December 7, 2022


Life Must Change

Rooster Rice Balls at Kedai Kopi Chung Wah (Jonker Road, Melaka)

Hainanese Rooster Rice is likely one of the most iconic road meals you’ll discover in any large metropolis of South East Asia.

In Malaysia, one of many areas with unbelievable and distinctive meals is Melaka. Whilst you’re there, try one restaurant that’s at all times excessive on any listing of native suggestions – the identify is ‘Kedai Kopi Chung Wah.’

They take advantage of superb rice balls, and when pairing a plate of those with the nice local-style Hainanese rooster recipe – its meals value touring for.

Unbelievable preparation time to create these.

Melaka, Malaysia

It will be fairly an understatement to say that Melaka is in style with vacationers, however on this case, I’m not in any respect solely speaking about our present day and age.

Individuals from Asia, even all the best way from Europe, have been coming in massive numbers to go to Melaka because the center of the fifteenth century!

Its distinctive geography is what introduced folks right here first (the Straights of Malacca), and fortunately, when ocean ships from China lastly made it right here, they have been those who introduced probably the most relating to affect on native meals.

And oh, what stunning meals it’s.

**Hainanese rooster rice just isn’t Peranakan* meals, however it’s one thing the Chinese language have dropped at South East Asia.

Word:* Whereas rooster rice is from Hainan, Melaka (and Malaysia as an entire) is dwelling to many different meals value touring for. Make sure you try the distinctive Peranakan and Nyonya cultures, for tradition and for delicacies, you possibly can study their meals utilizing these different articles (click on these hyperlinks above).

Small size but tightly packed, these rice balls are formed by hand
5 splendidly agency balls, rolling on (or off) your little orange plate.

Hainanese Rice Balls

Clearly, its fairly plain to see, that this isn’t the same old means that persons are identified to eat rice.

Investigating a brand new meals is considered one of life’s largest treats, and because of this alone I used to be so blissful to go to Kedai Kopi Chung Wah.

Past that nonetheless, as all people are linked by our meals, I at all times like to see the methods wherein the world’s staple meals prepare dinner – and this rice is a brand new one for me.

Not solely is it agency, however its even capable of maintain its ball form nicely sufficient {that a} server can actually roll them onto a plate. Although this rice is white, truly even the colour of white is completely different than the white rice I do know from dwelling.

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Lastly, the grains themselves are even exhausting to select, and if I didn’t know higher, I’d simply assume that its made with glutinous or sticky rice as an alternative.

How you can Order

Strolling into the restaurant, the ordering course of is splendidly easy.

Depend how many individuals are in your social gathering, and this determines the variety of plates of rice balls.

Subsequent, determine what number of chickens you need, and whether or not you need half-chicken sizes, or entire (there are solely these two decisions).

You’ll be served so shortly that you could be be discovering a desk together with the server who’s carrying your plates of meals, and – if you happen to couldn’t already inform from the road out the door – this place is kind of in style. This can be a nice restaurant to go to, however its not a spot you possibly can sit for hours.

Behind the Scenes

Though Hainanese rooster rice seems to be a reasonably easy meal, this final and iconic dish discovered all all through South East Asia is one which takes a severe quantity of prep time.

As those that love rooster rice have discovered alongside the best way, it is a good dish to show the saying, ‘its the little issues that rely.’

Skipping steps right here simply gained’t do, and this Melaka-born household of Chinese language-Malay are working exhausting to proceed their household traditions. They’re making stellar plates of rooster rice and rice balls right here, however let me take just a few moments to provide you some particulars, earlier than we transfer to the meals itself.

  1. Utilizing a big frying pan to prepare dinner tons of garlic, the chef provides a base layer of pure smoky taste by dry frying garlic utilizing solely salt. This isn’t a fast course of both.
  2. These heavily-flavored smoking garlic then go into making the rooster inventory, which is then used to each make the rice for rice balls, and used to slow-cook a number of the different objects right here (for hours) earlier than the restaurant opens its doorways.
  3. I’d guess from the fantastic depths of taste too that these cooks are utilizing charcoal in some a part of the method – whether or not its to prepare dinner the rice itself, or to supply the fireplace that boils and cooks the chickens (and their organs, and blood, individually) – and at last solely after these hours of prep time does the meals you’ll order come as much as the chopping block (the place the client can lastly see this ‘easy meals,’ meals that takes so lengthy to arrange).
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Chicken Rice at Kedai Kopi Chung Wah
Scrumptious, and easily among the finest variations we tried in all Melaka

The Rooster

Again to the meals.

