Jl. Tirtodipuran No. 56
Inspired by Chicken Run in Bali, which Michael’s friend runs, Chicken Shack is the first rotisserie chicken restaurant with European flavours in Jogja. He’s used his Belgian roots to train and provide inspiration to his wife who owns and runs the place.
“We signed the contract on the place in June 2020 and our first day opened was 8th December that year,” remembers Michael. The former tattoo shop – don’t worry, local artist Heru only moved next door – was renovated by Michael and his wife pretty much by themselves. During the refit, they were presented with the chance to use the yard out back, which is now a cute space for al fresco dining.
“The pandemic gave us the time to do things ourselves and get things right, no tourists walking past wishing we were getting their business,” he explains. Having always wanted a becak, Michael saw this as his chance and placed one in the restaurant. On the roof. It’s Instagrammable, for sure. As much as opening a new restaurant during a pandemic was a challenge, there have been some unexpected benefits. “Everything had to go online, my wife could do all the applications for licences and other paperwork from her phone so it was easier than we’d expected!”
How about the food? The chickens, which rotate in the oven out front all day with scents wafting down the street, are delicious. Stuffed with thyme and garlic, the flavours are a comforting taste of home for the foreigners still in the city. Belgian dishes like the meatballs go down and treat with the locals, who have been the main customers since things opened. “We’ve even had the Sultan order takeaway from us!”