‘Everyone needs a good meal,’ that’s the reason why Junaedy Sathia, proud father, and chef opened Ayam Goreng 99 in Kingsford back in 1998.
Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, Junaedy had a steel construction business but loved cooking. He brought his young family to Sydney like many immigrants searching for a better way of life. ‘When we first arrived we didn’t find any restaurants that offered authentic Indonesian food, so we opened this restaurant,’ smiled Junaedy ‘Ayam Goreng means fried chicken.’
Junaedy worked hard recreating the much loved dishes from home, but worried that the business might not be successful. But they came, first of all back in the day ‘the customers were all Indonesian,’ shared Junaedy ‘but over time and like our community the customers became more multicultural; Aussies, Greeks, Thai, Koreans, Chinese and then students from the uni.’
Over the years not too much has changed on the menu as all the dishes remain popular ‘the grilled chicken is the number one favourite. The Japanese fried chicken is popular too,’ shared Junaedy ‘coconut rice, Nasi Goreng, the satays and of course Beef Rendang.’
Authentic simple home-style dishes that can be eaten every day is the focus at Ayam as well as a knockout chilli sauce made from fresh ingredients that takes up to five hours to create.
Junaedy wanted his family’s chilli sauce recipe to be different from other Indonesian restaurants so experimented with combinations that he tested on himself, friends and family before hitting the jackpot. ‘People come from all around for the chilli sauce,’ Junaedy said proudly, ‘they come eat, buy 10 jars and take them away. People from overseas, places like Canada, America too.’
Ayam Goreng 99 is a family affair, Junaedy creating taste sensations dishes, whilst his wife greets customers and his daughters look after the day to day running of the business.
After 21 years the restaurant’s become a local institution, but does Junaedy plan to retire soon and slow down a little, ‘I don’t think so,’ he smiled warmly ‘I love this place, like an artist loves to paint and create, I love to create my dishes for everyone to enjoy.’