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September 23, 2006
There are two very famous Ipoh chicken rice restaurants in Ipoh, the Onn Kee Restaurant (which has two branches facing each other, one that opens in the day, and the other that caters to the night prowlers), and the Lou Wong Restaurant (which is reportedly better than the latter, but only opens after dark). And thus we had little choice but to stop at the Onn Kee Chicken Rice Shop for lunch.
The chicken is prepared using the traditional Hainanese method of boiling the whole chicken in chicken stock, garlic and ginger. After the chicken is cooked, it is then dipped in ice to provide a jelly like film on its skin. This is what the Chinese call the Hainanese chicken or bai ji (white chicken). The rice on the other hand, is prepared using chicken stock and garlic to give it the oily look, flavorful taste and fragrant smell. Upon serving, the chicken is garnished with cucumber, spring onions and parsley. It is also served with three dips, chilly sauce mixed with garlic, pounded garlic and ginger, as well as dark soy sauce. Ipoh has their own version of the chicken rice, just by adding beans sprout to their menu. A light mixture of garlic, oyster sauce and water is also poured over the chicken and the beans sprout, giving it its extra taste. You can even have your chicken with kueh teow noodles, if rice is not your thing.
Onn Kee Restaurant’s chicken rice is the least famous of the two, but equally as good. I thoroughly enjoyed my chicken rice with a cup of herbal tea. But if you do pass by Ipoh town at night, you may most probably be sucked into Lou Wong Restaurant rather than Onn Kee Restaurant, just because it is much bigger, brighter and crowded… which is usually good enough evidence.
From journal Ipoh: 'Food' of the Hills
October 24, 2002
From journal Muddy flats of Kuala Lumpur