Our early morning food hunt took us to this corner chicken rice shop in the rustic back streets of Kulai (off Jalan Besar, the main street).
These fried chicken hanging enticingly in the window caught my attention as I passed. On checking with the boss, my suspicion that these chicken were charcoal roasted before they were deep fried were confirmed. Yipee! I love roast-then-fry chicken because of their superior flavour and texture, so we decided to stop and check this out.
Inside Heng Heng, it is bright, airy and clean. The bare bones décor and laid back atmosphere inside made me feel like I am back in the good old 1970s. The friendly staff was attentive and service was very efficient.
This old style hand carved wooden plaque hanging high and prominently in the shop stated that Heng Heng Hainanese chicken rice was founded in 1977.
Heng Heng has 4 outlets scattered across Kulai town and the second generation boss, Ah Kang 亚康 is here helming the founder's shop. Ah Kang's family is related to the family that runs Tian Tian chicken rice in Singapore.
The roast-then-fry chicken was juicy, sweet and tender inside. The fried skin outside was so tasty, I just ate it together with the meat, throwing cholesterol wariness to the wind :D
The fragrant rice is tender yet firm, and the grains separate easily. The grains are coated with chicken broth, yet they are not greasy.
Drizzle a dribble of dark soy sauce - an old habit of mine when I was addicted to strong flavouring - a habit I need to kick.
Heng Heng's freshly ground ginger sauce is a winner. Only mildly spicy, creamy and full bodied, it's so good, I ate a few spoonfuls on its own.
Heng Heng's founder (Ah Kang's dad) said we must come back to try their siew yok (roast belly pork) and char siew (roast pork) as Heng Heng's claim to fame includes their Hong Kong roasts. I shall definitely be back.
Restaurant: Heng Heng 兴兴 Hainanese Chicken Rice
Address: Junction of Jalan Ibrahim and Jalan Ismail, Kulai, Johor
Hours: 6:30am to 3:30pm (closed on alternate Thursdays)
Date visited: 22 Nov 2013