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[Malaysia] Chop Chung Wah Hainanese Chicken Rice 中华茶室(海南鸡饭)

Posted on: September 2, 2013

I think it was on our second day in Malaysia when our group took a 2 or 3-hour bus ride to the city of Malacca or Melaka. Prior to the trip, I had no idea what kind of place we were visiting. I only knew that it was where Jonker Street was located and that’s where the night market was.  After doing a bit of research, I learned that Malacca is considered to be a “historical city” and that it has been through colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch and the English.

Malacca_Queen Victoria Fountain photo QueenVictoriafountain_zps5420e794.jpgWe were able to roam the city’s streets and were able to check out some of their monuments and statues. Pictured above is the Queen Victoria Fountain, which was said to be erected by the people of Malacca in honor of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

There are loads of museums for you to visit if you want to learn more about the city’s history. Unfortunately for us, most of the museums were closed for renovation during our stay (as you can see in the background of the Queen Victoria Fountain).  We weren’t expecting that and I felt that we were unlucky. There were several places which already caught my eye. 😦

Malacca_rickshaw photo rickshaw_zps2457cf7b.jpgPlanning on navigating Malacca‘s streets riding something a little bit unusual? Hop onto one of these heavily decorated rickshaws, or “trishaws”. There are tons of them and you could easily get one near the Tourist Information Center. Some of them are covered in flowers and lights; some are even covered in Hello Kitty or Barbie dolls! We also saw several of these “trishaws” equipped with these huge speakers, which were blasting a variety of songs. They played anything from Psy’s Gangnam Style to Jessie J’s Price Tag to Indian love songs! They reminded me so much of the Philippines’ Jeepneys. Definitely a sight to see.

Jonker Street, Malacca photo JonkerStreetMalacca_zpsb94e8f8e.jpgHere’s one of the signs to let you know that you’ve already reached the famous Jonker Street.

Malacca_boat monument photo JonkerStreetmonument_zps9c77c997.jpgTravel is never complete without food and since we weren’t allowed to stay inside our rented house until 2pm that afternoon, we were advised by the home owner / our guide to try eating “chicken rice balls” at Chung Wah. He said that it was one of the two restaurants in Malacca which were really famous for that particular dish. We navigated the streets on our own and finally found the place he was telling us about. It took us several minutes to get to Jonker Street from our rented place since we were unsure where to go. If you see this huge boat monument / fountain in the middle of the street, then you know you’re just a few steps away from the Chop Chung Wah.

Zhong Hua_outside photo ZhongHuaoutside_zps9830b61d.jpgIf you still can’t find it, here’s a photo of the facade just to help you out a bit.

Yes, that really long queue leads to Chop Chung Wah‘s entrance. Yes, we actually joined all those people waiting outside (not very typical of me). We were there for more than half an hour and at one point, one of the servers came out and asked those in line for their respective group’s headcount and if they wanted to order half or an entire chicken.

We were lucky we were still entertained!  The group next to the one immediately behind us were politely informed that Chung Wah was already out of chicken and that they were closing soon. If we were unable to secure a slot, I would’ve felt really bad. Everyone was already VERY hungry. (Note: We passed by the restaurant on our way home that night and noticed that it wasn’t open.)

Zhong Hua_inside photo ZhongHuainside_zps845a0f52.jpgA few more minutes of waiting in line and after formulating several theories on what’s so special about the chicken rice balls, we were finally ushered into the place and towards a round table at the corner of the restaurant. Pictured above are the signs hanging inside, facing the entrance.

Zhong Hua_rice balls photo ZhongHua_RiceBalls_zps02ad47bf.jpgWe only had to wait a little bit longer before we were served these little rice balls. They’re probably just as big as golf balls and were very sticky. Each person was given 5 pieces to eat with the chicken we ordered.

Zhong Hua_Hainanese chicken photo ZhongHua_HainaneseChicken_zps03f1052d.jpgHere’s the whole chicken we got for our group of five adults. The chopped chicken was swimming in some broth, soy sauce and a bit of sesame oil (if I’m not mistaken). The chicken was moist and tender, so it wasn’t difficult to eat. I also enjoyed putting a bit of the chili sauce/paste provided onto the meat before eating them, just to make it a little bit more exciting. We managed to clean this platter in a short time and The Boyfriend was thinking if we should have ordered one and a half chicken instead of just one whole. 😛

Zhong Hua_lime juice photo ZhongHua_limejuice_zps1981bdb3.jpgMost of the people in our group decided to order this Cold Lime Juice for our drink. There were several calamondin (calamansi) pieces floating around in the glass. This was a very refreshing beverage and wasn’t too sweet or too sour. I managed to finish half of mine before we even started eating, so I did have some trouble trying to save what’s remaining until the end of the meal. 😛

Overall, it was a pretty decent meal. It was my first time to try eating sticky rice balls with Hainanese chicken, instead of the usual bowl of fragrant rice. I wouldn’t say that it was the most mind-blowing meal for me during our entire trip in Malaysia, but it was definitely one for the books.

**Want to try this? You can find Chop Chung Wah Hainanese Chicken Rice at 18 Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200, Melaka.

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