Sunday, 27 November 2011

ATL Maranatha - Indonesian - Ultimo

You'd be forgiven to think after biting into a piece of chicken served in this fine eatery that it was afflicted with the physiological condition known as osteoporosis, but this is the impression you are left with. The chicken called "Ayam Lunak" in Indonesian where the bones are made soft (and edible) through a pressure cooking technique.

I stumbled into ATL Maranatha by accident simply by loitering aimlessly on Broadway. Having read other food bloggers describe this eatery quite favourably and having very little experience with Indonesian food myself was a good reason to give this eatery a go.

As I enter the premisses I am presented with a visual display of one bottle of Sambel Asli per table and nothing else (even pepper and salt). It makes for a contrasting interesting view.

Service Counter

I visited Monday 24/10/2011 at 11:00 and the place is empty. The seating capacity is huge (100 people) and I feel a little uncomfortable to be the only customer. At the time I deliberately took the photos in such a way as not to illustrate the lack of diners. The location isn't the best to attract random customers who might by chance be walking past hungry (HJL Asian Express and DY Sizzling Hot Pot are less than 50 meters away, but right in the pedestrian traffic flow). There was only one lady working at the time, so the proprietors don't expect a large crowd at this time. I sincerely hope that business is better at other times as this is a quality purveyor of Indonesian food and it would be a great shame for things not to work out. Besides 11:00am is too early for a restaurant to be buzzing with customers.

Item No.4 - Ayam Goreng Bumbu Sambel - $8:00
Decisions, decisions. The nice solitary lady takes my order at the table. I ask her for help and hint at that the spiciest dish is the best. She suggests the Ayam Goreng Bumbu Sambel and so it is. I'm asked as to what part of the chicken I want and I ask for the breast which in hindsight might not be the best piece to have experienced the soft bones that you eat. I also order a Es Campur as it is warm, I am thirsty and need something refreshing to drink. I wait 20 minutes for my meal to arrive, but hey there's only only lady running the show and I have plenty of time.

Item No.4 - Ayam Goreng Bumbu Sambel - $8:00
The Ayam Goreng Bumbu Sambel arrives (Ayam Goreng means Fried Chicken in Indonesian) and I am a little nervous (for crying out loud, I'm about to eat chicken bones). I ordered the breast and it has bones. I resist my instincts to remove the bones and bite into the cooked chicken. Hmn....not bad. The bones are soft with a texture similar to that of "Twisties". In fact excellent. I resist the addition of Sambel Asli as the meat is spicy enough. It came with a sweet condiment of sorts on a little serving dish. So it was quite a tasty dish and I can highly recommend it.

Item No.37 - Es Campur - Mixed Fruit with Ice - $5:00
I was surprised when the Es Campur came out. I was expecting a glass of sorts and out comes a large soup bowl with a ceramic spoon. Unless I am mistaken it was coconut milk with small pieces of fruit and ice. It was very pleasant to drink in the warm weather. The ice was soft enough so that I was able to crush it with my teeth. This drink comes highly recommended.

Front entrance to ATL Maranatha
You will need to put in some effort to find this place. There are two approaches one from Harris St. which is self explanatory. Walk down to the end of the lane. Alternately there is a public hallway/corridor to the right of the entrance of HJL Asian Express. Enter this public hallway walk a little then go down the stairs and you should easily find it.

All I can say is enjoy this place it comes highly recommended.

Opened between Mon-Sun 11:00am to 10:00pm.

Click to Enlarge

Fried soft bone chicken
Shop No. 96 Ground Floor
732 Harris St.
Ultimo NSW 2007

Ph: (02)9281-7897

Mon-Sun 11:00am to 10:00pm

Atl Maranatha on Urbanspoon


  1. Judging from the picture, I believe the sweet condiment you had is a sambal as well, only from the cooked version. This kind of sweeter (and rather oily) sambal usually served with Javanese style chicken dishes, e.g.: Ayam Kalasan, Gudeg. I myself find edible chicken bones tastes somewhat like liver :).

  2. When I tried it there were two small shards of bone that seemed a little hard to chew, but other than that it was a pleasantly good experience. The exterior is lovely though.