Four Types of the Best Satay in Jakarta

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Satay in Jakarta is one of the most popular dishes in town. It starts with the street food stalls then slowly becomes all day-dishes which served in the restaurants. Among these satay stalls and restaurants, there is four types of the best satay in Jakarta. In my experience as Jakartans, we separate type of satay based on the meat and the sauce. Let’s check it out.

What is Satay?

I need to explain this basic question before we go any further. What is Satay? Basically, satay is Indonesian style of barbecuing. Meat grilled on indirect heat that comes from the burning charcoal. Yes, charcoal make satay tastes more flavory. In Jakarta, we also use spices and seasoning on satay sauce. Sauce is the key.

The Best Satay in Jakarta #1 : Chicken Satay

This is the most popular satay in town: Chicken Satay. We use peanut for the sauce. Blended peanut, sweet soy bean ketchup, chilli (off course!), and mashed onion. Duh, we don’t need to make it at home. There is many Chicken Satay seller in every corner of Jakarta. Everyone love it!

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Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Nowadays, chicken satay has new favorite sauce. We called it “taichan satay”. Eighty percent of the sauce comes from red chilli. When we barbecue the meat, we will not use soy bean.  It just oil and lime to keep the meat stick with white colour. Taste:  spicy, salty, and savory.

The Best Satay in Jakarta #2 : Mutton Satay

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Mutton Satay in Jakarta

Let’s change chicken with mutton. Grill slices mutton, put soy bean and pinched green chilli on your plate. Voila! You made mutton satay. It is simple dish for mutton lover. Please don’t eat mutton satay too much since it will give you high blood pressure.  

The Best Satay in Jakarta #3 : Padang Satay

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Padang Satay

Padang Satay made from cow tongue. Yes, I talk about that cow and that tongue. Honestly, Padang Satay will not taste like cow tongue at all. Some people seems surprise when I told them what kind of meat it is – of course after they ate Padang Satay. It is chewy and has strong spices on the sauce. The sauce is traditional flavor from Padang city, West Sumatera. Padang Satay sauce has yellow color that comes from turmeric. Anyway, do you ever try cow tongue before?

The Best Satay in Jakarta #4 : Lilit Satay

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Sate Lilit on fine dining restaurant

“Lilit” means twisted in English. It is the closest translation but not 100 percent correct. So I will keep the original name on my writing: Sate Lilit. Sate Lilit is Indonesia culinary that comes Bali island. It made from minced fish, vegetable and mixed spices. In Bali, they also mix it with pork but I don’t think pork will acceptable in Jakarta. Most of the population in Jakarta is moslem and moslem don’t eat pork.

I never found Sate Lilit on Jakarta’s street food stalls. Sate Lilit always sold in restaurant since you need refrigerator to keep satay dough fresh. After we make the satay dough, we need to put it on tiny bamboo stick then its ready to barbecue. Make the dough twisted on bamboo stick. See, twisted!

Two exceptional. Maranggi Satay and Kikil Satay

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Maranggi Satay

There is two more kind of satay that I know but rarely found in Jakarta. First, Maranggi Satay made from beef and has similar sauce with Mutton Satay. You will find it easily sold in West Java area but less seller in Jakarta. I don’t know why, it tastes good though.

Second, Kikil Satay. Kikil is cow’s foot. 

sate kikil

Kikil Satay (image source: twitter @malbekasi)


It might be not everyone’s favorite part from the cow. Once, I found this Kikil Satay sold by travelling satay seller around my neighborhood area. Sold for the kids since it’s cheaper than ‘actual beef’. The sauce is quite similar with Chicken Satay, all grinded peanuts and sweet soy bean ketchup. 


Where to find the best satay in Jakarta?

Easy question, tricky answer. Hmm… where to find the best satay in Jakarta? I’ve been eat here there everywhere since I open food tour with Jakarta Walking Tour. Honestly, the best satay that I ever eat is sold on the street. Less expensive and fresh.

IMHO, the winner for the best mutton and chicken satay is….Sate Jaya Agung in the corner of Sabang Street, Central Jakarta. Yes, they win two best satay in town. They use only breast part for Chicken Satay. So tender. For Mutton Satay, they use lamb. So in Sate Jaya Agung Jakarta, it is actually Lamb Satay not Mutton Satay. Super juicy.

The winner of Padang Satay is Sate Mak Syukur in West Sumatera. Hahaa..sorry, it is far away from Jakarta but I said no lies. When I checked on google maps, Sate Mak Syukur has some branch in East Jakarta and South Jakarta. I never try it and can not believe they can bring ‘the magic hand’ to Jakarta. Different chef different taste. I don’t want to not ruin the memory of Goddess taste of West Sumatera Satay.

Do you need assistance to find the best satay in Jakarta? To save your time and avoid scam, you can book our food tour with all-you-can-eat experience. Four hours eating, and Satay is on the list. If you want to know more about this program just drop me an email here: (: