The 怡保砂煲鸡饭 Ipoh claypot chicken rice stall which had been at Restoran 777 for the past 8 years, is run by the boss who does all the cooking and just one helper who delivers the food and collects the money.
So we can imagine how hard they have to work, especially during peak hours.
To speed up the cooking in the one-man kitchen, the claypot rice is first cooked over gas stoves and then transferred to charcoal stoves for the final 15 minutes.
This small not very pretty pile was what went into each claypot of rice - well marinated chicken pieces, Cantonese styled sausages lup cheong, some tiny shreds of mushrooms and a small piece of salted fish. The boss told me that he uses only chicken thigh meat as most customers do not fancy chicken breast meat.
Before delivery, a large dollop of their signature gravy was scooped onto the hot claypot of rice.
The gravy mixed into the piping hot rice had a mild salty and sweet taste as were the pieces of tender chicken.
The rice had those burnt crusty bits which is characteristic of good claypot rice. I love to scrap the crusty rice off the insides of the claypot and stir it into the rest of the rice. This gives the rice an interesting mix of texture, bite and flavours.
For RM5.50, 怡保砂煲鸡饭 offers a lot of food and tastes. This is simple and nice, everyday, folksy food - doesn't pretend to be more than what it is :) The food at Restoran 777 are generally very reasonably priced.
Restaurant name: 怡保砂煲鸡饭 Ipoh Claypot Chicken Rice
Address: 777 Food Centre, Jalan Perkasa 4, Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Johor Bahru
Hours: 6:00pm to 12:00 midnight
Date visited: 5 Sep 2012