Hawker dishes, while all beloved in their own ways, can be divisive at times, but not when it comes to claypot chicken rice in KL and Selangor.
The comfort food – a delicious amalgamation of addictively crispy rice and juicy, flavourful chicken – is one of the most universally loved dishes not just in Singapore, but also Malaysia. Need further proof? These best clay pot chicken rice spots in the Klang Valley’s KL, Selangor, and more are worth a drive across the causeway.
What’s so special about Malaysia’s clay pot chicken rice?
Claypot chicken rice is a defining local cuisine for Malaysians. It makes for a hearty meal that’s usually shared among two or more people, but what makes it so good?
The dish is made up of several components: marinated chicken (usually involving a simple mixture of dark and light soy sauce with sugar, although we’re sure some places have their own secret recipe), rice, Chinese waxed sausages, and salted fish. Admittedly, the salted fish element can be polarising, but we do feel it adds a ton of flavour and depth to the meal. Those who agree will know that there’s nothing more satisfying than finding a sliver of these savoury morsels between mouthfuls of rice and juicy chicken.
Another factor that makes any clay pot chicken rice stall in Klang Valley worth its mettle is the use of charcoal. We stand by the fact that only the best clay pot chicken rice is cooked over a charcoal fire, although it’s becoming an increasingly rare sight in Singapore. There’s just something about the way it gently cooks the dish, all while keeping the rice fluffy and the chicken, juicy. Then there’s that unmistakable wok hei. Of course, the best part is always the crusty bits of rice at the bottom of the clay pot, so don’t forget to save room for that.
If your mouth isn’t watering yet, it will as you read on. Here’s where you should make a beeline for the best charcoal-kissed clay pot rice next time you’re in Klang Valley, be it KL, Selangor, or beyond.
6 places for the best clay pot chicken rice in Klang Valley’s KL, PJ, and more:
Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice
Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice is one of the most famous places in the Klang Valley for you to get your fill of this dish. Getting there, however, is going to be a challenge. It’s located in one of the most inaccessible places in Pudu — in a shophouse located under the bridge and close to the Pudu wet market. Surroundings may not be the most ideal, but that’s when you know the food is going to be legitimately good.
Like any self-respecting clay pot chicken rice restaurant, Heun Kee uses charcoal to cook its dish to perfection. The restaurant also takes it a step further by placing charcoal embers on the lid of the clay pot to ensure the chicken cooks through perfectly. Having been around since 1985, you know you’re in good hands when you visit. The store has also adapted to the times and allows you to call ahead to reserve a seat in the restaurant.
Address: 59, Jln Yew, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: Call the phone number +60 3-9200 1603
Operating hours: 11 am – 9 am daily; closed on Thursdays
168 Claypot Chicken Rice
Pudu has no shortage of excellent Malaysian street food, which is why it comes as no surprise that the next clay pot chicken rice recommendation on our list is also located in this neighbourhood. Perhaps the best-selling stall in 168 Coffee Shop, 168 Claypot Chicken Rice has been around since 1980 and doesn’t even have its own signboard — but you won’t miss the cart of flaming charcoal stoves when you arrive at the coffee shop. The stall owner is still the same person who cooks your clay pot chicken rice, so you know it is extremely authentic.
Address: 21, Jalan Kancil, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +60 17-635 6443
Operating hours: 4 pm – 10 pm daily; closed on Wednesdays
Hong Kee Claypot Chicken Rice
For the ultimate Malaysian street food experience, you’ll have to savour your coveted bowl of rice right on the five-foot paths of closed shop lots perched on plastic stools. Located right in front of REXKL, the lone stall opens only in the evenings. Alongside its charcoal-cooked clay pot chicken rice, which comes with generous chunks of salted fish, the stall also sells Portuguese-style grilled fish — yes, the extremely spicy kind.
Address: 83, Jalan Sultan, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: Call the phone number +60 11-3661 2838″>+60 11-3661 2838
Operating hours: 5 pm – 11:30 pm daily; closed on Wednesdays
Claypot Chicken Rice @ Jln Ipoh
This is another clay pot chicken rice stall that is several decades old (at least 30 years) that has no exact name, but makes a reference to a clay pot chicken rice store in Jalan Ipoh or Taman Kok Lian (both are interchangeable) and people will know exactly which one you’re speaking of. While it’s common that the best clay pot chicken rice stalls in KL use charcoal for cooking, the owner here takes it a step further by only using charcoal from Taiping, allegedly because its flames are easier to manage, which results in a more evenly cooked dish.
Address: lot 1224, 7, Jalan Batu Ambar, Taman Kok Lian, 51200 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: Call the phone number +60 12-332 3620
Operating hours: 10 am – 5:30 pm daily; closed on Wednesdays
Wei Ji Claypot Chicken Rice
You know it’s legit when it’s a hot favourite amongst the locals. And it’s not because it’s affordable; RM30.90 (SGD 9) will get you three drinks, and one big portion of clay pot chicken rice that’s topped generously with sausage and salted fish. Cooked over charcoal, the rice here is fragrant and fluffy at the top, and delightfully crispy at the bottom, which means that you have something to look forward to at the end of the meal. The chicken here is also known to be extremely flavourful and meaty, so be sure to come with hungry friends and family.
Address: 74, Jalan Mawar, Taman P Ramlee, 53000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: Call the phone number +60 16-252 7368
Operating hours: 4 pm – 10 pm daily
Shi Yue Tian Claypot Chicken Rice Shop
You can bet that Puchong will be another neighbourhood in the Klang Valley where you can find excellent local food, and one of the best clay pot rices the country has to offer. Shi Yue Tian Claypot Chicken Rice Shop is extremely popular in Selangor for not only its excellent take on the dish but also its generous portions. Order some double-boiled soups to go with your rice dish — we love the pig stomach with pepper soup.
Address: 11, Jalan 23, Taman Bukit Kuchai, 47100 Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: Call the phone number +60 12-250 7692
Operating hours: 3:30 pm – 10 pm daily; closed on Fridays
This story first appeared here.
(Hero and featured image credit: Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice)