Getting Oliver to try Ayam Gepuk Pak Gembus for the First Time

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. 

Thank you, mStar for the Open House invite! @mstaronlineofficial @mstaronlineofficial @mstaronlineofficial Posted …

Posted by Paris Ashiqin on Friday, July 5, 2019
Thank you, mStar for introducing me to Ayam Gepuk Pak Gembus during your Raya event last year!
Video credit: mStar

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!

We have all been ‘gepukked’ by the awesome taste!
Photo Credit: FB Ayam Gepuk Pak Gembus

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!

Just imagine, I can throw a BF when there isn’t any fried cabbage left!

And I was right! He liked it! Yahoo! Now I have a ‘kawan’ to eat Ayam Gepuk Pak Gembus! 

Oliver doesn’t usually go for something spicy but … he has been ‘gepukked’!

Okay, so now that we have eaten our food, let’s go to the movie!


Paris Ashiqin


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