Clucking-good dish


Toh busily cutting tportioning out his chickens at his Hoe Fong Chicken Rice shop.

DO YOU know where to find the best chicken rice in the Klang Valley?

If you do, participate in The Star People’s Food Awards on Metro Online Broadcast or MOB (www.mob.com.my) and stand a chance to win attractive prizes.

This week, we feature another three well-known eateries that sell chicken rice.

AH YOKE (Non-halal)

Address: Jalan USJ 11/3F, UEP Subang Jaya, Selangor.

“Two years and seven months to be exact,” quips Alan Yap, on how long Ah Yoke Chicken Rice has been catering to Subang Jaya residents.

Before setting up shop in USJ 11, he sold char kway teow and pan mee (House of Pan Mee) in Sunway and Petaling Jaya.

Yap learned to make chicken rice by observing others and talking to his friends.

“Many customers have complimented me on my chicken rice, and on weekends, regulars come all the way from Mont Kiara.”

The shop opens as early as 8am, and closes when the chicken runs out.

The chicken rice is simple — poached or roasted chicken with soy sauce, dressed with cucumbers, and served with ginger and chilli sauce.

Homemade fish ball soup is available as a side order.

“Even my ginger and chilli sauce is freshly made,” he said and adding, “I still use a grinding stone to do it.”

HOE FONG CHICKEN RICE (Non-halal)

Address: 25 Jalan 21/17, Sea Park, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

The smell of something buttery hits you as you walk into Hoe Fong. But it is not butter.

“We do not use chicken fat to make our chicken rice; we use margarine,” shop owner Toh Chin Sing would proudly tell you.

He inherited the business from the couple who started it 30 years ago, beginning from a humble little stall.

Toh was their apprentice, and when they decided to retire three years ago, the baton was passed on to him.

Why change a successful recipe, right?

The crowd – spilling over from the nearby market – streams in from as early as 10.30am for an early lunch, or to take away.

“Most of our customers prefer our fried chicken even though we have the traditional poached variety,” said Toh.

And the most requested parts are thighs and drumsticks.

Toh deep-fries the chicken whole, which takes about 20 minutes, depending on size.

The fried chicken has crispy skin and tender meat.

Soy sauce is drizzled on the chicken just before it is served, and makes it tastier.

A small bowl of soup comes with the rice set; a different type of soup is served each day, including salted vegetable and old cucumber soup.

The chicken rice is RM6 per plate.

LOKE YUN (Halal)

Address: 158 Jalan Besar Ampang, Pekan Ampang, Selangor

This stall grew from a small staller, opened in 1971 (formerly the Nan Yuan Restaurant), to what it is today.

Founded by Phang Kwi, he said his wife coaxed him into business after working for many years in a restaurant.

From the start, he focused on making the best chicken rice in the world, so to speak.

This now-famous restaurant is no Chicken Little, the restaurant can pack in 250 diners. It has two parts— the “old” and the “new” inner section with a modern seating arrangement of marble tables and stools, and air-conditioning.

Phang Kwi’s youngest son, Phang Kee Kam, now runs the business with help from his own son, Weng Jun.

“My father kept the front of the restaurant intact to preserve its history,” said Weng Jun, of the family decision to expand the premises so that more families could bond over their chicken rice as “having a meal together is important for families.”

The restaurant has also maintained a halal policy so that their chicken rice can be enjoyed by all.

There is poached and roasted chicken with fragrant jasmine rice. For poached chicken, there is a choice of ordinary or free-range chicken.

Perhaps what is worth clucking about is the chicken rice, which has a light and aromatic fragrance from being prepared with fresh chicken stock.

It is also not too greasy.

The way to enjoy it is to drizzle a little dark soy sauce onto the rice, or mix the soy sauce into the chilli and ginger dipping sauce.

Kee Kam has another idea, “Eat the rice with our shallot oil for an even better flavour.”

Watching Kee Kam neatly chopping the chicken, it is evident that the Phangs are determined to uphold grandpa’s vision of serving the best chicken rice this side of the South China Sea.

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