Steamed or roasted are usually the two options you get when you order chicken rice. Game for something different? Get out of your comfort zone and try the fried sesame chicken sold at Gerai Ah Kow. Hailing from Perak, Uncle Ah Kow ventured into the food business by selling noodles from his bicycle around the streets of KL in 1971. It was only in 1983 that he came up with the ingenious sesame chicken recipe and decided to open up a stall at Medan Selera Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz. And the rest suffice to say is history. Now, he runs the stall with the help of his son, Eric and son in law, Kenny. Tables fill fast as soon as he starts selling his scrumptious sesame chicken at 11.45 am. He goes through 20 to 30 chickens per day so if you want a chance to sample them do come here by noon.
Sesame seeds add a wonderful nutty taste to the chicken and goes incredibly well with the kick-ass garlic chilli combo (spicier than most of the other chicken rice places I've tried). They also add more crunchiness to the golden fried skin. The rice and soup are quite decent but they act more like a supporting backdrop to the chicken that is obviously the star of the dish. The chicken slices are served on a bed of sliced cucumbers bathed in light soya sauce. I wonder how he gets the sesame seeds to stick to the skin? I suspect that he uses a thick liquid batter similar to the ones used for goreng pisang. Probably deep-fries in hot oil and drains it quickly so the skin stays grease free. It's all guess work because try as I might to pry it from him, Uncle Ah Kow will not divulged his recipe nor his cooking technique to me.
He also serves the regular roasted and steamed variety here, but it's the sesame chicken that draws the crowd.
We also tried Mee Kicap, which is another one of the specialty dishes here. Thin strands of noodles are coated with a thick bittersweet soya sauce and garnished with leafy greens and fish cakes. It's a dry noodle dish but if you like yours with some broth add a bit of the fish ball soup that comes with it. Mix the noodles with some bouncy fish balls and a sprinkle of pickled chillies and you're good to go. The dark soya quality of the noodles actually reminds me of Mee Kolok. Mee Kicap could actually be its Semenanjung cousin. Another recommended dish to try here is the Kari Laksa. Egg noodles cooked in rich curry gravy.
You can also get your drinks at the stall. Even though the food court is an al fresco establishment, the seating area gets pretty hot on a sunny day. You'll be sweating buckets so order a refreshing barley lime drink to cool you off.
Right dab in the middle of KL, Gerai Ah Kow @ G.A.K serves great hawker food that will satisfy a fussy foodie. There are plenty of other stalls at the food court but clearly Gerai Ah Kow is in a league of its own. There is scarcely an unoccupied seat. Clothes pegs are used to indicate which order come from which table. It's kinda 'ole skool' but it's a system that works. Uncle Ah Kow likes to keep it simple. He doesn't have an extensive menu because he focuses on the dishes that he does best. Perfecting them over the years. That's why his customers keep on coming back for more.
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