The top six places in Malaysia for the best Ayam Percik – Malaysian-style chicken cooked with spicy coconut milk marinade
Ayam percik is an aromatic recipe of grilled chicken with spices and coconut milk that most foodies find hard to resist. Find out why yourself at any of these places serving this delicacy.
Yati Ayam Percik
Some eateries gain such a reputation that they become automatic pit stops for out-of-towners. Yati is one such place in Kota Bharu, the capital city of Malaysia’s northeastern Kelantan state, the birthplace of ayam percik. The reason for its popularity? Perfect charcoal-grilled chicken, complete with a smoky fragrance and beautifully caramelised bits. Top it with rich coconut-based sauce, and you have a winner on your plate. Best eaten with blue-tinged rice.
A purveyor of traditional Malay cuisine, Songket does a succulent ayam percik, achieved by braising the meat before putting it on the grill. The juicy flesh with a lightly charred exterior makes it one of the restaurant’s bestsellers. Songket’s chicken is marinated overnight for maximum flavour, accompanied by an equally tasty sauce. Spiciness is kept at reasonable levels. Have it as a dish on its own or come for the Friday and Saturday night buffets. You’ll also witness traditional dance performances every night here.
Located in the swanky Starhill Gallery, this fine-dining Malay restaurant offers contemporary twists to classic dishes. At Enak, ayam percik is fashioned into a roulade and artfully sauced, instead of presented traditionally as the whole leg. It might surprise traditionalists, but they’ll eventually be reassured by its well-balanced flavours.
This café chain’s Asian selection includes nasi ulam, which comprises blue rice (coloured by the blue pea flower) partnered with a raw vegetable salad, fish crackers, salted egg and impeccably grilled chicken smothered in a delectable creamy sauce.
Ayam percik is a mainstay of the pasar malam, or night market. These markets are woven into the fabric of Malaysian life, held every night of the week in different residential neighbourhoods. Any pasar malam worth its salt will have one or two stalls selling ayam percik alongside other local food, fresh fruits and vegetables, household goods and clothes. Check out the ayam percik in Kuala Lumpur’s bustling area of Bangsar, sold with packets of tomato rice and gravy.
Every year, during the Islamic month of Ramadhan, which is when Muslims observe a fast from dawn to dusk, mouthwatering food will be available at Ramadhan food bazaars that open for several hours before buka puasa, the breaking of the daily fast. One of the staples is smoking-hot chicken on the grill; you can sniff out the aroma to spot the stall. The bazaar in Kuala Lumpur’s suburb of Taman Tun Dr Ismail is famous for ayam percik.
Yati Ayam Percik
847 Jalan Long Yunus, Kota Bharu, Kelantan
+609 747 9867
29 Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, KL
+603 2161 3331
LG2, Feast Village, Starhill Gallery
181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL
+603 2141 8973
Lot 140, First Floor, Suria KLCC, KL
+603 2163 1655
Bangsar pasar malam
Slip road off Jalan Maarof, beside the mosque
Taman Tun Dr Ismail Ramadhan bazaar
Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL