The most important thing for any chicken rice recipe is the rice itself. It has to be fragrant with chicken flavor. There must have enough chicken fat/oil in the rice.
Do you know that Muar Hainanese chicken ball can even eat it on its own? You don’t even need the chicken meat at all. When we were school kids back in the early 70s, with our limited pocket money, my friends and I would just buy a chicken rice ball each in a plastic bag. The rice ball was drizzled with the thick soya sauce and a dash of chilli.
Next time when you are in Bandar Maharani or Muar, try out this authentic Hainanese chicken ball.
There are two well-known chicken ball stalls which happened to be on the same row of prewar shop houses at Jalan Sisi; in fact two doors away from each other.
The first one is selling at the corner kopi-tiam of Chuan Huat (above), which is actually at the cross-roads of Jalan Sisi and Jalan Meriam. The other stall is Restaurant “Jit Fat” or “Che Fark” in Mandarin.
Both served equally delicious Hainanese chicken rice balls. The chicken rice ball costs 30 sen each.
I am very sure Hainanese chicken rice balls originated from Muar. As far as I can remember, I have been eating this dish since the 70s. I have visited Malacca (Melaka), in the 70s and 80s, I did not come across any food stall selling chicken rice ball then.
But whatever it is, you should try out the real taste of Hainanese chicken rice ball from Muar Town or “Ma-Po”.
UPDATE (2012): The chicken rice stall at Chuan Huat coffeeshop has ceased operation. The corner kopitiam has been renovated and taken over by a modern cafe serving halal food.
Jit Fat has moved to 119-4 Jalan Meriam (directly opposite Nattukottai Chettiars’ Sri Murugan Temple) which is just a walking distance away from its former premises.
By the way, they have another shop called Jie Chun at 250, Jalan Sakeh, Taman Sri Emas, Muar.