The Indonesian favourite ayam goreng, or fried chicken, is lifted to new levels of crunch at ATL Marantha
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Laid-back self-service is the order of the day here. It's DIY everything, including writing your own order on the supplied waiter's pad. Help yourself to cutlery or just roll up your sleeves and dig in. Ayam goreng tulang lunak ($8) is fried chicken with soft bones you can eat. Why worry about extricating meat from bones when you can just eat an entire chicken leg itself, bones and all? The secret lies in pressure-cooking the corn-fed chicken quarters overnight ready for deep frying the next day. The result? Earth-shattering batter, juicy flesh and brittle bones you can crunch on, from the ribs to the leg bone. The bones don't taste of much – as bland as the bones you find in a tin of salmon – but there's a sense of accomplishment involved in reducing a serve of chicken legs into nothing but a trail of stray crumbs.
The fried chicken can be ordered with a salted egg batter or generous daubs of chilli sauce in hot or mild, but we liked the original the best, which is topped with a crumbling coral of deep-fried batter shards. Duck ($10) is also available grilled or deep fried. All of them have bones you can crunch on. Try the petai beans - their bitterness is best masked with fried anchovy ($12), but they're also available with prawns ($17) or served plain ($6.50). Cleanse the palate with sayur asem ($5), a sour tamarind soup and wash down everything with sweetened coconut milk drinks that double as desserts. Avocado ice ($5) and durian ice ($6) both come with chunks of fruit at the bottom.