I know this is starting to look like some kind of conspiracy to get my friends to come visit me in Changi Village but I swear to ya’ll, my intentions are all well and good: to bring you awesome and cheap food in my hood.
This relatively unknown Indonesian Ayam Bakar stall in Changi Village is serving up some pretty darn good Indo char-grilled chicken, and at only $4 a plate, I’d say it’s worth the trip.
Ayam bakar is a traditionally Indonesian dish where chicken pieces are partially cooked in a spice mixture first and then grilled over charcoal. This way, the chicken absorbs and better retains the spice mixture for optimal flavour.
The small stall runs like a well-oiled machine, with fresh chicken first cooked in a spice broth of turmeric and blue ginger, and then grilled on a hot pan.
The ayam bakar is served five ways here, in five different “sauces” and all at a standard $4. That’s an insanely small price to pay when you look at the size of the chicken served.
The friendly stall owner plates up the rice and accompaniments (soup and diving) as you decide which style to have. They did not have the Rendang sauce when we visited, but we managed to try everything else.
I tried a bit of the chicken by itself first, and it was extremely well marinated and still very juicy even after grilling. While I’d happily eat it on its own, I simply couldn’t pass on the interesting sauces.
The Ayam Bakar Diving, essentially meant having additional diving layered on top of the chicken. Diving refers to the pineapple, cucumber and green chilli salad that’s drenched in kicap manis and served on every plate.
This option would suit those with a lower tolerance for spice, given the sweet and tangy taste of the sauce.
I absolutely love ayam masak merah and this particular sauce complemented the grilled chicken perfectly. Masak merah sauce is both sweet and spicy and made from a tomato and chilli base.
It paired well with the accompanying soup, which was heavily infused with lemongrass, almost like a non-spicy Tom Yum soup.
Sambal pecel is a spicy peanut sauce which completely transformed the flavour of the ayam bakar. I sort of felt like I was eating chicken satay, with a lot more succulent meat.
If you’re a fan of our favourite local meat skewers, you’ll probably like this option too.
The spiciest of the lot, the Ayam Bakar Sambal Lado is for all you chilli lovers out there. Made from red chillies, this sauce packs a punch but didn’t overpower the other spices in the chicken.
Balance the flavours by mixing the kicap manis from the diving with the fluffy white rice, chicken and sambal. Mmmm-dap. And if you haven’t noticed, the rice is shaped in a cutesy heart, making the dishes all the more inviting and lovely.
I’m hard-pressed these days to find a yummy AND filling meal at only $4, and as far as ayam bakar(s) go, I think this might be the cheapest one in Singapore. Try it for yourself and keep coming back for all the different sauces!
Expected Damage: $4 per pax