Chicken rice places are a dime a dozen but really good ones? Not so much. Kopitiam Chicken Rice Guys in Shah Alam, however, is one of those few spots where the chicken rice is truly excellent. And wait - there's more good stuff from this humble shop. The Friedchillies' crew check it out.
A beacon of chicken rice awesomeness!
40, Jalan Zirkon 7f/F, Seksyen 7, 40000 Shah Alam
Tel: +60 13-333 1950
Excellent food, great value, good service
Chicken rice (kai fan!) is a firm favourite of a lot of us and you can find all kinds just in the Klang Valley alone. The Hainanese style is of course one of - if not the most - prominent. But it's quite tricky to find a really good one that is halal. This is where Kopitiam Chicken Rice Guys in Shah Alam have stepped up, and boy is it an excellent version. Best of all, chicken rice isn't all that's delicious at this place.
Kopitiam Chicken Rice Guys (CRG) is in Section 7, Shah Alam. It's at the very centre of the university district so expect to see lots of students makan here. The restaurant is clean and spartan, pretty much fuss free.
No fuss, no frills.
And no frills, no fuss!
The focus here is definitely on the food. CRG is a family run place headed by the amiable Mr. Firman, who's happy to be called just 'Aman'.
Talking about chicken rice makes Aman happy!
"Halal Hainanese chicken rice is not easy to find," said Aman. "And the one's we found were not very good. As we (he and his family) have Chinese blood, we're very discerning when it comes to chicken rice." So of course the logical solution for Aman and his cousin (who is the chef) was to open their own joint.
Juicy chicken ready for the table.
"It's a family recipe. Our grandmother's recipe, to be exact," Aman said, proudly. "We use old school techniques and we don't cheat: you won't find MSG or convenience products in this kitchen!" But the proof of course is in the pudding. So being Friedchillies, we had to sample the goodies.
Their chicken rice can be had with either steamed or roasted chicken. The rice is delicious and packed with chicken flavour. Both versions of the chicken - and you have to try both! - are beautifully cooked and juicy. A dousing of the roasting oil with crispy garlic bits on top gives it an incredible flavour and moistness.
Excellent crumbly chicken rice...
The soup the chicken rice comes with is good enough to drink on its own - salty, hearty with a great body. But why stop there? Aman and crew knew that perhaps chicken rice alone wouldn't be enough for some people so they put up other delicious things on the menu.
Try the Mee Udang. The prawn broth is briny, spicy, slightly sweet and brimming with seafood flavour. It perfectly coats the noodles.
Mee Udang lives up to it's udang-ness
Yummy too, is their Hor Fun. The soup (we suspect the same one served with the rice) is slick and served with tender slices of chicken and juicy, fat prawns.
Hor fun; perfect for a rainy day.
CRG also has a Penang White Curry Noodle, made in house with a creamy, thick broth spiked with a gorgeous sambal.
Bring it on Penang White Curry Noodle!
But if you're in for a real surprise then you have to try CRG's Nasi Lemak. Just on it's own it's an excellent dish - crumbly, nutty rice scented with pandan and flavoured with coconut with a rich and fiery sambal. But CRG ups the ante by serving it with, get this, ITIK GORENG BEREMPAH (spiced deep fried duck)!
Nasi lemak? Yay. Fried duck? YAY.
The duck meat is tender and juicy and flavourful, but what'll get you is the skin: perfectly crispy and aggresively spiced. Not enough? How about a side of straight up duck fat served with it? Super addictive stuff!
CRG has other stuff on the menu as well like a kaya bun made with bread baked by a Benggali man who's been doing it for decades, as well as snacks like deep fried wontons. Have it with lovely pandan tea. Prices are cheap as befits a university area restaurant, and it's easy to find too. Kopitiam Chicken Rice Guys is definitely a shining beacon of chicken rice awesomeness. Go there, NOW.