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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

ATL Maranatha, Kensington

Ayam goreng tulang lunak $8
Deep-fried soft bone chicken

EDIT: ATL Maranatha has closed

If fried chicken makes your heart skip a beat, have a defibrillator on stand-by for soft bone chicken. The Indonesian favourite, ayam goreng or fried chicken, is lifted to new levels of crunch at ATL Maranatha, a family-run restaurant on a quiet suburban street corner in Kensington.


Ayam goreng tulang lunak ($8) is fried chicken with soft bones you can eat. Why worry about extricating meat from bones when you can just eat an entire chicken leg itself, bones and all. The secret lies in pressure-cooking the corn-fed chicken quarters overnight ready for deep-frying the next day. The result? Earth-shattering batter, juicy flesh and brittle bones you can crunch on, from the ribs to the leg bone. The bones don’t taste of much – as bland as the bones you find in a tin of salmon – but there’s a bewildering sense of accomplishment involved in reducing a serve of chicken Maryland into nothing but a trail of stray crumbs.

Ayam goreng telur asin
Fried chicken with egg yolk $8


The fried chicken can be ordered with a salted egg batter or generous daubs of chilli sauce in hot or mild, but we liked the original the best, which is topped with a crumbling coral of deep-fried batter shards. Grilled chicken comes caramelised and a little smokier in flavour from the sweet soy marinade. Duck ($10) is also available grilled or deep-fried. All of them have bones you can crunch on.

Bebek goreng $10
Fried duck

Sambal goreng teri pete $12
Petai beans with fried anchovy


Try the petai beans, from the same pods you used to make stink bombs in primary school. Their bitterness is best masked with fried anchovy ($12), but they’re also available with prawns ($17) or served plain ($6.50). Cleanse the palate with sayur asem ($5), a sour tamarind soup and wash down everything with sweetened coconut milk drinks that double as desserts. Avocado ice ($5) and durian ice ($6) both come with chunks of fruit at the bottom.

Es duren durian ice $6 and
Es alpukat avocade ice $5

Es campur mixed ice $5


Laid-back self-service is the order of the day here. It’s DIY everything, including writing your own order on the supplied waiters pad. Help yourself to cutlery or just roll up your sleeves and dig in.

View Larger Map
ATL Maranatha on Urbanspoon

ATL Maranatha CLOSED
61 Todman Avenue, Kensington 2033
Tel: +61 (02) 9663 3410

Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday 11am-4pm and 6pm-9pm
Sunday 12pm-4pm and 6pm-9pm

This article is a copy of my second submission to Time Out Sydney as part of my monthly column in Food & Drink.

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Fried soft bone chicken - Immanuel Cafe Restaurant, Ultimo

Kensington - Chairman Mao
Kensington - Grotta Capri
Kensington - Sushi Tengoku
Kingsford - Ayam Goreng 99

Time Out Sydney reviews:
Balkan Oven, Rockdale (Macedonian burek)
Durban Dish, Baulkham Hills (South African bunny chow)
Hijazi's Falafel, Arncliffe (Lebanese breakfast)
Island Dreams Cafe, Lakemba (Christmas Islands cuisine)
La Paula, Fairfield (Chilean empanadas, lomitos and sweets)
Sea Sweet, Parramatta (Lebanese sweet kashta cheese burger)
Sizzling Fillo, Lidcombe (Filipino pork hock crackling)
Tehran, Granville (Persian cuisine)
Tuong Lai, Cabramatta (Vietnamese sugar cane prawns)
17 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 6/02/2010 02:58:00 am


  • At 6/02/2010 5:56 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    Apparently deep fried chicken places are going to be the next big thing - looks like you are ahead of the trend Helen (love these Time Out articles as well)

  • At 6/02/2010 9:34 am, Blogger Betty @ The Hungry Girl said…

    Oh wow, you can eat the bones too?! That's definitely getting your money's worth right there! lol. I love all these little Indo places around Kensington, I only wish I'd discovered more when I was actually at uni there!

  • At 6/02/2010 10:05 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Ahhh I've been meaning to go here for ages! I LOVE soft bone chicken. Theirs looks awesome. Must go!

  • At 6/02/2010 11:04 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    chiicken! chiiiicken! crispy chiiiiicken! need! want! now!

  • At 6/02/2010 11:11 am, Blogger Hannah said…

    Oh my heavens, my mum would kill for that soft bone chicken. She's the one at the table who gnaws the cartilege from chicken bones until there's only the mnost non-edible bone parts left (she'd also kill me for writing this, so shhhh).

  • At 6/02/2010 12:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    cant wait to try this place out!

  • At 6/02/2010 1:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am intrigued! I am to feel the bone being munched. Can't wait to check it out.

  • At 6/02/2010 2:25 pm, Anonymous billy@atablefortwo said…

    I am still intrigued by the whole soft bone idea... First Ayam 99 and now this... I need mah fried chicken!!!

  • At 6/02/2010 2:36 pm, Anonymous linda said…

    omg that's a whole new level of eating, lol meat and bones. I'd be interested in giving it a go, although I don't know if eating the bones would add much to the dining experience, except as you say, a sense of achievement.

  • At 6/02/2010 4:08 pm, Anonymous Simon @ the heart of food said…

    Oh this place! Be still my cholesterol-choked heart...

    Gotta make my way here sometime. Was such a pity it was closed the last time I tried to go there.

  • At 6/02/2010 5:40 pm, Blogger Bean Sprout's Cafe said…

    I really wanna go there after read so many reviews about this place.. but it seems not easy to travel by bus... I think I need a quite long way walk after get off the bus..haha (but for sure i will go try it)

    So happy see you at the party but such a shame, I was too nervous to say hello to u -_-''

  • At 6/02/2010 9:05 pm, Anonymous Andreas@MyGourmetFeast~> said…

    Those pictures are great. Chicken looks gorgeous!! Definitely will go there, thanks for the intro Helen!

  • At 6/02/2010 9:59 pm, Anonymous Amy @ cookbookmaniac said…

    Oh yeah! Deep fried chicken porn! Oh yeah! Gotta soft bone deep fried chicken! nom nom nom

  • At 6/02/2010 11:18 pm, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    Drool, drool, drool. I've got to get down there and try this chicken!

  • At 6/02/2010 11:25 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    That batter looks remarkably crispy and non-greasy. The image of eating a chicken bones and all is making me think of the Tasmanian devil from Looney Tunes for some reason!

  • At 6/03/2010 12:39 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hahah I haven't gone back yet cos I fear for my heart/arteries... but sooo goodd to just be able to eat everything on the plate!

  • At 6/04/2010 11:47 pm, Anonymous J2Kfm (Malaysian Food Blog) said…

    I had the Ayam Tulang Lunak Malioboro in Bali before, a whole chicken devoured! Kinda strange atfirst, for we felt like we were ... erm, dogs? :)

    But then again, the process of eating the chicken was made so much easier when everything's downed without much hassle.


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