Sunday, 25 December 2011

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square 一而鸡扒

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square

IT Roo's Hainanese chicken chop was one of the first posts in Johor Kaki blog, way back in 2011. We've been back a few times since then, and this is an update. Overall, the signature chicken chop has not changed much except that it's a bit more greasy nowadays. They were still using those cute plates with pink chicken motifs 😂

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square

IT Roo cafe was as busy and popular as ever. The little air conditioned shop is usually packed during lunch time. The decor was probably hip for its time in the 60s/ 70s, but today it has an air of nostalgia.

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square

Though the space is compact, I like the welcoming feel inside IT Roo. Just be careful when you move around as the space is a bit tight 😝

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square

We had kopi and teh while waiting for our orders of their signature chicken chop and hor fun (Cantonese kway teow). Can't remember much of their kopi as it was average - slightly bitter sweetened with sugar served in glasses.

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square

We had IT Roo's chicken chop topped with a fried egg (around RM17 in 2018).

(They have a grilled version which many said was healthier and tastier - but, don't want lah, I just want authentic Hainanese chicken chop 😂 )

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square

I like the feel and eggy taste of the runny golden yolk.

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square

The slab of chicken came heavily battered with breadcrumbs in true Hainanese fashion and was fried to a golden brown crisp outside. It was dressed with old school mushroom sauce and served with fried potato wedges and coleslaw.

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square

The slab of flattened chicken thigh was relatively thick. The boneless slab was tender and moist, and had a bit of natural sweetness.

The batter was, however, a bit too salty and it masked the delicate fresh chicken flavour. It was also more greasy (compared to back then in 2011).

The savoury mushroom was nice but I missed the chicken's natural sweetness.

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square

Nicely browned potato wedges.

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square

The hor fun was rather bland tasting and the kway teow noodles lacked caramelisation i.e. no wok hei.

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square

👉 IT Roo is one of JB's iconic heritage Hainanese coffee shops (and, probably the only air conditioned one). IT Roo still serves authentic Hainanese chicken chop, though I prefer my fried chicken chop to be less salty and less greasy. I will still be back because I like the unique charm, friendly rustic feel and kampung spirit in this small kopitiam. Oh..., I still haven't had their reputedly evil fried rice 😄 

Hainanese Chicken Chop @ IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru near City Square

Restaurant name: IT Roo Cafe
Address: 17, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru
GPS1°27'25.0"N 103°45'49.1"E 🌐 1.456932, 103.763632
Tel: 07-222 7780
Hours: 12:00 noon - 9:30pm

Certified Halal



Date visited: 24 Aug 2018


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IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru

IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru
Heritage photo of IT Roo
Founded in the 1950s by Jian Kai Xiang who came to JB from Hainan in the 1950s, IT Roo Café is one of the oldest Hainanese coffee shops in Johor Bahru. In the 1960s, Jian Kai Xiang's son Jian Hye Jeoin learnt how to make chicken chop from the British and added it to IT Roo's menu. It soon became IT Roo's claim to fame and was awarded the "Best Chicken Chop in Malaysia" title by The Star newspaper in 2003. Today, IT Roo still proudly touts itself as serving the best chicken chop in JB.

With such a reputation, we had no choice but to check it out 😄

Some people said 2003 is a very long time ago and that the standard has dropped, so we went there with a little bit of scepticism.

IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru

IT Roo Café is the corner coffee shop at the junction of Jalan Dhoby and Jalan Pahang in old downtown JB.

We were at the famous café at lunch time on Christmas Eve (2011). The tiny air conditioned 1,000 square feet dining area was about two thirds full. The clientele was mainly the younger set - couples, family with children, and groups of friends.

I ordered their signature dish - fried chicken chop with mushroom gravy, of course. It was served on a plate with quaint looking pink chicken motifs 😄

IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru

The chicken chop was made from a thick piece of flattened thigh meat. The batter was just the right thickness – thick but not too heavy. The batter and skin were cooked to golden brown and that batter-skin combination was crunchy to the bite. It was dangerously delicious! because we couldn't resist gobbling down the cholesterol laden chicken skin as well!

IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru

The meat was thick, juicy and tenderly moist without any hint of dryness at all.

The mushroom sauce was creamy and had a nice delicate mushroomy flavour. Nice!

It was a busy day and there were many orders of chicken chop which is their signature dish. I was a little concerned that standards may be affected by the pressure to mass produce the popular chops to meet the orders. My worries turned out to be unfounded. The chicken chop was done perfectly though we had to wait about 30 minutes for our treat.

The chicken chop costs RM13 (2011).

I can already think of those friends whom I will bring to IT Roo to enjoy this delicious meal.

I heard that they make an evil fried rice too - shall make sure to try that during my next visit.

Source of historical information on IT Roo 👈 click

IT Roo Café in Johor Bahru

Restaurant name: IT Roo Café
Address: 17 Jalan Dhoby 80000 Johor Bahru
Map: http://g.co/maps/qgwss
GPS: 1.456845, 103.763546
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:00 to 10:00pm

Free wifi available

Certified Halal

Date visited: 24 Dec 2011

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6 comments:

  1. Visited cafe on 23 Jun 15. Cafe no longer operating at Jln Dhoby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I visited a few weeks ago and it was still in business on the same spot.

      Delete
  2. I have a place which I would like you to try out is called Hutan Bandar Chicken Chop. It is popular among the locals for its cheap price and usually there is a long que. 1 portion of fried chicken chop or fish and chips cost rm 5.30 and they are very generous in their portion. They also have other dishes such lamb chop. Taste wise its ok, I usually ask them to separate the sauce into a smaller bowl cause they tend to drench the food in their black pepper sauce. The place is only open at night and is closed on Sunday. The atmosphere of the place is not that great but the food portion size makes up for it. I insert a link about the place: https://foursquare.com/v/hutan-bandar-bistro/4e26dd59e4cd60a2c6295e71

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I shall visit soon. Appreciate much.

      Delete
  3. was there last week n it was pretty bad chicken chop.maybe when you try it on 2011 it was good . but now Geeezzzz vary disappointed .need to update.LOL

    ReplyDelete

I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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