One of Yogyakarta’s best-kept culinary secrets is a small sate warung (stall) that is only open in the evenings. “Unless I am invited to go to a hotel or a celebration somewhere, I open every day of the week from 6:30 p.m. till 12:30 a.m or later,” said Ahmad Sobarry, known as Barry, the owner and chef of Sate Klathak Pak Barry. The tiny warung is inside the Jejeran traditional market on the road toward Imogiri, around 5 kilometers south of the Yogyakarta bus terminal. A list of its regular clients reads like a who’s who of the city and includes Prince Paku Alam, politician Amien Rais, comedian and actor Butet Kartaredjasa, fashion designer Nita Azhar and writer Agus Noor.
But what is so special about Barry’s sate? “I only use healthy, young, fat-tailed lambs because they don’t smell as much as goats,” Barry says, “and I always kill and prepare my sheep myself — I don’t buy meat that other people have killed.
“But most importantly, I invented the name sate klathak to describe my special spiceless sate. Because I don’t use any spices I must choose the best meat. So my prices are higher than other sate sellers, and I think that also attracts customers. People like to eat something that costs a little more but tastes better. ”