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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hainan Chicken Rice & Loh Bak

This is another famous coffee shop and the 2 most popular stall here is the Hainan Chicken Rice and the Loh Bak. Ever since coming to Penang for 7 years, have not really had a good Hainan chicken rice. I guess that is because I do not frequent the town area. There is just so many apparent good food in town that is just waiting to be blogged.
So maybe this will be my goal for now.
What makes a good Hainan chicken rice? I grew up eating chicken rice and my grandma and mom were some of the first to make Hainan chicken chop in Kampar. So, for Hainan chicken rice, there is 3 important items.
First, the rice, then the chicken and finally the chili sauce. For me, I have never been a fan of chili sauces, so thats something I will let my eyes do the reviewing (:)
At this stall, the rice is very well prepared. Its yellowish in colour with very good fragrance. The rice was cooked not too soft which gives it a good texture. These are the type of chicken rice that you can eat without the chicken.
Next, the chicken here is very smooth. We ordered half a chicken and even the breast meat is smooth. This is how I typically tests Hainan Chicken. If you can maintain the breast meat to me smooth and not rough, this means you have managed to cook the chicken right. Its not easy cooking Hainan chicken as it involves boiling the chicken, and then every few minutes you need to take it out and soak in cold water. This is to ensure the whole chicken is cooked evenly. So the chicken here meets that criteria. The only thing stopping me from saying this is the best is probably because of the type of chicken used. The ones used here are the typical chicken. It would have been excellent if it was free range or corn fed chicken. That would have made the chicken having better texture and also a very crunchy skin. Hopefully I will get a chance to blog about such a place :)
Finally the chili. Looking at the ones here, it does not look too watery which is good. From my friends reaction, they were gulping it down so it looks to be pretty good.
Rating : 4.5/5

Next in the same coffee shop there is a loh bak stall. Now what exactly is loh bak? Basically its suppose to be meat that has been wrap with beancurd wrap and then friend. Over here, its not just pork meat, but they are famous for the prawn critter and also the fried sotong with roe. I must say, it was really very good. We were at the stall for over 45 minutes and they never stop frying more loh bak. Business is so good and its not uncommon for you to wait more than 15 minutes before the order comes.
The sauce and chili that accompanies the loh bak was also good. It had good consistency and texture to it and also not over thick. My favourite item, the sotong and prawn critter. Excellent and I must say this is the best loh bak I have had ever since coming to Penang. Actually its probably the best loh bak I have ever had.
Rating : 4.5/5
Definitely worth to revisit both these stalls if I crave for Hainan chicken rice and loh bak. I high recommend this place which is located at the junction of Jln Sri Bahari and Penang Road. If you are coming from Cititel Hotel, its less than 100 meter away.
Below are some of the pictures with more in the link

Wikimapia link :

The fried mix plate we ordered. Notice the sotong. Very yummy.The many variety of fried itemsI'll update with the chinese name when my wife translate for me

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