All Hail The King

Raja Ayam Bakar

Raja Ayam Bakar

The football season is back again! There will be plenty of football widows around. Sorry ladies, your two months of undivided attention from your husbands is no more. At least you had the two months, seeing that this wasn’t a World Cup or Euro year. Yes. You should have guessed it, I am a football fan. (If you haven’t please contact me, there is a Nigerian orphan in need of some creative accounting services.)

To be more specific, I am a Manchester United fan. Before anyone starts to savage me, I am not a bandwagon fan neither am I an ultra. I know my club’s history and players (past and present) but I don’t have a tattoo of United’s crest on any part of my body. This season is a very interesting season for United fans because there has been a plethora of young talent in the club either bought over the close season or promoted from the club’s reserve. It definitely reminds me of the last group of youngsters that came to fro, the class of 92.

The leader of that batch was not a youngster but a Frenchman bought from Leeds United, Monsieur Eric Cantona. Eric the King wasn’t the first King of Old Trafford (that would be Denis  Law) but he was the catalyst that set United up for the successes since the first Premier League title. He is and always will be a United legend.

For those of you readers not interested in football, did you know that there is another King in our region? Simba is here! Yes! The Lion King is in Singapore, in the Marina Bay Sands to be exact. This isn’t exactly the freshest of news as they have been opened since March this year. So if you have not seen it yet, what are you waiting for?

Now back to Eric the King. The King is a very temperamental character and it showed everywhere. He has called members of the earned multiple yellow and red cards, French Football Federation idiots, fought with his teammates, called the media seagulls and kung fu kicked a Palace fan. But all of that can be forgiven because he was sublime. He had the power, skill and vision to match his flamboyant character. That is why Old Trafford still sing his name.

From Eric the King and the Lion King to Raja Ayam Bakar, the King of grilled chicken. Raja Ayam Bakar is a kopitiam that started out in Satok but now has a branch in Abell Road. As their name suggest, their specialty is their grilled chicken rice (nasi ayam bakar). They also serve other dishes including Nasi Ayam Penyek (flatten chicken rice). While their Nasi Ayam Penyek is quite popular, my opinion is that their Nasi Ayam Bakar is the better dish.

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Original Location

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Both are similar in that they are served with ulam (raw vegetables, hey it’s salad!), tempe and a mean sambal. The difference is that the ayam penyek is deep fried chicken that has been given a good whack to make it flatter (a bone cracking experience I’m sure) and the ayam bakar is just grilled chicken. To me the ayam bakar is a bit more tasty as the grilling process imparts a nice charred skin to the chicken which is both nice to look at and nicer to eat. For those of you who are worried about the carcinogens in charred food, ermm … at least the ulam is good for you.

Both these dishes however, would not have been anything special without the sambal. The sambal here is nice and spicy. Those of you who are not apt in eating hot and spicy food might be well advised to be prudent with the sambal. For the rest of us, be prepared to sweat and order a drink with milk inside because like Eric the King, this is one feisty character but you’ll love it like the millions of United Fans worship Cantona.

Disclaimer: I was not asked to write about the Lion King. I do not earn any money from any sale of tickets to the Lion King. But don’t let that stop you from going.


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