PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Step off the street and take a short trip to downtown Jakarta with the crowd that flocks daily and nightly to Ayam Goreng 99. This restaurant transports you to an Indonesian local eatery with the prices to match. The general hubbub is a mixture of indecipherable Asian and Australian tongues so, to avoid miscommunication, paper and pens are placed on your table so that you might write down your order for the wait staff.
Anyone will tell you that the speciality of the house is their home-style marinated fried chicken which comes with chilli sambal and sweet soy dipping sauces. If ordered, you must decide between thigh, breast or wing and don't be surprised when that is what you get. If you are struggling with the concept of trying to eat a whole chicken leg daintily, look around you and you'll see this is no place for niceties. Chopsticks, spoons, forks and, thank heavens, hands are all useful instruments in this eating fiasco. The satay chicken is a must try and the beef rendang curry is tender, juicy and bursting with flavour. For the more daring diners, the oxtail and vegetable soup is also recommended. Pepes are a curious item which offer a choice of tofu, mushrooms or anchovies blended with onions, chilli and spices and then roasted in banana leaves for only $4 a pop. With the university around the corner this place is popular with the students who eat rice with their fingers and drink what I can only assume are exotic green milkshakes. It's difficult to determine what might be served up on your plate but that's half the fun and it's hard to make a wrong choice. Come in with $10 and walk out with a full belly and a couple of coins to spare. So basic, yet so good.