Whenever I heard anyone talking about Acehnese cuisine, the first thing that popped into my mind is Ayam Tangkap. Literally means “caught chicken”, Ayam Tangkap is one of the most famous Acehnese dishes that is made from free range chicken marinated/braised in spices such as garlic, pepper, candlenuts, ginger and salt, then deep fried with lots of daun temurui (curry leaves) and pandan leaves. The result is a very appetizing and aromatic dish with lots of crunchy leaves.
There are several places that serve Ayam Tangkap in Jakarta. The latest newcomer is Ayam Tangkap Blang Bintang. Blang Bintang is the name of a region in Aceh Besar – Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), so I assume the cook/recipe came from that region. The restaurant is spacious, clean and air conditioned, so I expect a no-smoking policy in this place. The menu doesn’t list much with only a selection of ayam tangkap, ayam goreng khas Aceh, mie basah & mie goreng, sambal keumamah & sambal ganja, ceuneucah (rujak serut khas Aceh) for dessert and several Acehnese snacks.
Since our group consists of four super hungry women, we practically ordered everything to sample. So that night we tried ayam tangkap 38K, ayam goreng khas aceh 35K, sambal keumamah 10K, sambal ganja 10K, mie basah daging 35K, mie goreng udang 30K, ceuneucah (Acehnese spicy shaved fruit salad) 8K, and es timun 12K and kupi sanger panas 16.5K. Overall, I like all of the dishes we ordered that night. The ayam tangkap and ayam goreng khas aceh were delicious, the temurui leaves were crunchy and tasty. I especially love the sambal keumamah (chili sauce made with ikan kayu/dried mackerel tuna) and sambal ganja (also known as asam udang, a chili sauce made with belimbing wuluh/bilimbi and prawns) although I thought the portion was too small. So if you haven’t tried the Acehnese Ayam Tangkap, you really should check out this place.
PS: Sambal ganja is just a name, it doesn’t contain the actual ganja.
Ayam Tangkap Blang Bintang
Jl. KH Ahmad Dahlan No.30
Operating hours: 11AM-9PM Closed every Monday