MELBOURNE | D’Penyetz & D’Cendol is a family owned chain of Indonesian restaurants founded by Edy Ongkowijoyo in 2009. Over the past decade it’s expanded to become very popular in South East Asia, with a focus on simple Indonesian food done properly. In late 2019, couple Andy and Juli Santoso decided to bring the concept and flavours to Melbourne.
The name gives away the reason that many come here. Ayam Penyet, Javanese for smashed fried chicken, is the restaurant’s signature dish. It consists of fried chicken that is smashed with the pestle against mortar to make it softer, served with sambal, sliced cucumber, fried tofu and tempeh. There are six versions on the menu.
There’s a whole lot more on the menu beyond this too. Things like ayam bakar (grilled chicken), sate ayam (chicken satay sticks), beef, seafood, and vegetarian dishes. One of my favourites beyond the ayam penyet is the sop buntut jakarta, a light, clear soup with oxtail simmered in broth with carrots and potatoes. It’s served on a little stove to keep it warm while you enjoy it. I’m also a big fan of the sambal udang pete – stir fried tiger prawns with “stinky beans” and chilli sauce. Wonderful textures and big flavour.
The second part of the restaurant’s name refers to the extensive range of cendol on offer. Cendol is an iced sweet dessert that contains pieces of green rice flour jelly, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup. You can get traditional and modern versions here. Toppings include things like grass jelly, jackfruit, and Oreo.
For those who live further South East of the CBD, D’Penyetz & D’Cendol have a second Melbourne restaurant in Clayton.
D’Penyetz & D’Cendol (Carlton)
112 Lygon Street
Telephone: (03) 9639 8777
Mon – Sun: 11:30am to 9:30pm