Updated: 27 Jan 2023
I love satay! It’s one of my all time favourite hawker food and ranks right up there with Hokkien mee! Whenever I get asked what my favourite food is, the standard answer is always “Hokkien mee and satay!”
Of course there are two different styles of satay in Singapore. One is the Malay style and the other the Chinese style. I love them both, although, I do feel that Hokkien mee goes better with the Hainanese style pork satay. The two styles differ not only in the ingredients used for the marinade, but also in how the satay is grilled.
Hainanese believe in low and slow grilling where the satay is often grilled over a square charcoal pit where the satay is lined up in parallel rows with the meat on the 2nd row shielding the stick from getting burned. Malay style satay on the other hand is grilled over furious flames where the satay is lined up in single file. Because of the big flames, Malay style satay is often grilled out in the open, like in Lagoon Village Food Centre, Satay by the Bay and here at Lau Pa Sat which really add to the whole experience of eating satay!
The problem with eating satay at these two places is that there are several stalls selling the same thing, so you have to choose which stall to patronize. For East Coast Lagoon Village, I would recommend Haron 30 satay which was the crowd favourite at our Urban Kampung event in 2016. (Update: We were at Haron satay recently and unfortunately, the satay is not the same now) I was one of the judges at the event which was where I met Ibrahim of Satay Power. Although he didn’t win, I remembered that his satay was very good, particularly the mutton satay which was tender, tasty and has a nice smokey aroma. Ibrahim tells me that the secret to the mutton is how he carefully removes all the sinews when he slices the meat. I found the bits of fat between the meat particularly enticing! 4.5/5
Their babat (beef tripe) is also very good. The tripe is first cooked for several hours till it’s tender and then given the smoke treatment over the grill. 4.25/5 For those looking for something even more unusual, go for their duck satay. Ibrahim told me that duck is very old school and was popular in the kampung days! 4/5
The satay sauce is thick and chunky and not overly oily so you can scoop a generous amount of it onto your satay! The chicken satay wasn’t as outstanding as the mutton except for its uncharacteristically red colour. It’s good but you won’t drive all the way to Lau Pa Sat for it. 3.5/5 You would for the mutton, though!
If you are at Lau Pa Sat and wondering which satay stall to purchase from, go for Stall 6, Satay Power and order the mutton and babat!
Update: 27 Jan 2023
We were back recently for our satay fix and glad to report that the Satay street at Lau Pa Sat is very much alive and well! The whole street was full of locals and tourists and the air was filled with the aroma of satay smoke!
Satay Power 6 is still the stall I was most familiar with, although, I must say that all the stalls are now taken up and there was a long queue at Stalls 7/8, so I will have to return another day to check out the other stalls.
We had a great satay experience at Power 6. The mutton is still nice and tender, although I was missing that piece of mutton fat which was more prominent in the past. 4.25/5 The chicken is nice and charred and has that smokey aroma. I liked it more than I did before. 4/5 I like my satays charred. It isn’t something I eat very often but when I eat, I want to really enjoy it, and I feel that satay tastes best when it is well-charred! However, if you like your Satays less charred and more tender, you can request it !
The stall is now run by Linda and her husband while her brother, Ibrahim now runs their other stall at the Ayer Rajah Food Centre. As you can see from the photo, Linda’s quite a character and you’d get quite good service from her!