Satay is believed to originate from Java, Indonesia, where it is written as Sate

This is the same spelling in Malaysia and in the south of Thailand where there are Malay communities, including in Phuket. 

Indonesian sate is served with kecap manis, a dark sweet soya sauce. 

In Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, we enjoy our satay with peanut sauce.

Satay is the anglicised spelling of Sate.

I have enjoyed satay for more than 60 years including at the now defunct Satay Club on Beach Road in front of the sea. Back in those days, it was only mutton satay, no beef nor chicken. These were introduced later. And then pork by the Chinese. 

My comfort satay remains mutton. While this is still available, unfortunately, most do not have a whole piece of fat in the middle (between the lean meat on top and below).

The Singapore Hokkiens or Fujianese ingeniously translated satay in their dialect as – literally – “3 Pieces” which sounds like Sate or Satay.

My favourite wine pairings with satay are Sherry and Port.  

The Spanish wine – unfortunately – is not popular in Singapore and hard to come by. Thankfully, Port is more available. And outstanding with satay. 

White Port is better with Chicken Satay (and innards).

Fine Ruby and Tawny are magnificent with Mutton and Beef Satay.

For full Tasting Notes of Graham’s Fine White Port, Graham’s Fine Ruby and Graham’s 10 Year Old Tawny, please go to


  1. WWW.XMC.PL 14 December 2020

    Another interesting post! This is one of the few blogs I can return to on a regular basis.


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