Saturday, 27 January 2018

Ah Lai Chicken Rice in Pulai, Johor 亞赖鸡饭

Ah-Lai-Chicken-Rice-Pulai-Johor-亞赖鸡饭

Wanted to get out of JB and didn't want to go too far, so we drove to the Pulai-Pekan Nanas area this morning. Went to check out Ah Lai Chicken Rice 亞赖鸡饭 shop which is popular with Pulai folks.


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Kangkar Pulai is a little strip town serving the small holdings around it. Life is quiet and peaceful. Hair cuts at the town barber still go for RM3 for school children and RM5 for adults.


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There are a few small sleepy coffee shops where townsfolk gather.

Ah-Lai-Chicken-Rice-Pulai-Johor-亞赖鸡饭

亞赖鸡饭 is the town's best known chicken rice shop - it has been serving the Pulai community for nearly 20 years.

Ah-Lai-Chicken-Rice-Pulai-Johor-亞赖鸡饭

I like the nice kampung ambiance at 亞赖鸡饭. Raw weathered cement floor, wooden panel walls, rays of light flooding through the window louvres, yellowed rickety ceiling fans, flapping colourful banners, friendly folks etc.  Many customers who came in were regulars. Others came in cars and motorbikes to take away boxes of chicken rice. The lady boss told us that they have regulars from Singapore and JB too.

Ah-Lai-Chicken-Rice-Pulai-Johor-亞赖鸡饭

We had half a poached chicken which costs RM16. The lady boss told us that their poached and fried chicken are equally popular with customers, with older folks preferring poached chicken and younger folks like fried chicken more.

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The chicken was done 95%. The meat was served at room temperature. The meat was tender and juicy with a subtle natural chicken sweetness and chicky taste.

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Even the normally dry and fibrous chicken breast was tender and juicy, though less so than the thigh.

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The chicken was smooth, especially the skin.

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The watery savoury sugary sauce was pooled at the bottom of the plate. I like it this way as we can choose to dip the chicken in the sauce or eat it neat. Personally, I prefer to taste the chicken's natural flavours without "contamination" from the sauce.

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The blanched taugeh (bean sprouts) were crunchy juicy sweet. The watery mildly savoury sauce provided some salty balance to the sweet and "raw" taste of the lightly blanched bean sprout. We like this taugeh.

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The rice was made with average quality grains, a little starchy and clumped together. Texture was nicely tender and the rice have a nice subtle chicky taste and sweet pandan aroma.

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亞赖鸡饭's chili dip is unique. It is pureed green chili padi, ginger and lime juice etc. Not the typical chili dip for chicken rice but it is great 😄


Ah-Lai-Chicken-Rice-Pulai-Johor-亞赖鸡饭

👉 Ah Lai Chicken Rice in Pulai. 亞赖鸡饭's chicken is nice as it is tender, juicy and naturally sweet but what made it special for me is enjoying it together with the rustic, laid back kampung ambiance (something we cannot have in big crowded cities).

Ah-Lai-Chicken-Rice-Pulai-Johor-亞赖鸡饭

Restaurant name: Ah Lai Chicken Rice 亞赖鸡饭
Address: Intersection of Jalan Kangar Pulai and Jalan Limau, Kangar Pulai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
GPS: 1°33'26.2"N 103°35'36.2"E | 1.557281, 103.593386
Waze: "Kangkar pulai ah lai chicken rice"
Tel: 017 773 2816
Hours: 6:00am - 12:00 noon (Monday & Tuesday off)

Date visited: 26 Jan 2018

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