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Wednesday 14 December 2011

Ais Kacang & Ayam Penyet

If you can just do one thing right for Kuching hawker food, the Kuchingites are gonna flock to your stall like sugar is to ants. Swee Kang Ais Kacang is one of those success stories; from a hawker stall at the Kuching Open Air Market in the old days, to this shop at Jalan Haji Taha.

Ais kacang is a local dessert with very simple ingredients. The local people call it "ang dao chien lut" because of the two main ingredients. "Ang dao" refers to the red beans simmered in syrup whilst "chien lut" refers to the green-jelly noodles made from starch. All these are topped with shaved ice, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup. A healthier version comes with milk instead of coconut milk.

I have been gobbling up Swee Kang's "ang dao chien lut" since young and it is the best in Kuching in my opinion.

You may ask what "ang dao chien lut" has got to do with ayam penyet? Well, the answer is very simple. Just beside Swee Kang Ais Kacang is a Muslim coffee shop that sells one of the best ayam penyet in Kuching. It is served with a generous portion of green vegetable salad and sambal. Although the fried chicken looks a bit 'dehydrated' on the outside, the juiciness of the meat is well retained inside.

The ayam penyet here beats the overrated Raja (RJ) Ayam Penyet hands down! The breast meat that I was served at RJ Ayam Penyet was dry and hard. However, the side dishes of tempei and tauhu goreng (deep-fried tofu) regained some of its reputation.

I am still considering whether to go back to RJ Ayam Penyet to sample its ayam penyet by specifically ask for thigh meat or drumstick. There's gotta be something at RJ Ayam Penyet that makes Kuchingites flocking there. What do you think?

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