Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls at Chop Chung Wah

The herd mentality is works pretty well in finding good food anywhere, in Asian countries at least. While in Melaka, I spotted an unassuming kopi-tiam that was filled with customers and had people queuing out in the open.

The herd mentality naturally suggests that there is something good there. So I went in for look…

The full house of customers can’t be wrong, so I sat down to order what everybody else ordered…

Ok, so I wasn’t exactly alone to have ordered 2 chickens. Anyway, I am here to talk about how different and good this chicken rice is from the Singaporean version.

Starting off with the chicken, the texture of the meat was a different firm, juicy and had that natural sweetness only found in free range chickens. There was significantly less fat under the skin too. The sauce drizzled all over the meat gave a nice fragrance of sesame oil to it.

The ping-pong ball-sized rice balls were heavenly. At first bite, it was literally a burst of flavors. There was an extra oomph that was distinctly from the chicken fat that went into the making of the rice. Plus, it was such a joy to eat them, I wish didn’t have to limit myself from having one too many.

Overall, this is probably one of the best chicken rice ever.

On a side note, there is another chicken rice balls restaurant chain (with 2 branches) by the name of A’Famosa Chicken Rice Balls (or something like that) that’s more atas. Heard they aren’t as fantastic as expected according to some who have tried. So don’t go for substitutes, go for Chung Wah!

My Budget Food Trail – Beach Road

I’ve recently been somewhat obsessed with the idea of amassing wealth, even though I earn a rather pathetic keep. And a budgeting spreadsheet revealed in detail my spending habits were not helping my plans in saving up.

And since I love eating like every other Singaporean, I figured that I could note down a few places for a good and affordable lunch. Affordable meaning less than $5. So I shall start this “series” (if there is one) with Beach Road. And with my camera, I took pictures of the food I eat along the way.

First up, Chicken Rice at Purvis Street. There are 2 places nearer to Beach Road that serves up pretty good chicken rice. I find both just as good. There shouldn’t be any difficulty finding them if you frequent the area. I have to admit that it is rather tempting to splurge on food in the vicinity of Purvis Street. There are so many good things to eat here. But plans are plans, and I want to stick to them.

Chicken Rice

Further down away from Raffles Hotel along Beach Road is Alex’s Eating House where they serve up one of the best roast duck, char siew and roast pork and anything that goes with it. The crowds here is a testament of how good the food is here.

Wantan Mee from Alex's Eating House

Moving on to the junction to Liang Seah Street, Kim’s Wok Seafood serves up a decent plate of Hokkien mee at $4.30. 30 cents being GST.

Hokkien Mee

A good distance down, past The Gateway and Plaza Parkroyal Hotel is Blanco Court Fried Fish Bee Hoon at $4.

Blanco Court Fried Fish Bee Hoon

I personally like the fried fish head as there is more variety in the texture of the meat. This stall is also a crowd puller, so expect a queue. The stall is set up at those old corner coffeeshop. Here’s a picture of its stall front for identification.

Blanco Court Fried Fish Bee Hoon

To add a sense of adventure, get off Beach Road and skip along to North Bridge Road, just behind the Golden Mosque where Zam Zam is serving up good and cheap prata. This is possibly the only place in Singapore where a murtabak and teh tarik doesn’t cost more than $5. Ok, its neighbour also has similar pricing, so that makes 2 places.

Singapore Zam Zam

What do you know, that’s exactly 5 places for good food, one for each day of the week!