As you might already know I am desperately looking for a satay in Klang Valley that could rival, and perhaps even better than those that I had in Singapore which I hate to admit is still the best I ever had to date. So when two of my fellow readers recommended Sate Zainah Ismail at Kampung Datuk Keramat, I immediately went looking for it.
For a first time visitor, Dato Keramat could be confusing to navigate but thanks to my GPS device we found the restaurant with relative ease. Zainah Ismail could be easily identified by the smoke and satay fragrance constantly oozing out of one of the wooden restaurant.
Five satay grills are used here and the satays are actually grilled by stages. The satays do not stay on one grill from raw to cooked. Instead, they are transferred to the next grill once a particular ‘doneness’ is achieved.
The innermost grill you see manned by an elderly uncle is where the raw, marinated skewers are barbecued first then made sure fully cooked at the foremost grill. There are only two types of satay here: beef and chicken priced at RM0.70 each.
Satay being barbecued over charcoal flame in all its glory. There are easily hundreds of satays being cooked here at any given time.
I don’t know why but we were not allowed to eat in the restaurant that day, there were tables and chairs around but folded up. It was a Sunday evening and apparently Zainah Ismail only did takeaways. We did not expect that so eventually we had our satay at a food court in Kepong. So if you are planning to eat here, try to avoid Sunday evenings.
At 70 cents a stick, the satays are definitely worth the money. The meats on each skewer is chunky and lean with little fat or skin, which would take at least three bites for the average person to finish one stick.
If you are a beef lover then you will be definitely enjoy Zainah Ismail’s beef satay. The marination is done perfectly giving it a disctinctive sweet taste while still retaining the beef’s natural flavor. And I am glad to say it is good enough to rival Haron Satay! Despite not having a strong marination like the beef satay, the chicken satays are delicious in its own way. It is more tender and juicier compared to the beef satay that had a rather chewy bite.
The only lament I have about Zainah Ismail’s satay would be their peanut sauce, which is too diluted and oily to my liking. I wish the sauce was thicker so that it could coat the satays better, like for example Haji Samuri’s. But I guess you can’t please everyone out there.
To reach Zainah Ismail, I suggest taking the main road – Jalan Datuk Keramat. Turn into the housing areas before the new wet market and you will find the restaurant immediately on your right.
Sate Zainah Ismail
3437 Jalan Keramat,
54000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS Coordinates: N3 09.953 E101 43.403
Google maps location: http://bit.ly/bKpEWz