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RMCO food takeaway: Excellent chicken rice from Street Hainanese Chicken Rice Shop in Kepong

You can have an incredibly satisfying lunch here with their excellent poached chicken, ‘char siu’, rice and bean sprouts. — Pictures by Lee Khang Yi

KEPONG, Sept 21 — It’s hard to find a chicken rice place that ticks all the right boxes. All the elements — chicken, rice, chilli sauce and soy sauce dressing — need to be impeccable for it to be the best.

Even though Street Hainanese Chicken Rice Shop at Kepong may not have fulfilled all the requirements, it still serves really excellent chicken rice that I will return to again.

The draw here is succulent chicken meat with smooth silky skin and a gelatinous layer underneath. From an interview in Nanyang Siang Pau, they explained the use of choy yin kai weighing at least 2.2 kilograms for the flavour.

The chicken is left to poach in boiling water for 45 minutes. Once it is removed, the chicken is soaked in cold water for 30 minutes. Subsequently, it is removed and hung to dry for 10 minutes before it is cut.

There’s much to enjoy here as their fragrant rice or yau fan is full of flavour. In the same interview, the rice is said to be cooked with ginger, lemongrass juice, chicken powder, boiled chicken broth, chicken fat and pandan leaves.

The 'char siu' is also good with tender, moist meat and less fat (left). The poached chicken is made from 'choy yin kai' that has slightly harder meat but it is still tender with a smooth, silky skin and the highly sought after gelatinous layer under the skin (right).
The ‘char siu’ is also good with tender, moist meat and less fat (left). The poached chicken is made from ‘choy yin kai’ that has slightly harder meat but it is still tender with a smooth, silky skin and the highly sought after gelatinous layer under the skin (right).

It tastes good even if you don’t eat in but do a takeaway. If you prefer it hot, just steam it and it’ll taste just the same like they serve at the eatery.

The broth served with the rice is also a good one without any trace of oil. Its yellow hue indicates that old chicken was used to boil it, supposedly for three hours to eke out all the flavour from the chicken.

On each table is their piquant chilli sauce with a slight tangy kick. You can mix it with the ginger sauce that is fragrant for a spicy, fragrant dip for the chicken

At the eatery, their food is served on stainless steel plates, just like this fragrant 'yau fan' cooked in chicken broth, pandan leaves, lemongrass juice and chicken fat (left). Even the soup given to you with the chicken rice is delicious and has been boiled for at least three hours (right).
At the eatery, their food is served on stainless steel plates, just like this fragrant ‘yau fan’ cooked in chicken broth, pandan leaves, lemongrass juice and chicken fat (left). Even the soup given to you with the chicken rice is delicious and has been boiled for at least three hours (right).

The only thing lacking in this chicken rice is the soy sauce and oil dressing served with the chicken. I found it too salty for my liking.

Maybe it’s my own preference as my friends don’t seem to have issues with it. When I packed home the chicken, I requested for the sauce to be packed separately. As I used it like a dip, this allowed me to control the salt level.

They also serve char siu which is pretty good. The meat is tender with not too much fat. It is also not the charred sticky type so you don’t get that overly sweet taste when you bite into each piece.

Even the sauce is judiciously drizzled over the cut pieces, giving it a slight sweetness that does not overwhelm. You can also order bean sprouts on the side.

Ask for the sauces to be packed separately so you can add according to taste.
Ask for the sauces to be packed separately so you can add according to taste.

The place also serves all types of noodles. There’s pork noodles, loh mee, pan mee and more. A plate of chicken rice is RM7 served with their own made soup while half a chicken is RM40.

I’ll definitely be back for the chicken rice and maybe their noodles.

Street Hainanese Chicken Rice Shop, Jalan Besar, Kepong. Waze here or if you drive past the Kepong police station on Jalan Besar, it’s the second turning on the right and it will be the corner shop of the row of shophouses. Open: 10am to 1pm or until it sells out. Closed every two Mondays of the month. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StreetHainaneseCRS

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