Kuala Lumpur - Hainanese Chicken Rice: Shun Fa versus Mei Sin
Just as there were 2 rival Hainanese chicken rice spots along KL's Jalan Sultan - Kam Kee (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/785964) versus Nam Heong (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/845453) which are something like 3 minutes' walk apart, the two top-rated Hainanese eateries at the Jalan Imbi area, Shun Fa and Mei Sin, were also close enough for them to smell each other's rice cooking :-D
I lunched at *both* spots today - carrying out something of a personal taste-test for comparison's sake, much like what I did for London's rival roast duck spots last January: (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/828315).
Spot #1 Shun Fa
Lovely poached chicken, with a distinct bite to it - free-range "kampung" (village) chicken used here - full of flavors. The seasoning was light & subtle. Shun Fa's rice was moist & fragrant - not as tasty as Loke Yun's (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/865070) but quite good. Unlike back in Singapore, where I'd finish off my rice and even asked for seconds, I could only take a couple of spoonfuls of the less tasty/less fragrant chicken rice here in KL. In fact, Ampang's Loke Yun was the *only* Hainanese chicken rice spot in KL where I finished all the rice on my plate. The bowl of clear chicken consomme was light & pleasant.
Shun Fa was a bright, airy eatery with a laid-back ambience. The folks there were friendly and always smiling.
Spot #2 Mei Sin
Again, very good poached chicken - also used free-range chicken. The seasoning was as tasty as Shun Fa's. Mei Sin only lost out to Shun Fa in the poor quality of its chicken rice: grainy & broken. I find this one of the main reasons why I didn't quite take to Malaysia's Hainanese chicken rice - in Singapore, only superior quality Thai "hom mali" (jasmine-scented) rice is used to cook Hainanese chicken rice. In Malaysia, you often find inferior quality rice being used.
Mei Sin's chicken consomme soup was delicious, though, better than Shun Fa's by a whisker.
Mei Sin Chicken Rice is a stall located within Mei Sin coffeeshop which also plays host to several other food stalls. It can be stuffy, busy and cluttered. The lady who runs the chicken rice stall was friendly, and pleasantly acknowledged every customer.
If I have to choose between the two? Shun Fa's superior quality rice and much more pleasant ambience wins out.
Shun Fa Restaurant
53-2 Jalan Barat (Off Jalan Imbi
)55100 Kuala Lumpur
Mei Sin Eating Shop
16 Medan Imbi (Off Jalan Imbi)
55100 Kuala Lumpur