Saturday, 25 February 2017

Focusing on the Chicken Part 4

     Ask any Malaysian if he or she has tasted chicken chop, and you will probably get an incredulous look that goes to say you must be nuts if you have never eaten this quintessential dish at Malaysian eateries serving Western food. But ask a true blue British or American the same question, you may be asked if you mean a new kind of karate chop or if you are referring to chicken pieces in chop suey (an American Chinese stir-fried dish of vegetables and meat). 
     Apparently, chicken chop is a local creation, probably introduced by the Hainanese chefs who wanted to cater to their British colonial masters working in Malaya. It is a very versatile dish as the boneless chicken can be deep-fried, pan-fried or grilled and then smothered with various kinds of gravy.
     Although I prefer to try other dishes whenever I go to a Western restaurant, I do have a weakness for Hainanese Chicken Chop. This is deep-fried boneless chicken drenched in onion gravy. In Ipoh, I have found two establishments serving an excellent version of this.

Sin Hoong Fatt's Hainanese Chicken Chop

1.      Restoran Sin Hoong Fatt (better known as Vegas Ipoh) 
         1, Lebuh Cecil Rae, Canning Garden, 31400 Ipoh

View of the coffee shop from the Canning Garden market
                 Although this Halal coffee shop opens from morning, it is somehow more bustling in the evening. John Junior’s Western food stall starts business in the late afternoon and this is where I get a caramel-coloured onion & green peas gravy enveloping my chicken chop. In addition to the french fries, tomato and cucumber slices, this plate of chicken chop also comes with a slice of bread for you to mop up the scrumptious gravy. By the way, John Junior’s dad (John Senior, I presume) was an excellent Hainanese chef in his heydays and I can still remember his delicious pork patties, which he used to sell at another coffee shop in Canning Garden.

Cathay's Hainanese Chicken Chop
2.      Restoran Cathay 
         17A, Jalan Dato Tahwil Azhar, 30300 Ipoh
Photo of the coffee shop taken from Rebecca Saw's blog

                   A very old school Hainanese coffee shop, this eatery has been popular among Ipoh folk since the 1970s. In those days, it used to be at another location near its present premises, and was also frequented because of its famous Indian mi goreng. I practically grew up eating this Hainanese chicken chop and especially love its tangy, tomato-based gravy. I also prefer the thicker cut of fries. Another dish that I like to order whenever I go to this coffee shop is its French toast with heavenly kaya.
Simply yummy French toast with kaya

     Apart from these two eateries in Ipoh, I have also tasted an exceptionally yummy version in a very unassuming Hainanese coffee shop in the sleepy town of Kuala Kubu Bharu.  It was at Kedai Makanan Hailam Sun Sun Nam Cheong that I sank my teeth into the most mouth-watering Hainanese Chicken Chop. It was so palatable that I considered giving in to gluttony and ordering another plate. Hmm...perhaps I should pester hubby to make a detour to this town the next time we go to Kuala Lumpur, just to satiate my desire.

Sun Sun Nam Cheong's Hainanese Chicken Chop
A photo of the old coffee shop taken from a blog



  1. I have tried the Restoran Cathay's Hainanese Chicken Chop a few times before but it was long time ago. The rest I have not tried.

    1. Although they have the same preparation method for pork, fish and beef, somehow all these years, I've never ventured to try the rest.

  2. Haven't been to the three places for chicken chop before! Thanks for sharing..I will surely go there one day especially the french toasts with kaya filling!! :)

    1. I love french toasts with kaya. Even used to eat the ones at Old Town Kopitiam.