Redemption : Roasted Chicken Rice @ Hong Seng, Section 17, PJJune 21, 2011 | 19,555 views
A mouth-watering portion of caramelized ‘Char Siew’ and roast pork seated atop the pile of fragrant oil rice @ Hong Seng in Section 17, PJ. “Mum, I found a good one!!“
There was a time when I had very high hopes for Satellite Chicken Rice; voted as the BEST chicken rice in Klang Valley according to a poll. But my dream was shattered; hope crumbled like a piece of worthless paper. Aside from the traditional set up; set against the neighbouring juggernaut of a New Ipoh Restaurant Chicken Rice outlet, Satellite did not manage to wow me.
And my esteemed impression of chicken rice in KL/PJ was reduced to dust.
Then, like how a fallen warrior rises up to his feet, Hong Seng came knocking with a plea to reinstate my faith in chicken rice in Klang Valley. So I was brought here for lunch one fine afternoon by a good Samaritan; promising an experience worthy of an accolade in this Motormouth’s good books.
Okay ….. we shall see.
And this could be the only chicken rice stall that I am aware of; that requires you to practically queue up at the counter and carry your own plate of rice. Good thing they did not resort to setting a DIY chop-your-own-chicken rule.
Barely 1pm, and this place was packed to the brim! On a weekday, try coming before 12pm; if you wish to find a comfortable seat and reduce the time spent lining up and risk getting chicken parts/barbecued pork splattered over your nice shirts.
But he was fast. Like a maestro at work chopping up his prized roasted meats, it took us all but 5 minutes before we got our orders and hurriedly rushed to the adjacent vacant table.
Be calm, be good and be patient. Of course, on not-so-busy days (like the picture above, seriously), you can ask them to bring your food to your table for you. If say, you don’t want to risk getting your pretty fingers all greased up or bowls of hot soups all over the place.
That first experience got me sat up and took notice. I do admit that I was hesitant initially; seldom seeing people actually lining up for chicken rice on a sweltering hot afternoon and not for take-aways.
But one bite into the roasted chicken with crispy skin (which I suspect he or his staff quietly baths the roasted chicken in boiling oil before served to maintain that crisp exterior) and sinking my teeth into the tender flesh, complemented by a spoonful of well-cooked, fragrant rice with a fluffy texture and separated grains, I was sold. More over, the accompanying garlic/ginger chili sauce was fiery hot and tasted so true to its roots (Hainanese roots?); being a perfect balance of piquant, spicy and robust.
No brownie points for aesthetics here; but for less than RM5.00/USD1.70 per portion, you don’t get roasted chicken rice any better than this. At least, by far in my opinion.
But lightning can’t be striking the same place twice, right?
Maybe I was just being my usual famished self; gorging down on the carbs + protein combination like no tomorrow. And the slightly delayed lunch hour might have taken its toll on me. (FYI, I usually eat at 12 pm sharp daily. No delay business)
And so I returned for the second visit almost a week after. With a camera in toll; wanting to capture the action and sharing this with you.
Someone told me that Hong Seng‘s char siew (barbecued pork in a sweet sauce) and siew yoke (crispy roasted pork) are wise choices too.
Crackling skin with a dense texture of the meat underneath; the roast pork here might not be the BEST but certainly a cut above the mediocre rest.
And I had to concur. The “killer” sauce (a sticky black sauce resembling a mixture of black soy sauce, honey + hoi sin sauce) was seen streaking its way across every plate of rice. Be it char siew, roast pork or roasted chicken. And although some might not be enticed by the fact that you can eat chicken rice with black soy sauce (in Klang and Singapore, they do), I embrace this delightful combo.
Sorry he was out of focus. He froze for a second when turning his back and saw me pointing my ‘gun’. Wait, don’t get estranged ideas. My camera I meant.
The spicy chili sauce did the work too. With a predominantly more pungent ginger taste than ever, the sauce was overwhelming according to my dining partner, but I was relishing every bit of it. Good Hainanese chicken rice should come with a homemade, exceptional chili sauce I feel.
Although I have no idea whether the owner and his family are of Hainanese origin or not. I was too apprehensive to ask, since they were running their business like clockwork; to inimitable precision and delegation of works.
All I know now is …. “Mum, I found my favourite “Siew Gai Fan” (roasted chicken rice) in PJ. And I promise to eat my rice now.”
The corner lot in Section 17; near to the wet market.
KEDAI KOPI DAN MAKANAN HONG SENG
Jalan 17/29, Section 17,
46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
A few doors away from Caring Pharmacy, and opposite of the famous Say Huat Restaurant (Robert’s char koay teow). Only for lunch, from morning until about 3pm. Closed on alternate Mondays.
Google Map to Hong Seng.