Have you ever had a plate of food sitting on the table before you that doesn’t look very pretty?
But then you take your first bite, and you’re blown away by how delicious it is?
That’s exactly what happened to me when I tried Sate Padang for the for first time. And now I’m completely obsessed with it.
In this blog post I’ll share all the details you need to eat at Sate Padang Ajo Ramon, considered one of the best places to eat this type of special sate in Jakarta.
What is Sate Padang?
Sate (or satay, but it’s typically spelled sate in Indonesia) is one of the most common and famous Indonesian foods.
But there are many different types of sate.
Sate Padang, as the name would suggest, is originally from the culinary paradise of Padang, located on the west coast of the island of Sumatra.
The main characteristics of Sate Padang include little pieces of meat and organs that are marinated in a strong mixture of spices and grilled over hot charcoal.
After the sate are finished grilling, this is where things start to change from other types of Indonesian sate. The skewers are plated, often combined with pieces of ketupat rice cake, and a generous scoop of starchy gravy is poured all over the plate.
The pastel yellow or brown colored lumpy gravy is on the same level of pretty as Hainanese curry rice, but again, as soon as you take your first bite of Sate Padang, your taste buds will rejoice.
For it’s bold spice flavor, Sate Padang is a favorite type of sate for those who really like spices and strong flavors.
Sate Padang Ajo Ramon
One of the most famous places, and often one of the most beloved places to eat Sate Padang in South Jakarta is Sate Padang Ajo Ramon.
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As soon as I arrived, I already liked the atmosphere of the place. It sets up in the parking lot of what I think is a market, but it’s shaded by nice big trees, and off the main road so you have a chance to relax a little bit.
It almost feels like you’re in a park, even though you’re right in South Jakarta.
As soon as you stroll up to Sate Padang Ajo Ramon, the aroma of spices, the turmeric and cumin, will penetrate your nose.
I’m not fully sure of all the options of different types of cow you can order, but I mostly noticed meat, tongue, and intestines.
I ordered a plate that included half skewers of beef meat, and half the skewers of ox tongue (which is very popular for Sate Padang).
Taking a peak at the grill, you can see how many spices were caked onto each piece of meat.
The rich mixture included lemongrass, ginger, shallots, garlic, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and more. Here’s a great looking recipe if you’re interested in trying it out.
Before putting the freshly grilled sate on my plate, a couple of ketupat rice cakes were opened and sliced up onto the bottom of my plate. This is the component that makes Sate Padang a complete meal.
Next, on went the skewer, followed by a good smothering of the sauce, which was made from a combination of rice flour and a few light spices.
Finally, a handful of fragrant crispy shallots were sprinkled all over the top.
So here we are.
This plate was sitting before me.
A reflective plate of near plastic looking gravy, with skewers sticking out the side.
I chose one of the skewers of Sate Padang, rolled it in the sauce, and took my first bite.
The overwhelming explosion of spices swept me away (literally, you can watch the video below), and I immediately fell in love and became obsessed with this brilliant type of Indonesian sate from Padang.
What really amazed me is that the sauce was actually kind of plain, but most of the spice flavor came from the grilled skewers of meat. And somehow the gravy didn’t mask the spices, but added a lovely complementary coating to sort of hold in all the flavor and spices.
Just like many other Indonesian dishes, to bump up the flavor profile, the handful of crispy fried shallots gave the plate of sate an extra caramelized onion taste.
The sate of beef meat was incredible, but undoubtedly the skewers of tender ox tongue were the winners.
The tongue was so tender, and tasted like it was filled with spices all the way through the meat.
I’m actually drooling just writing this and thinking about it right now.
As you continue eating your plate of Sate Padang, you’ll inevitably end up with a plate that looks similar to this (above): a bunch of gravy and no spoon.
Don’t worry, there’s a solution…
Deep fried cow skin cracklings.
On every table at Sate Padang Ajo Ramon there’s a snack basket where you can grab what you like.
I didn’t have the other packet, but I followed everyone else who was eating here, and grabbed a packet of the deep fried cow cracklings and used them to scoop up my extra sauce. It worked extremely well, not only to clean my plate, but the combination of that mild soothing gravy and the crispy skin, was delicious.
Watch the full video below:
(Or you can watch it on YouTube here)
Sate Padang is a special type of Indonesian sate (satay) that originates from Padang, Sumatra.
The small skewers of meat and organs (specifically ox tongue) are loaded with spices before being grilled over hot charcoal. Along with the spice mixture, one of the unique aspects of Sate Padang is the yellow brown sauce that is smothered all over it.
In Jakarta, Sate Padang Ajo Ramon is one of the ultimate places to eat Sate Padang, and as soon as you take your first bite you can expect your taste buds to scream with happiness.
Sate Padang Ajo Ramon
Address: Jalan Cikajang Raya No. 72, Senopati, Jakarta
Open hours: 5 pm – 10 pm daily
Total price: 34,000 IDR ($2.55) with a bag of crispy cow skin and bottole of water, I think the actual plate of just sate was 25,000 IDR