The first time I tried Ayam Gepuk Pak Gembus’s signature menu, it was at mStar’s open house in 2019. One of the journalists asked me to record a review video for their Instagram feed and I agreed.
The journalist showed me how the menu was eaten – with condiments like fried chicken, tofu, tempeh, chicken gizzard and tralaaaa, seemingly burnt cabbage! And yes, a dollop of something that looks suspiciously like sambal but I was pretty sure, it was some kind of a nuclear weapon of mass destruction.
Yes, I was right, the sambal was indeed nuclear, it was probably one of the spiciest things I’ve ever eaten! But surprisingly, I was hooked. It was surprisingly a hella good combination.
Fast forward a few weeks later, I found out that there was a branch of Ayam Gepuk Pak Gembus near my office in Bangsar and guess what, 3 branches closest to my house in Setapak. I also introduced the restaurant to colleagues and interns and unsurprisingly, they fell in love with the menu just like I did. I introduced it to my sister when she came to visit and she loved it too!
Interestingly, when the Government announced the Movement Control Order (MCO), the Ayam Gepuk Pak Gembus was all I craved to eat. In fact, I think I ordered it almost every day for the next few weeks that when reading that, you know why I’m the size that I am today, haha!
Anyway, upon stepping into the recovery phase of the MCO with the cinemas reopening and all, I suggested to my movie partner, Oliver to give it a try. The thing is, the branch in Bangsar always closes early so we decided to eat at the Kelana Jaya branch before our movie recently. I was actually quite excited when Oliver agreed to try it that I told him how best to enjoy the rice set – always go for the full set and always order extra fried cabbage! Of course, in his case, it had to be the ‘kurang pedas’ (less spicy) option.
I was actually quite concerned because being a Sarawakian, he probably has a lot less tolerance towards spicy food compared to me. Me? Well, I’m a Javanese-Bugis Malay who is often mistaken as an Iban, so I’m good!
And I was right! He liked it! Yahoo! Now I have a ‘kawan’ to eat Ayam Gepuk Pak Gembus!
Okay, so now that we have eaten our food, let’s go to the movie!