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Kuala Lumpur - A taste of Hainanese chicken rice at Satellite Restaurant (卫星餐馆)

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The battle of the Hainanese chicken rice restaurants on Jalan Gasing! Virtually next-door rivals with the larger New Restaurant Ipoh Chicken Rice (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/910475), the older 50-plus years old Satellite Restaurant proved superior in every sense where its food offerings are concerned when I tried it today:

- Hainanese-style chicken rice: Satellite's rendition has all the qualities that a good Hainanese-style steamed chicken rice should have - fragrant with scallions, ginger and chicken. The scent is still underwhleming when compared to the versions in Singapore, but is generally superior to *all* other versions I'd tried in KL, with the exception of Loke Yun in Ampang (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/865070). Texture-wise, the rice was also very good - fluffy yet firm. Inferior quality rice generally used in Malaysia meant that Hainanese chicken rice here will *never* scale the heights of their Singapore counterparts which use much superior quality Thai fragrant rice (the Malaysian government bans importation of Thai rice into Malaysia in order to protect their fragile domestic rice industry).

- Hainanese-style poached chicken: the version here was tastier in every sense to its next-door rival's version - perfect balance of light soysauce, sesame oil and chicken fat for the dressing. The chicken-meat, served topped with curly sprigs of sliced scallions, was tender, yielding and moist.

- A combination platter of "char-siu" (Cantonese-style caramelised BBQ pork) and "siew-yoke" (crisp-skinned roast pork) were both very,very good indeed: the char-siu was fatty in parts, and smoky-fragrant; whilst the "siew-yoke" had perfect crackling skin and was supremely tasty. Definitely worth a trip here just for this dish.

- Pork-ball soup: the springy pork-balls here were similar texture-wise to New Restaurant's, albeit smaller in size. However, I preferred the lighter, chicken-scallion flavours here - more in tune with the soup traditionally served with chicken rice - than the cloyingly sweet and strong-tasting chicken-shrimp-flavoured broth served by New Restaurant.

- Blanched beansprouts topped with finely-chopped scallions and dressed in a light mushroom soysauce-sesame oil-oyster sauce dressing, finished off the a heavy dash of white pepper. The beansprouts were perfectly crunchy, but I didn't quite like the mushroom soysauce-flavoured dressing used here.

- Poached chicken livers and gizzards. These were fine and no different from New Restaurant's version.

- We also ordered the curry "hor fun", which has the thin rice noodles dunked in a light, curry laksa-like soup, with blanched long beans and tofu puffs added.

Enjoyable! Definitely superior to New Restaurant next door, but still rated below Loke Yun (Ampang).

Address details
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Satellite Restaurant (卫星餐馆).
103 Jalan Gasing 10/1
46000 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603-7956 6830

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  1. klyeoh - when you say "cloyingly sweet and strong-tasting chicken-shrimp-flavoured broth served by New Restaurant", that is the Ipoh style of soup used for 'hor fun'. Ipoh's most famous 'hor fun' restaurants are Loke Wooi Kee (http://kokcheehou.blogspot.com/2012/0...) and Thean Chun (http://kokcheehou.blogspot.com/2012/0...). Loke Wooi Kee open before World War 2 in the 1930s while Thean Chun's Trishaw 'kai see hor fun' opened in 1944.

    The prawn and chicken soup, made from boiling prawn heads and prawn shells is Hokkien-influenced, as the Cantonese serve their 'hor fun' with chicken only. Both Loke Wooi Kee and Thean Chun's 'hor fun' sellers come from Nan'an, Fujian province.

    Thean Chun 'hor fun's Leong Ah Chai is nearly 70 years old and speaks Cantonese as his mother is Cantonese. He only speaks a smattering of Hokkien.

    2 Replies
    1. re: penang_rojak

      I didn't know that Ipoh hor fun is Hokkien-influenced. I'd always thought Ipoh's restaurant trade is dominated by the Hainanese and Cantonese. Am I missing something?

      1. re: makanputra

        That's because majority of Chinese in Ipoh is Cantonese, so the Hokkien hawkers are a minority group. They offer hor fun to the Cantonese but served in a soup similar to Hokkien prawn noodle soup.