Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chicken, Sweat, and Hot Oil

It was about 90 degrees and 70% humidity, because it always is in the tropical country of Indonesia. The sweat and humidity made our shirts stick to our skin. There's no air conditioning here. That would be too much to expect from a dive called Warung Doyong.

Warung refers to a cheap eatery, a hole in the wall if you will. Doyong, on the other hand, means "leaning." And it isn't leaning in the sense of the tower of Pisa (ooh it's a wonder of the world!) but leaning as in the place is about to collapse on itself. Even in these conditions and heat, this place in Bogor is jam packed. The fan on the wall barely helped, so you order a fresh fruit juice or three - lots of ice cubes.

What is it that we all came here for? It's none other than the fried chicken.

Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken)
Here, pieces of ayam kampung (the literal translation is village chicken - they roam free, but on the streets, not on a green pasture) are fried en masse in a giant wok, spiced with turmeric, garlic, and all kinds of spices, along with serundeng (spiced, fried shredded coconut).
Supposedly they only use virgin hens here for better flavor and they're probably more tender as they would be younger. The flavors of the fried chicken are amazing, from the spices used down to the succulent meat. Sucking the last bits of meat from the bone was the best part. This is not the bland, mass-farmed fat chickens you find in the US. This is the lean yet tender, almost-gamey meat of a chicken that roamed the streets of Indonesia.

Warung Doyong is a long-standing family-run institution in Bogor, doing very brisk business in the last 30 years. According to one Indonesian blog post, they go through 30 chickens on a weekday and 100 on Saturday and Sunday. The fact that they still haven't progressed beyond purchasing fans in the last 30 years didn't stop anyone from coming.

So what if you have to sit on a wobbly plastic stool and your shirt sticks to your back? You'll be sweating as you dive into your fried chicken doused in sambal anyway.

Rice and cucumber slices accompany your chicken, but don't forget to get your share of offals. The gizzards (ampela) have always been my favorite.
Warung Doyong opens at 7 am and closes at 5pm but if you go too late in the day, you may only find scraps and leftovers. The locals come here because it's cheap at less than $1 apiece (they have other dishes that run about $1.50); the out-of-towners like us come because it's just damn good.

Warung Doyong
Jl. Pahlawan, Bondongan
Bogor (West Java), Indonesia



you're killing me Fiona!!! :( did you get to eat here again in your last visit?


Hehe no I didn't, but I think this year I will since I'll be in Jakarta again!

Kung Food Panda

I don't think I can afford $1 for chicken! :P


it's so cheap.

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