Posted: 06 Sep 2011 09:01 AM PDT
When it comes to associating food to a place or location, chicken rice ball to Malacca (Melaka) is like assam laksa to Penang or siew pao (crispy BBQ pork bun) to Seremban. Somehow or some odd way, they are automatically linked due to their popularity since aeons ago. But of course, there is also Nyonya food which is yet another popular delicacy in Malacca but that's another different story to be told.
Spotting a restaurant/shop selling chicken rice ball in Malacca (or at least around the hotspots area) is even easier than looking for a 7-11 shop. They are everywhere to be seen with the popular ones like Hoe Kee and Chung Hwa located along the Jonker Walk.
I've been to both on different times and they were more or less the same with slightly different style. It all depends on the person's favourite/palate on which is the best. There are, of course, other restaurants that sell chicken rice balls along Jonker Street but those two mentioned earlier are really popular that tourists are willing to queue under the hot sun just to dine there.
However, on my recent visit to Malacca, I didn't bother to queue nor fancy them at all. Instead, my friend took me to other restaurant which is said to be famous too amongst the locals. That said, the journey to this restaurant is not as easy as the ones in Jonker Street and hence, my friend's guidance.
Although we were there early close to 12PM, most of the tables, even the ones outside of the shop, were mostly occupied with a few being filled with dirty dishes. Nevertheless, that and the vast crowd didn't dampen our enthusiasm as we persisted and surged ahead waiting patiently for our orders to arrive.
Whilst waiting for our food, my friend bought a plate full of fried stuff at nearby stall (a motorbike, to be exact) as appetiser. Prawn crackers, fishcakes, beancurds, pineapples and cucumbers were all sliced into smaller pieces before drenching them with sweet spicy sauce.
There are various old stories/theories behind these rice balls but I shall leave it to you to search for it. These balls are pretty small in actual size. To put into perspective, 5 of these are equivalent to 1 bowl of rice… and that also varies to different restaurants as they have different measurements.
That said, they were delicious and to consume them is up to one's approach. Eat it as its own, soak them in chilli sauce or soak them in chilli sauce and dark soy before consuming it will bring different results. I've learned the latter way and I've got to say I like it although I prefer to have my rice on its own. Soft and mushy at the center yet filled with chicken essence, they were delightful to go along with the poached chicken.
There's nothing to shout about for the poached chicken though. Although I do give credit to them for chopping the chicken nicely in piece unlike Chung Hwa's version which sometimes looked like a train wreck, they were served cold but not ice cold though. Being a Chinese in me, I prefer my dishes to be warm but I understand that there's a reason why poached/steamed chicken can't be sliced when it's hot. Nevertheless, they were pretty tasty and tender.
Overall, we paid RM 17.20 for a half portion of chicken, 20 rice balls and two cups of teh-peng (teh ais/ iced milk tea). Price wise, I think they are much cheaper than the famous ones I mentioned early but in terms of crowd, they are no better as the queue was formed outside the shop when we left around 1PM.
GPS Coordinates : 2.237917, 102.259464
Telephone Number : +606 317 0299
Business Hours : 645AM to 3PM (Close on Thursdays)
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