Saba Eats Malacca City
Chicken Rice Ball
So tis was the morning after my Satay Celup feast. I woke up excited about what other food this great little city had to offer. We had decided we where going to try the famous Chop Chung Wah Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball. I had been told how popular this place was and was also told to be prepared to queue up and wait to get in. I’m not a fan of queues but what can you do hey?
Beat the queue!
So in order to beat the queue we would go there for breakfast. Pretty good plan I reckons. There couldn’t be too many people out & about looking for chicken rice first up in the morning right?
We washed up and got ready to hit the town. It was a Tuesday and a little bit before 8am. We made our way out of the hotel room and down to the street. To my surprise it was quiet, dead quiet. The whole street was empty and I couldn’t see much open.
Not to worry we headed to Chung Wah to get us some Chicken Rice Ball! As we walked down Jonker Street things started to liven up and a few more shops where open. It’s like China town down there and tour guides taking groups around. I sort of don’t like being in tourist areas and always find restaurants in tourist areas just don’t live up to expectation. But I remembered everything I have heard about this place and all the photos of the queues and food. It just had to be good. I had a gut feeling this place was still going to live up to it. I was starting to get really excited about the Chicken Rice Ball now!!
We could see Chung Wah’s ahead now and there was no queue in sight. I was thinking this is great. My plan had worked perfectly… Well I thought it did anyway.
But to my greatest disappointment it was not open yet.
It wasn’t open for another hour. But we where all so hungry now and could not wait for another hour to eat. We decided to walk around and find something small to carry us over until the Chicken Rice Ball shop was open.
The hunt was on!
We left the Jonker street area (I had to find where the locals ate) and looked around for about 15 minutes. We finally stumbled across this little store which I could see had 2 food trolleys stations just towards the front. There was no huge signage or flashy lights. There wasn’t even a window front. I liked the look of the place and we decided to go in for a look.
What treasures lay ahead!
As we made our way across the road I could see a man dipping fresh noodles into a big pot of boiling water. I was liking what I was seeing. Who doesn’t like fresh noodles right. So even before we had made our way over to the store I knew we would have to try these noodles.
On the next trolley over from the noodle station was a bay maire tray of braised goodness. The tray was full of Pork belly, pig innards and a host of other things. I know innards ain’t for everyone but I love em for the most part. I don’t do tripe, I just never like it. Anyway, I knew we had to order some of this braised goodness. We ended up choosing some Pork Belly, Eggs, Tofu and pigs ears. I think there was some stomach or something like that too. Not 100% sure but I ate it anyway.
The owner lady had recommended we also try the wonton soup. Now who am I to argue with owner lady. So we ordered that too. We decided we better stop ordering as we still had Chicken Rice Ball after this. We made our way into the shop now to look for a table. But not before I took some photo.
We sat down at our table, it was just a fold out table and the chairs where plastic and red. This is what I love about Asia, so unpretentious. I really like this place, its got so much charm. Hope the food is just as good.
The wonton soup was delicious, the wontons where plum and juicy. The stock was so full of flavor. Winner!
The noodles where soft with just a little bit of bite. They where so good and the sauce was excellent. The char siu was a bit dry for my liking but mixed up with the noodles and greens it was good.
The braised Pork belly was melt in your mouth, it was so good and flavor of the braise it self was so moreish. I could have eaten just plain rice and braising liquid and I would have been happy as jam. The pigs ear where soft and chewy, I liked them. The egg was a bit tuff but I expect that from a braised egg so no problem there. The tofu was great too. Over all a very good plate of food here.
I have to say I really enjoyed this place. From the shop its self, the way they cooked the food and the service was second to none. The friendly owners where fantastic. But most importantly I really enjoyed the food. The funny thing is I don’t know what the place was called. I don’t even remember the street name. But I’ll never forget the taste of the food. I’ll never forget how to get there too. This is a place I’ll come back to when ever I find my self in Malacca.
Back on the hunt for Chicken Rice Ball!
It was now time to head back to Chung Wah for some Chicken Rice Ball. To tell you the truth I was feeling a bit full, actually we where all feeling a bit full. But nothing was going to stop us from getting our Chicken Rice Ball.
We finally made it back to Chung Wah and believe it or not. No queue at all. Fantastic! As we walked through the door we where greeted by a friendly lady who pointed us to our table. I was actually pretty surprise cause there was already a lot of people in the place. We sat down at our table. All the tables I could see where round with hard wooden chairs. I’m pretty sure they are as old as the business it’s self. But don’t quote me on that. The restaurant is tiled from the floor all the way up the walls and there are large fans on ceiling. It was a clean and tidy establishment.
On the table was a jar of chilli sauce which you could help yourself to as much as you want. It had a really nice smell to it and was well balanced. The heat was nice but might pack a bit of punch for the non-chilli eater.
Once we had sat down, the cutest little girl brought over some bowls and cutlery. I’m guessing she is the daughter of one of the owners but I never got around to asking. But she was so cute.
CHICKEN RICE BALL TIME!
We had order some drinks first. I had seen 100 plus all over Malaysia and Singapore but never actually tried it. I thought it was a soft drink but turns out it was a isotonic sports drink. I have to tell you, I’m not a fan 🙁
So as we where a little full we decided we would just order half a chicken and only one serve of rice balls to start. The rice balls come with 5 balls per serve.
Once you make your order, old mate at the chopping station will chop up your chicken and it comes out real fast. The balls are pre rolled so from order to food on the table was like 1 minutes. This is my favorite type of fast food. No complaints from me about that!
The rice balls are rolled tight, they are very fragrant so they smelt so good when they hit the table. At first glance you could almost be forgiven if you thought they where fish balls or something like that. I decided I would try one on its own just to see what it tasted like. I took my first long awaited bite into these famous rice balls. Oh I didn’t really think much of it. They tasted pretty gluggy to tell you the truth. I guess the ball is a good idea to get the crowd in but I think I would just rather a bowl of plain fluffy rice. But hey had to try it.
Well hope the chicken is better!
I first off tried a bit from the breast, oh I was so disappointed again. It was dry and not tasty at all. But I generally don’t like white meat from a chicken but thought I would try it first to see if it was juicy or not. It wasn’t.
Next I tried a drum and wing, the dark meat is always the tastiest part of the chicken. I love meat on the bone, so the next few bite was going to decided if I like this place of not. Starting with the wing, it was juicy and was fall off the bone. The meat still had a bit of bite, and the flavour was pretty good. I’m glad we only ordered a small portion now.
I would be lying if I told you this was my favorite meal of the day. It wasn’t. Actually it was far from it. I found the rice balls to be a bit of a gimmick, they where gluggy and flavourless. But hey they got me in the door from 6500km away, so they certainly did their job. The chicken was a bit hit a miss for me too. Sorry guys if you where excited to try this place as I was. But I need to tell you as it was and can’t gloss it over. The service was great, and the staff all so friendly. It was cool seeing old mate in action on the chopping station. Yes I get my kicks from the little things like that. I have not ridden this place off just yet. I would like to try this place again. Next time on an empty stomach. I was quite full when I tried this, so that may have effected how I felt about it. I would still recommend anyone come and give the place a try. Plus this place is an institution and being foodies you have to go give it a try.
Make sure you come back and join me in my last eating adventure in Malacca as I discover the wonderful world of Nyonya Cuisine
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Saba Eats Malacca City!
Chicken Rice Ball
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