A LOCAL favourite, our rendition of the classic Hainanese chicken rice usually comes with either roasted or steamed chicken. Malacca is a hotspot for anyone wanting to try Malaysia’s take on this Hainanese dish. At this UNESCO Heritage site, the distinctive element of Malacca’s chicken rice is in its rice or perhaps, in their case, rice balls. So look out for these recommended restaurants.
Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball
One of the most popular chicken rice place in Malacca, Chung Wah is well known for this dish. A tough competitor on Jonker Street, Chung Wah’s rice balls are rolled into perfection while the chicken is tender and tasty. Prepare to face an endless queue — with waiting time that can touch a full hour during peak period. With equal number of locals and tourists frequenting this place, Chung Wah is a must-try for that authentic Malaccan chicken rice ball.
Tips: The chili sauce is commendable!
Things to Expect: Possible increment of price from time to time.
Best With: Steamed chicken
Huang Chang Chicken Rice
Away from the hustle and bustle of Jonker Street, Huang Chang Chicken Rice Restaurant is extremely famous among locals. Since it’s not located at a touristy areas, prices are still affordable. Although the crowd continuously pours in, they are quite efficient with their services and their dishes do not disappoint.
Tips: Best time for less crowd is during mid-mornings.
Things to Expect: Food that’s finger-licking good.
Best With: Chicken Rice Balls
Price: RM8 – RM16
Hoe Kee Chicken Rice
Another tourist attraction, Hoe Kee is located at the crowded Jonker Street. They serve authentic chicken rice in ping-pong sized rice balls. Service has been said to be efficient and quick. We reckon Hoe Kee isn’t the place for you to sit around and chit-chat over a two-hour meal as waiting patrons will be eyeing you down with invisible lasers – a hint for you to vacate your seats. While many people prefer Chung Wah, Hoe Kee has its own regulars and it is safe both selections will not leave you disappointed.
Tips: Only stir-fried cabbage available if you want some vegetables.
Things to Expect: Jonker Street worthy prices.
Best With: Chicken rice balls.
Ee Ji Ban Chicken Ball Rice (halal)
Ee Ji Ban is one of the very few places that provide halal chicken rice. Many has the impression that ‘halal chicken rice’ is less authentic but we guarantee you that Ee Ji Ban is just as much of a local favourite. Vegetable side dishes are available including local favourites such as kailan and kangkung belacan. At Ee Ji Ban, crowds are unexpected – sometimes fairly occupied while other times packed with both locals and tourists. So, do stop by if you’re looking for that authentic Malaccan chicken rice experience.
Tips: Soup is usually not served with the chicken rice.
Things to Expect: Halal chicken rice that doesn’t compromise authenticity.
Best With: Kailan and Kangkung Belacan as sides
Hainamko Chicken Rice
Hainamko at Jalan Bendahara offers authentic Hainanese cuisine, including Malacca’s famous chicken rice balls. If you’re not a fan of these rice balls, you can also opt for regular rice. Many think that Hainamko’s version of Malacca’s signature dish is way better than those in Jonker Street. You can accompany your meal with authentic Hainanese coffee and end it with a bowl of refreshing cendol. Hainamko also sells some home-made products like kaya, chili sauce and Hainanese coffee powder!
Tips: Phone chargers available for use!
Things to Expect: Possible bad service at times, which have been criticised by some.
Best With: Roasted Chicken.
Wilson Chicken Rice
Wilson Chicken Rice is another local favourite and is usually crowded during peak hours. Aside from the signature chicken rice, their deep fried pork intestines is a big hit! You can drop by the business district at Melaka Raya or visit their new branch at Melaka Baru.
Tips: Take-home chili available for purchase!
Things to Expect: Affordable and delicious food.
Best With: Deep fried pork intestines.
Heng Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball
Here is another local favourite and an option away from Jonker Street. Heng has some of the best reviews including for their tender, juicy, succulent chicken that’s served in classic fragrant soy sauce. However, bad reviews reckon that the chicken is tasteless… These mixed reviews are jumbled in time and thus, we believe that inconsistency may be involved. The rice balls have been claimed to be absolutely delicious and less oily. Nonetheless, many locals mark this restaurant as their favourite to-go place for the dish, so you might want to give it a chance.
Tips: One of the two lots are air-conditioned.
Things to Expect: Side dishes like assam fish, vegetables and black bean soup.
Best With: Chicken rice balls and black bean soup.