Restoran Prosperity Bowl wins award for best chicken rice

Surprise winner: Wong (centre) presenting the award for the best chicken rice to Khoo (left). At right is Khoo's son, Sunny.

YOU have voted and here are the results — Restoran Prosperity Bowl in SS2 beat 19 other nominees to clinch the title of best chicken rice in the Klang Valley for the Star People’s Food Awards.

The Star senior editor Julie Wong. who is also a contest judge, presented the award to restaurant owner Roger Khoo at his establishment.

Chicken rice was the first category in a monthly series to search for the best street food around the Klang Valley.

The people-powered contest has members of the public nominating and voting for their favourite makan places.

Despite having opened only two years ago, Prosperity Bowl managed to beat many veteran competitors.

Khoo started out selling chicken rice at a stall in Paramount Garden before moving to the current premises.

At first, he only had noodles topped with poached chicken but slowly expanded his menu to include other items.

Currently, the restaurant offers the popular chicken rice, as well as side dishes such as pork and squid balls, fishballs, stir-fried bean sprouts and vegetables.

Khoo said he did not expect to win and felt touched by the support from customers and the public.

“Cooking has always been my passion since I was young. I finally decided to open my own shop after being in the printing business for more than 50 years,” said Khoo, 65.

He runs the shop with his wife and youngest son.

His secret to good chicken rice? It’s all in the cooking technique and ingredients.

“Ingredient measurements, temperature and cooking time play a crucial role in making tender and smooth poached chicken,” he explained.

For example, the chicken is usually cooked for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on size, by starting off with high heat before bringing it to a slow boil.

It also needs to be dunked into cold water to seal in the juices and to ensure that the flesh is firm.

Khoo said he was picky when it came to sourcing for ingredients.

“We get our chicken from a trusted supplier who provides us with free range birds that has been bred for 100 days or so.

“They each weigh about 2kg; lighter than the usual chicken because they are not injected with hormones. They also have less fat,” said Khoo.

The chicken soup that is served with the rice is clear and flavourful, as it is boiled for at least two hours.

The rice itself is aromatic and fragrant; having been cooked with onion, garlic and margarine.

“As my recipes follow certain measurements and techniques, there is a consistent taste even if it is prepared by different chefs,” he explained.

Khoo believes that one must put their heart and soul into cooking for food to taste good.

“If you want to open a restaurant, you should have a love for cooking,” shared Khoo.

Feedback is important to Khoo, as he stressed that they were constantly trying to improve.

“We are very close to our customers as many of them are regulars. We get a diverse crowd, from families to office workers and retirees,” he said.

“We try to listen to our customers and try to accommodate their suggestions,” he said.

As it turned out, not everyone wanted to eat chicken rice — which is why Khoo came up with more dishes for the restaurant’s menu.

A recent addition is the Penang White Curry Mee, after Khoo received requests from customers to include it in the menu.

“Chicken rice is still our staple, but we try to diversify to meet customers’ requests,” he said.

One plate of chicken rice costs RM7, while half and a whole chicken are priced at RM28 and RM56, respectively.

Restoran Prosperity Bowl is located at Jalan SS2/30. Its operating hours are from 7am to 5pm, daily. The restaurant is closed on Wednesdays.

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