Kajang is the town that satay built. According to local council records, it was Javanese entrepreneur Tasmin Sakiban – a family ancestor of satay entrepreneur Datuk Samuri Juraimi’s wife – who pioneered the satay business in Kajang way back in 1917.
What makes Kajang satay different? Ardent fans claim that the pieces of meat threaded on lidi (coconut leaf spine skewers) are chunkier compared to other versions. The distinct marinade – an aromatic blend of turmeric, lemongrass and other local spices – also gives Kajang satay its characteristic yellow tinge and deep-seated, appetising flavour. Lastly, the sweet chunky peanut sauce usually comes with a dollop of fried sambal (chilli paste).
Sate Kajang Haji Samuri
is possibly Kajang’s most famous export. Founder Datuk Haji Samuri Juraimi started his satay business back in the 1960s, and finally expanded the enterprise with his sons’ help in 1992. Today, there are 20
Sate Kajang Haji Samuri outlets throughout the Klang Valley; three of which are located in Kajang. Besides the ubiquitous chicken and beef satay, Sate Kajang Haji Samuri’s menu include venison, rabbit, and fish
satay as well as skewers of innards: chicken’s gizzard and liver, cow’s lungs and tripe
The other popular satay stop in Kajang is Restoran Malaysia
. Established in 1971 by 3 siblings: Choi Nyok Lan, Choi Wai, and Choi Yok Lin, the no-frills restaurant initially sold nasi lemak, chicken rice, and fried noodles as the main specialties. “Satay
was just a side offering to us in the beginning but after the highway was built, we found that more customers would purposely detour here to eat Kajang satay,” says 78-year-old Choi Yok Lin.
“Instead of leasing out the stall, we took it back and learned to prepare satay from scratch ourselves. What sets our satay apart is the use of lean chicken breast meat; there’s no chicken skin or fatty bits to be found on our satay. We also prefer to serve traditional ketupat (rice cakes in coconut leaf casings) instead of nasi impit (compactly pressed rice cut into cubes) to accompany the satay.”Obviously the best proof is definitely in the eating. Droves of customers would pack the Choi siblings’ restaurant to the rafters come weekends and major holidays.
Attempts to modernise the satay business in the past such as Satay Anika
have sadly faltered. New players on the scene now include Sate Palace
and Satay Satay
– two modern eateries that serve freshly grilled satay in clean, air-conditioned comfort. Opened about four months ago at 231TR Service Suites in Jalan Tun Razak, Sate Palace’s signature satay boasts a bolder flavour profile compared to Haji Samuri’s. Its peanut sauce is shades darker with a stronger belacan (shrimp paste) overtone.It’s rare to find satay outlets in urban shopping malls but Satay Satay
seems to have hit pay dirt at 1Utama Shopping Centre. Although they only offer chicken and beef satay, the speciality is enough to draw a capacity crowd to the outlet daily especially during lunch. No doubt about it, properly marinated and cooked, a stick of satay is a marvelous thing. Here then are some of our favourite satay hot spots.
Sate Kajang Haji Samuri
Produced following HACCP (international food safety) standards at its own factory, the satay here
is manually grilled only upon order. The meaty skewers are cooked just long enough to render the edges charred and crisp whilst ensuring the meat remains tender to the bite.
Haji Samuri’s satay has enjoyed so much success that there’s an organised production line in place to serve their patrons
Every order comes with a big bowl of peanut sauce for diners to portion out into smaller bowls and a separate portion of fried sambal on the side. Cucumber and nasi impit are the usual accompaniments served. The beef and chicken satay are delicious enough to be eaten on their own but it is the fish
satay that leaves an indelible impression. Thoroughly suffused with a gorgeous turmeric and lemongrass-scented marinade, the tilapia
‘s inherent sweetness remains discernible.
Prices: chicken, beef or fish satay RM0.70 per stick, beef tripe RM0.80 per stick, mutton RM1.40 per stick, rabbit satay RM2 per stick and nasi impit with cucumber RM1.50 per plate
The delicate turmeric-based marinade lends an aromatic edge to the chunky satay here at Restoran Malaysia. Chicken, beef, and mutton are the perennial crowd-pleasers; the grilled meat pieces tender with slightly burnt edges. We love the distinctively pale peanut sauce best. It isn’t too smooth or gritty and becomes robustly spicy once a dollop of fiery fried sambal is stirred in to it.
Do not miss out on Restoran Malaysia’s satay when you’re in Kajang
Chicken RM0.80 per stick, beef RM0.90, mutton or fish RM1.40 per stick, ketupat RM0.80, cucumber RM0.50, onion RM1Sate Palace
Besides chicken and beef, this restaurant
offers lamb, seafood (prawn, squid, scallop, and fish) and beancurd satay. Each set comprises half a dozen skewers with a serving of nasi impit and peanut sauce. We found the lamb satay to be slightly fatty and a tad chewy although the meat chunks were well-imbued with a fragrantly piquant marinade. The chicken fared better with or without the mocha-hued, chunky peanut sauce.
At Sate Palace you can naturally expect a classier establishment to tuck into your satay
Half dozen chicken satay RM9.90, half dozen beef satay RM10.90, half dozen lamb satay RM16.90, half dozen of seafood satay RM16.90 and half dozen of beancurd satay RM8.90Satay Satay
A little show kitchen sited prominently at the entrance lets you observe the satay being grilled over a long charcoal-filled pit at Satay Satay
. The chicken and beef satay come up to scratch taste-wise – nice but not outstanding. Texture-wise, they’re slightly drier compared to the other versions we had sampled.
Take a break from your shopping routine and make a pit stop at Satay Satay
Price: RM14.50 for half dozen of chicken and beef satay (three skewers of each) with cucumber, onion and peanut sauce
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