When in Malaysia, mention Chicken Rice and locals would definitely say Nam Heong as its equivalent. It’s an institution known for cooking Chicken Rice using an age-old recipe which dates back to more than 70 years when the establishment started. Now, it has a number of franchises in Kuala Lumpur. But is the quality still the same? We trooped to one of their branches in Sungai Wang Mall to try out its famous Chicken Rice as well as some of its other offerings.
Of course, the first thing we tried is the signature Hainanese Chicken Rice. When I tasted the tender meat and skin, all I could say that it has a really clean and pure taste with the ginger, oil and herbs bringing out the natural flavors. Our guide, Marie, said that the chicken was first boiled then quickly placed in cold water to contract the skin. This would explain its soft meat and clean taste. Perfect with ginger dips and ginger rice.
We also got to try Nam Heong’s version of Stewed Pork. The meat clinging to the bones were really tender and the black sauce was a lot more flavorful. It was really good that it almost topped the Chicken Rice for me. The rich flavor is attributed to the use of “Old” ginger black sauce and Muscovado sugar which lends it a semi-sweet taste.
Nam Heong’s Bean Curd has a nice twist. It looks a lot like a gelatin cake with sauce and spices on top. The soy flavor of the tofu mixes well with the spice and sauce which I really liked.
Another dish we tried was the Bean Sprout which is similarly prepared like our togue but with thicker stems and topped with more spices. We also had a Yam (Taro) and Pork which are sandwiched together on a special sauce which is also good but overshadowed by the dishes mentioned above.
Nam Heong’s branch in Sungei Wei is simple and non-descript. It is an open wall establishment that could easily pass for a canteen if we hadn’t seen their sign since we were expecting a more upscale-looking resto. But enough with the interiors as each branch may vary. The most important thing is: the food really shines here even with the basic setting.