There are few cheap, no-frills eating places in the Orchard Road vicinity, save for the hole-in-the-wall shops at, amongst other places, Lucky Plaza. Amid the glitz of the newer shopping centres that have sprouted up along Orchard Road in our country's bid to be one of the premier shopping capitals in Asia, this shopping centre has managed to retain its old world charm. Stepping into the main shopping centre of choice of many of our foreign domestic helpers, Lucky Plaza is loud, noisy, messy, colourful and reminiscent of MBK in Bangkok and Sungei Wang Plaza in Kuala Lumpur.
After the indulgent treat we gave ourselves at Wah Lok last weekend, we decided to "eat grass" for the next week.
We popped into Ayam Penyet Ria because I wanted Soto Ayam ($5), malay style chicken soup, to warm our insides on a cold rainy evening for dinner. As usual, we told them to hold off the spring onions and coriander. The soup was chock full of ingredients, shredded chicken pieces, julienned cabbage, a boiled egg and clear vermicelli, and garnished with sliced fried garlic for extra pungency. This was delectable and easily one of the better versions of soto ayam that I've tried.
The BF got the Ayam Penyet ($6.50), smashed fried chicken thigh served with blanched kangkong, cucumbers, lettuce, a piece of fried beancurd, soyabean cake and loaded with bits of crunchy chicken batter drippings for extra texture. The chicken was tender and juicy, and we mopped up every last bit of the chicken batter drippings. This came with a kickass sambal chili, so spicy that even the BF, who normally eats chili padi to add flavour to almost every dish, had to get an extra glass of lime juice to douse the heat. Jalapeno chilis are used, which explains the slow lingering burn of the sambal.
We ordered an extra dish of Fried Chicken Wings ($6) to share. This also came served with the same sides as Bun's dish. The chicken wings (3 of them in a portion) were finger-licking good, especially with the sambal which was as sweet as it was fiery.
The bill was $30.40 inclusive of 3 lime juices and rice.
Ayam Penyet Ria
304 Orchard Road
#04-25/26 Lucky Plaza
Tel: 6235 7385
Open daily from 11am to 10.30pm