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Aug 21, 2011 08:37 AM

Indonesia - Best Fried Chicken in East Java at Ayam Goreng Ny. Suharti in Surabaya

Ayam Goreng Ny. Suharti which started off in Jogjakarta must be the most successful Jogja-style fried chicken chain in Indonesia. Named after the owner, who happened to be the grand-daughter of Mbok Berek (often credited with popularising the batter-fried chicken which can put the Colonel to shame), Ny. Suharti's fried chicken retained a moistness which its rivals like Ayam Goreng Jogja struggled to emulate.

Our dinner this evening:

- Sayur asem, which is my favorite soup in all of Indonesia: a clear, light, slightly spicy sourish-sweet vegetable soup with marrow, peanuts & an array of local herbs;
- Stir-fried pete (green stink-beans): Ny. Suharti's version was stir-fried with pounded chillis & a bit of dried shrimp, and was very good indeed!

- Whole fried chicken, perfectly done as usual - with the light-as-air crisp, golden tapioca flour batter encasing a small juicy free-range spring chicken - the best you'd ever find in East Java;

- Nasi gudeg, which is steamed white rice with sides of curried buffalo-hide, sweet soysauce-stewed egg, and shredded, sweet soysauce-stewed beef. This was absolutely delicious, although the egg & shredded beef may taste a bit too sweet for non-Javanese;

- Gado-gado, a shredded vegetable salad topped with a rich, peanut sauce.

Address details
Ayam Goreng Ny. Suharti
Jl. Sulawesi No. 19
East Java
Tel: 031-5026220

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  1. Hmm, now I've got sayur lodeh on my mind...not so much the sayur asam but that will do too. (and I wouldn't care for jagong in it)

    4 Replies
    1. re: huiray

      How about baby corn? I've tried sayur lodeh-like vegetable "curry" which combined shrimps, cabbage, long beans, carrots, pumpkin, baby corn and aubergines in a thin coconut milk-infused stock. Can't remember where - could be in Terengganu (Malaysia) or Boracay (Philippines).

      1. re: klyeoh

        Baby corn would be fine. :-)
        I imagine you must have seen sayur lodeh offered on menus in Java on this trip?

        1. re: huiray

          Yes, in fact I did, huiray - but East Javanese "sayur lodeh" was nothing like the "sayur lodeh" we get in Malaysia/Singapore. Their version was reddish-brown in color, thru simmering the vegetables with chillis & other spices - see the photo of the "sayur lodeh" (top row, right-most pic) I had at Inggil:

          I can only surmise that the Malay version we have back home was influenced by the Padang, Sumatera version with its pale, slightly turmeric-tinged yellow color.

          1. re: klyeoh

            Oh yes, I forgot about that dish you posted about having at Inggil. On looking at it again it does look very good indeed!

            Padang-type sayur lodeh in M'sia/S'pore - that seems like a logical supposition...

    2. I *just* made a pot of "sayur asem" [ahem] with finely julienned/sliced garlic & ginger, bumbur sayur asem, rice vinegar, rock sugar, chopped white cabbage, chopped chinese celery, quartered thai eggplants, chopped chinese long beans, chopped onions, sliced fresh silken tofu & trimmed thai basil tossed in at the end.

      Boiled white rice to accompany this.


      1. If you really love fried chicken, you can also try "Ayam Goreng Pemuda" and "Ayam Goreng Presiden" in Surabaya - both are located at Jalan Tidar, not too far from the Marriott hotel
        But they may not have that many other dishes compared to "Ny. Suharti"

        3 Replies
        1. re: Bu Pun Su

          Thanks, Bu Pun Su. Yes, we did see Ayam Goreng Pemuda and Presiden, and both were very well-regarded by the locals. I found the East Javanese' predilection for deep-frying *everything* pretty perturbing though. don't you?

          1. re: klyeoh

            Yes, it's unfortunate that most of (popular) Indonesian food tend to deep fry 'everything'
            Fried food is the 'easiest' way to hide ingredient's freshness - not too say that they often use not-so-fresh ingredients

            Indo dishes also use lots of peanut sauce such as satay, 'gado gado aka cooked salad' or 'karedok or raw salad'. That being said, Indo food is usually very flavorful due to the country's rich and vast use of spices

            1. re: Bu Pun Su

              Not really, many Indonesian dishes are not "deep fried". What you refer to Indonesian food in the above description is actually Jawanese food, and while many dishes focus on "frying", there are many alternatives ones that don't, such as Ayam Bakar, Nasi Rawon, Soto Ayam, Nasi Gudeg, Nasi Liwet etc. But since the restaurant OP went to is an "Ayam Goreng" restaurant, obviously most of the dishes are "goreng". But looking beyond Jawanese food to other regional Indonesian food such as Betawi, Padang, Manado, Balinese food, "frying" while popular is not exactly the primarily cooking method.