KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — For many of my friends, chicken rice is life-giving. It's simple fare: A meal where poached chicken is paired with rice and served with various condiments. When it is done well, it can be exceptional.
As some of my favourite places for chicken rice are closed during the lockdown, I have been searching for a worthy substitute. I found it one day inadvertently, when I went to search for fish head noodles at the Ring Road area, just behind Jalan Loke Yew.
During this lockdown, the fish head noodles stall is closed for business. Even my favourite steamed fish head restaurant across from the noodle place is taking a break.
What is open is the chicken rice stall and the fried noodles stall at the corner restaurant. There's also a rival chicken rice stall across the road. It's been incredibly quiet with regulars dropping by to takeaway.
Previously I had tried their poached chicken. As the wait for the noodles was very long since each bowl is cooked upon order, I would order the chicken as a side dish. While it was always poached well with a slight crunchy skin and smooth meat, it was just paired with soy sauce lightly flavoured with sesame oil.
This time, I managed to eat it with their ginger and spring onion dip and that elevated the taste of the chicken tremendously. The ginger is roughly pounded with chopped spring onions, which gives it more texture versus those who take the shortcut way to blend it.
Their chilli sauce is a nice bright orange hue. It has a sharp tangy taste with not overly spicy chillies that makes it a nice companion to your meal.
You will find they usually serve free range chicken with the distinct yellow tinge. However if you are late, it's only the plain white variety. While it still tastes juicy and smooth, the free range chicken tastes much better. For the half portion of chicken I had taken away, I also found gelatinous bits indicating that it's been poached well and the meat is still juicy. It's RM37 for half a chicken, RM70 for a whole chicken.
As I always have leftovers, I like to keep the chicken as cold meat to eat with a salad. Try and get more of the ginger dip too. It makes everything taste so much better.
After a day in the refrigerator, the meat will be firmer but still not overly dry. If you're feeling industrious, you can also make cold wine chicken by adding some Shaoxing rice wine to the chicken to give it flavour.
What I also like about this stall is they serve roast duck and siew yoke too. The portions are limited since the chicken is the star here but the roast meats are really good on their own too.
For the roast duck, I got the leg portion for RM12 and it was juicy. On its own, the meat has a mild taste so dip it in the brown sauce it is served with for slightly stronger savoury taste. I liked their roast pork or siew yoke too (one strip for RM16). It was a lovely ratio of fatty bits paired with meat that was topped with crispy skin. It took quite an effort to stop popping these in my mouth as they quickly became addictive.
The rice served with the meat is the typical yellowish tinge rice with a very subtle fragrance of ginger. It's not the best rice but it'll do. I also liked how they give you lots of cut cucumbers with your meal. This helps alleviate the guilt a little when you're eating all that meat.
Give it a try one day and who knows, it may become your new favourite.
Onn Kee HK Roasted Meats Stall, Ring Road Restaurant, 50, Jalan Gelang, Kuala Lumpur. Open: 9am to 3pm. Closed on Monday. Tel:016-4586676