Kuala Lumpur - Hainanese Chicken Rice & Stuff at Nam Heong
Nearly 70 years old, Nam Heong was a veritable venerable institution in its own right in KL's Chinatown. But I'd resisted stepping into it thus far, influenced by the news that it's been taken over a few years back by the larger Esquire Kitchen restaurant chain, which subsequently incorporated Nam Heong's famous chicken rice into the menu of all its outlets.
But today, I decided to try out Nam Heong where it started - on 56, Jalan Sultan in Chinatown. I realised that Nam Heong has also incorporated Esquite Kitchen's Shanghainese and other Chinese regional items into its own menu. Interesting!
What I tried:
- Steamed Haianese chicken with rice: as with all chicken rice in KL, it was not as strongly-flavored nor as flavorsome as the same dish you'd get in Singapore. The chicken was chewy and has a bite to it - perhaps free-range chicken, the way some connoisseurs like them;
- Steamed Hakka pork and yam - this was delicious! The yam fell apart at the merest touch of my fork, and was full of flavor;
- Fuzhou fishball filled with minced pork, in soup. The fishballs were passable, but the pork soup was bland.
Interesting lunch, in a chicien rice restaurant icon in KL. Not in a hurry to return though.
Nam Heong Chicken Rice
56, Jalan Sultan (parallel to Petaling Street)
Kuala Lumpur 50000
You finally ate there! Interesting report. I guess for you Singaporean Hainan Chicken Rice will always be the preferred version (and the softer chicken there too). Have you managed to get your KL old-timer friends down to Singapore yet to try the chicken rice there? (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8403...)
For myself I'm not entirely sure I'd place as much emphasis on the *rice* over the *chicken* and everything else - even though I'd appreciate flavorful rice, of course. :-)
I haven't had that pork & yam dish (芋頭扣肉; wu6 tau4 kau3 yuk6) in a while. Or even versions with preserved greens (mui choy).
I'll pass on Fuzhou fishballs.
You'd be surprised how difficult it is to get KL-lites to go to Singapore! Seemed like they'd prefer to fly to HK or Shanghai, than next-door to Singapore!
Don't you think Nam Heong has a sort of identity problem these days? No more a strictly Hainanese menu, but Hakka pork and Fuzhou fishballs!
BTW, my Malaccan aunts got me to attend the annual Peranakan Baba-Nyonya dinner at the Royal Selangor Club this evening. Those old-timers really know how to have a great time! :-)
Oh yes, my Peranakan aunts in their kebaya finery.
Unfortunately, the dinner last night was an all-Chinese affair at the Royal Selangor Club - no Nyonya dishes!
But come to think of it, I don't think I'd come across any good Nyonya restaurant in KL at all, which is pretty surprising as it's only 1 hour's drive away from Malacca.