize for not blogging for not updating my blog in a while. No excuses such as food poisoning this time around. I have just been plain ol’ lazy. Plus I have been busy planning my trip to Hong Kong which is just an excuse to eat and shop. Seriously, sight-seeing in Hong Kong is pretty boring especially if you go there pretty much every year. It’s limited to roughly 5 places.
I was quite surprised to find out that Sate Kajang had opened a branch in Ipoh. For those not in the know, the original Sate Kajang is thought by many to serve the best satay in Malaysia. Its claim to fame partly comes from serving the world’s longest satay. Of course, with fame comes many imitators.
Serai Sate Kajang serves up a short but sweet menu offering Satay, Chicken Rice, Nasi Himpit (rice cakes) and Otak-Otak (a form of spicy fish cakes). Serai is Malay for lemongrass.
Peanut Sauce & Nasi Himpit
The satay sauce is served up separately as peanut sauce and curry oil allowing the diner to decide how spicy (and oily) they want their sauce to be. There was not enough chunky peanuts for my liking in the sauce which seem rather diluted. In keeping with the name of the restaurant, there was a subtle flavour of lemongrass in the sauce, although it was fortunately not overpowering. The curry oil just didn’t have the necessary kick to it despite me adding half of it to my small ball of ‘Do-it-yourself’ sauce. (2/10)
There are 5 varieties of Satays to choose from – chicken, beef, tripe, mutton and venison. As it was my intention to review the restaurant during this visit, I went for 5 of each (to be shared with my parents of course). Here the quality of satay varied inconsistently. The chicken satay was very good with the right composition of fat and meat, with the marinade making it tender and flavoursome. (4/10) The beef satay was pretty good as well, although without much fat, the beef was a touch dry for my liking. At least, the meat was marinaded properly allaying my fears of tough, chewy beef. (3/10). The mutton satay was the best of the bunch, with the robust flavour of the mutton perfectly complemented by the marinade. Again the meat was tender. (4/10) The same could not be said about the tripe and venison satay. The former showed up as a pitiful shrivelled, dried-up morsel (0/10) while the venison was tough beyond comprehension I would have had better luck chewing leather (1/10). The satays were served with a pitiful amount of cucumber and onions… and I do emphasize the word pitiful here. I also went for a side order of nasi himpit which were unfortunately of the ‘from a packet’ variety as noted by its rubbery texture. (1/10)
As Otak-otak is one of my favourites, I couldn’t resist the siren’s call seeing as they were on the menu. The otak-otak served here are of the Muar variety ie. they are wrapped in banana leaf before being barbecued. The otak-otak here was somewhat lacking in taste and was missing the smokey aroma from the cooking process. (1/10)
I have to say that my visit to Serai Sate Kajang was pretty disappointing. To top it off, this was definitely not authentic Sate Kajang. One of my biggest concern is the lack of hygiene at this eaterie. Tissues and satay skewers were a common sight all over the floor. Additionally, the staff were pretty slow to clear up the tables preferring instead to indulge in idle chatter. The satay were priced ranging from RM 0.70 per stick for Chicken and Beef all the way to RM 1.40 per stick for Venison. In my humble opinion, this does not represent value for money as better can be had at much less a price at a more hygienic environment.