Buddies took us for dinner at Warung Sate Kendal at Simpang Orchid at Batam Centre which is the satay hub of Batam. This is the go-to place in Batam where satay lovers go enjoy good satay with locals.
The first thing that struck me as I was getting out of the car was the toasty aroma of spiced meat roasting over charcoal fire. There were several satay stalls along Jalan Simpang Orchid (Jalan Bakal) blowing white smoke into the aromatic cloud.
Warung Sate Kendal is the most popular judging by the crowd inside the large family friendly stall. It is also our local buddies' favourite.
The pieces of meat skewered with a skinny wooden stick were grilled over flaming charcoal fire. Action at the long BBQ station was frenetic as Warung Sate Kendal is a busy stall.
Oil dripping onto the hot coals sent hissing, white greasy smoke into the air carrying with it aromas that drew passers by into the street side stall.
We were on a morning till midnight food trail, so we just ordered chicken, beef and lamb satay for tasting. Next time, I shall also order their mutton soup which I saw many locals eating. (I also heard that it is very good.)
The freshly charcoal grilled satay came laid on top of a shallow pool of dark savoury sweetish kicap manis sauce along with a heap of raw cut onion, cucumber and tomatoes.
The stems of chunky meat were long (twice as long as those in Singapore). Well grilled with bits of char here and there at the edges. The spice seasoned meat were juicy, especially the beef and lamb. Chewing into the tender juicy beef and lamb, I can taste the mild spices and their natural gamey flavour plus a bit of toastiness. The dark sauce added a bit of savoury sweetness, but I didn't use it much, preferring the satay's own flavour.
There was a small dish of saltish spicy hot sambal chili, if you like your satay spiked with a hot sting. I didn't use it much.
We had another set with thick peanut sauce. The peanut were ground quite fine and boiled till rather soft with just a bit of grainy feel on the tongue. It tasted mainly savoury salty with peanut and spice flavour subtly underlying - quite different from those nutty sweet spicy sauce in Singapore and Malaysia. It was almost as if salted fish was added to the peanut sauce.
As we were already overloaded on carbs for the day, we ordered a couple of this obligatory lontong or rice cake. I am glad we did as this was the best rice cake that I've had in a long time. The rice cake was soft, just half a notch firmer than chwee kueh. I could taste the clean rice flavour along with a bit of leafy taste from the palm leaves used to wrap the lontong.
All the satay and drinks we had came to a total of IDR128,600 (SGD12.50).
Recommended for you 👍 A good place to enjoy authentic Javanese style satay together with locals. (But, please taste this with an open mind as this is different from Singapore or Malaysia satay.)
Restaurant name: Warung Sate Kendal
Address: Jalan Bakal (near intersection with Jalan Raja H. Fisabilillah), Taman Baloi, Kota Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29432, Indonesia (near Orchid Park Residence)
GPS: 1°07'27.1"N 104°01'33.4"E 🌐 1.124187, 104.025955
Hours: 8:00am - 11:00pm
Date visited: 25 Aug 2019