Project Penyek by Ansar, Bt Merah: Secret giant seafood platter & crispy Ayam Penyet

Ayam penyet has reached a kind of cult status in Singapore. As ubiquitous as chicken rice (which it kinda is), everyone has their preferred stall. Whether you have one go-to stall or five, Project Penyek by Ansar at ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre is a good one to add to your repertoire.

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To the untrained eye, ayam penyet might just be fried chicken, but the ayam penyet connoisseur will beg to differ.

From the seasoning, the batter to those sinful crisps on the top—everything has to come together for a perfect bite. Never one to say no to fried chicken, or any fried goods for that matter, I sat down to see what Project Penyek had to offer.

What I tried

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Project Penyek has primarily two offerings: the Nasi Ayam Penyek (S$5) and Nasi Ikan Penyek (S$6). Each iteration comes with a mound of rice, soup and a healthy dollop of Project Penyek’s chilli.

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We’ll start with the perennial favourite, the Nasi Ayam Penyek. This sizeable portion of chicken was crowned with a shower of crisps and craggy golden crust—I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this beauty.

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When it comes to deep-fried goodies, sometimes they can be all style and have no substance. A crispy but tasteless batter is still a huge no-no. But I’m glad to report for Project Penyek, the batter was well-seasoned and satisfyingly crunchy. The chicken was still moist and tender, which is always a huge plus for me.

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Ayam penyet is nothing without the chilli and Project Penyek’s is quite formidable. I detected the saltiness of ikan bilis coupled with the fieriness of chilli padi as well as a few secret ingredients a more adept palate will be able to suss out. A little sweeter than traditional ayam penyet chilli, you’ll be sweating bullets but coming back for more.

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The only misstep with Project Penyek would have to be their rice. Slightly undercooked and tasting faintly like chicken rice, the grains were, unfortunately, a little hard. It was a little bit of a letdown from the stellar chicken I had a few mouthfuls earlier.

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As for the Nasi Ikan Penyek, it came with the same spoonful of delectable crumbs atop a well-fried pomfret. There is nothing more satisfying than tearing into crispy, flaky fish. I was pretty pleased with how fresh the fish was, and the good folk at Project Penyek tell me that they purchase their fish daily from the market—so no bad seafood here.

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I have to say, I preferred the fish to the chicken; a shocker, I know. The chilli mingled better with fish and made for a more satisfying mouthful. Not as indulgent as the Ayam Penyet set, I didn’t sink into the depths of a food coma after this plate.

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When you really want to indulge, Project Penyek has got you covered with their Seafood Platter (S$49.90). With an epic platter like this, everyone will want a little bit of action. You’ll have to order this feast one day in advance and make sure you have a couple of friends to help you out with this massive platter.

Project Penyet really goes all out with this platter. All fried in that flavourful batter, you get two crabs, two fried pomfret, chubby tiger prawns and a shoal of fried squids. Oh, and you get three small hills of rice to wash it all down.

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You’ll be accosted by jealous and incredulous stares when you order this impressive platter. A little thing I particularly appreciated was that all the seafood on this platter was purchased on the day itself. It’s as fresh as you can get! When it comes to seafood, I like to start with the prawns since they also serve a good barometer for the rest of the platter.

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While these hefty curls were firm and sweet, it was a slightly wasted opportunity that they were fried with their shell on. Although most of the crisps will come off when you peel the prawns, nevertheless, I enjoyed dipping them into Project Penyek’s spicy and tangy sauce.

While I would love to get into all the goodies that the Seafood Platter offers, I’ll save some for you to experience for yourself. Spoiler alert: this platter is worth every crunch in the gym.

Final thoughts

While we all have our preferred ayam penyet stall, Project Penyek does whip up a pretty decent serving of this fried chicken dish. A couple of little tweaks here and I’m sure the queues at Project Penyek will be even longer than they are now.

Expected damage: S$5 – S$6 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 3 / 5

Project Penyek

6 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-27, ABC Brickworks Food Centre, Singapore 150006

Our Rating 3/5

Project Penyek

6 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-27, ABC Brickworks Food Centre, Singapore 150006

Telephone: +65 8689 3747
Operating Hours: 10am - 8pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 8689 3747

Operating Hours: 10am - 8pm (Daily)

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