Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball in Malacca, Jonker Street

Alas, my great chicken rice ball hunt has taken me all the way up to Malacca to find the holy grail of all rice balls, and did it live up to expectations?

Well, yes and no. But let me backtrack a bit. I have already had the best of the chicken rice balls here in Singapore, namely the ones in Jalan Besar and Braddell.

But I was informed that even these 2 excellent chicken rice ball stalls are no match for the original rice ball stalls in Jonker, Malacca.

One of my priorities last week was to seek out one of the 2 famous rice ball stalls, which are namely Chung Wah and Hoe Kee, and they are both very near to each other. We opted for Chung Wah as this is the real deal.

The stall itself was a real throwback to the good old kopitiam days, very cramped and badly lit. But it was clean and though there was only a small entrance, it felt more like a get in and get out kind of joint.

There was an obvious queue, even at 10am in the morning, but we were not daunted, and when came our turn, we were more than elated to get to our table.

Chicken Rice Balls

Unlike the balls found here, which are of tennis ball size, these rice balls were much smaller to the tune of golf ball sizes. But this actually made sense as it was much easier to pop these in your mouth without a second or third bite.

The balls were very smooth and far less grainy than anything we ever had, and there was a distinct taste of chicken, ginger, garlic and a dash of lime to make it somewhat refreshing. All in all, we were in consensus - the best chicken rice ball bar none!

Steamed Chicken in Soy and Sesame

The chicken meat that accompanied the joyous balls were far better presented than we heard prior to coming here. The downside was it was served rather hot, and had a more tougher texture than we liked. I was informed that winekaki, who brought some chicken back home had said the meat when cooled was much more tender.

Otherwise, it was not too oily, and the seemingly simple seasoning of soy sauce and sesame oil was nothing but sensational. It had the right balance of savory, fragrance and moistness all perfectly blended. And overall, the lightness of this dressing gave the springy meat a wonderful uplift.

The verdict? If you make a trip to Jonker, Malacca, it is almost like a pilgrimage to come to this mecca of chicken rice stalls. It may be overcrowded, and waiting in the long lines under a smoldering heat may deter some, but no one can fathom what a chicken rice ball can do to a human being.

Well, it may not be such a mystery after all. Especially after you pop one of these lovely chicken golf balls into your tummy! The chicken meat was not on the same level, however, though it was still quite good.

The meal was very cheap though, and if nothing else, you owe it to yourself to try this famous landmark at least once when you are here. Whether it lives up to the legend is entirely up to you.

Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball
Chop Chung Wah Coffee Shop
Right corner after crossing Tan Kim Seng Bridge from Dutch Square
Lorong Hang Jebat
Melaka, Malaysia


  1. Mmm..... haven't been to Malacca for a while. This will come in handy if I visit the town next time :)

  2. Ian,
    You should try this one where the locals go to: Huang Chang Chicken Rice at BB-376 Taman Melaka Baru, Batu Berendam in an Industrial Estate of Taman Melaka Baru.

  3. Thanks bobcat, will go check it out the next time we go up there :)

  4. Looks like you enjoyed the Chung Wah chicken rice balls! Personally I think it's not worth the queue even though I like them so I usually go when there's no queue.

  5. yes the rices balls were great! but not so much the chicken :(