The cooks are chopping up their chickens quick, fast sufficient to match the frenzy. Chances are you’ll wish to have one pal discovering a desk whereas one other pal places within the order.

If you sit down, style the rooster whereas its nonetheless steaming sizzling. The pores and skin on every bit is splendidly comfortable, and it actually has lots of taste from the garlic and smoke course of I discussed earlier as nicely.

The Sauce

I can’t say that the rooster is an ‘unbelievable’ dish by itself, however simply wait till you style the sauce that comes with it. Now that’s a blast of taste.

Vinegar primarily based, and heavy on the garlic aspect as nicely, I simply love this barely spicy, tangy, superbly native taste pairing. For my part, that is what’s elevating the rooster meal from good, to nice.

Essentially the most stunning a part of all of this to me, is that it is a dish that I do know so nicely from China, however they’re pairing it right here with a sauce that’s so purely and completely Malay.

If the restaurant wasn’t so busy, I used to be truly considering of asking them to perhaps even educate me just a few secrets and techniques (so I may make it at dwelling myself), I couldn’t get sufficient of that dipping sauce.

The Rice

Lastly, the well-known merchandise at Kedai Kopi Chung Wah, the factor that attracts the shoppers in – the rooster rice balls.

This rice is simply unbelievable, distinctive in each look and taste, and wow does it scent nice.

The scent at first is a bit smoky, and as I’ve by no means had it earlier than, truthfully my first thought was that they make it utilizing the tougher edges of over-cooked rice that usually appear to stay to the underside of my rice-cooker pan. That’s the identical texture (among the finest elements!) of the rice balls in your plate.

They pair completely together with your rooster in fact, and I couldn’t assist however assume that this was additionally the primary time for me to see a dish of Chinese language meals that will work good for backpacking – picnics and climbing, Asia fashion!

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Word:* And after doing a little bit of analysis on-line, you possibly can be taught that these have been first made by Hainanese households desirous to take a picnic into the hills. Spending time together with your family and friends is nice, however in fact its at all times higher with meals. These rice balls are good little touring snacks, and I’m grateful for the Hainanese to share their concepts with all of us, bringing this excellent meals overseas to Malaysia.

chicken rice and chicken rice balls, Kedai Kopi Chung Wah in Melaka is a restaurant on Jonker Street
Generations of custom in a single excellent meal.

The Restaurant

Just like the identify (‘kopi,’ which suggests ‘espresso’ in Bahasa Malay language), you would possibly discover that the store intently resembles a restaurant.

It is extremely in style right here to order ice espresso with a meal, however in fact being Chinese language, the tea can also be nice.

The quantity of tourists right here can range, however its at all times going to be excessive. You’ll be fairly fortunate to not have to face in a line for no less than a couple of minutes, so attempt to get right here as early as potential (the restaurant does open promptly at 9am).

Their location is correct throughout the flower-filled bridge, on a nook going through Jonker road, probably the most well-known road for strolling in Melaka. Even so, I’d say it is rather a lot nonetheless value a go to to Kedai Kopi Chung Wah, their distinctive and scrumptious meal of rooster rice balls is definitely worth the wait certainly.

Simply watch out if you happen to attempt to park close by, as a result of the strains on the street (in our expertise) don’t truly make issues clear. (On that notice, right here is one other article from a enjoyable time renting automobiles in Asia)

Although a busy place, popular with walking tour groups, this restaurant is still worth the visit, as they have a wonderful and unique meal, a food worth traveling for
Kedai Kopi Chung Wah – Rooster rice balls in Melaka

Thanks for studying, and we want you a beautiful journey in Malaysia.

For those who benefit from the seashores of South West Malaysia, then please let me advocate a visit to North (Kelantan and Terangganu) as nicely, for some out-of-this-world native delicacies. That is additionally dwelling to probably the most unbelievable meals of fermented durian, referred to as Tempoyak, and I’d e book a ticket to return proper now if I may…

Title: Kedai Kopi Chung Wah
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 9am to 3pm on Weekdays, 9am to 4pm on Weekends
Costs: Our whole meal got here to 28RM (US$6.77)