The Strangest Place To Have Chicken Rice In Kuching

Yesterday, Mei Ling called me out to have lunch.

I thought “Wah! Very rare!” The guy never go out during lunch time one. I asked him where we’re going but he wouldn’t tell. Must be bringing me to some place nice.
Great. So he picked me up from my workplace and off we drove me to this old row of shophouses a short distance away from my office.

When we got there I saw nothing resembling a coffee shop.
All there is, is a lone table set up by the five-foot-way with a gay-looking umbrella and a few guys surrounding it.
I was like OMG. Mei Ling was laughing like mad.

We placed our order to the stall owner in Hokkien. “Hor wa nor ua, cham cham. Tehng pang zhay tham pok” (Give me two plates, mixed. Put more soup.)
I watched in disbelief as the bespectacled owner of the lonely stall casually scooped up some rice and placed them onto a turquoise plate.

“Ai ha mik bak” (What type of meat you want?), he asked.
We made our choice then he hand picked portions of chicken or pork from one of his large pots nearby and proceed to cut them up real time. He poured some chilli sauce over the meat and some savoury soup over the rice.

He handed Mei Ling a plate and he handed me a plate.
“Now what?” I asked Mei Ling. “There aren’t tables or chairs around, so where are we supposed to sit?”
“Sit here lah!” he walked into a narrow staircase and sit down on the dirty tiles, right next to a BROOM.

Damn, I was mortified.
No freaking way am I gonna sit there and eat my lunch on a dirty staircase! This is ridiculous.
If they are selling Ramly burgers by the roadside I can still understand, but never have I seen anyone selling chicken rice on the five-foot-way like that.

So there I was, miserable in my suit and tie, trying my best doing the unglam thing of eating chicken rice standing up.
Unsurpisingly, I was the only one having lunch there in my office attire.
Surprisingly, business appears to be brisk for this lonely chicken rice stall hidden away in an empty lorong. I guess to him, it’s a normal thing for people to eat their meal whilst sitting on the dirty staircase by the shophouse.

While we were there the stall has sold a few plates continuously.
At RM3.50 a plate, it’s not any cheaper compared to a normal plate of chicken rice you’d get at a coffee shop. But for this stall owner, the customers just keep coming in non-stop. Most of them foreign workers and delivery drivers who just wanna stop by and have a quick meal.

You can even order drinks here if you wanna. The wife would just walk up the dirty narrow staircase and get some from the fridge.
The unfazed customers sitting on the staircase would just siam one side when she’s walking past, like it’s a very normal thing for people to walk past you when you’re sitting on the staircase having lunch.
When you’re finished, the plates are piled up on the floor just like that.

I wonder why the uncle didn’t just rent a space at a food court to serve his meals. At least it’s more comfortable there, right?
I understand everyone wants to maximise their profit margin, but surely this is not the way to do it!

According to Mei Ling, the soft-spoken owner used to ride around Kuching in his rusty little bicycle selling chicken rice to office folks. Alas, some immoral scum burglar made away with his bicycle. With that, his only means of making a living was stolen from him.
Undetered, the old uncle set up a simple wooden table by the five foot way below his shophouse. Despite his very strange way of serving food, his business has been doing pretty ok.

When he’s not selling chicken rice, the owner dreams of becoming a flamingo

The Strangest Place To Have Chicken Rice In Kuching™ is at Lorong Ang Cheng Ho 7B, close to where the old Twenty Cent Supermarket used to be located. If you are not perturbed by the look of his simple stall, maybe you should drop by during your lunch hour and check it out.
I won’t say it is the best place for chicken rice, nor the most hygenic, but I say it certainly provides the most unique and old-school chicken rice experience in Kuching.

If you’re gonna order food from him, go ahead and ask him to keep the change. The guy is not earning as much as John Lee anyway.
Perhaps with the extra income, the aging uncle would finally be able to afford a new bike by then.

Travelling, travelling again. I’ll be in KL again this weekend.

132 Replies to “The Strangest Place To Have Chicken Rice In Kuching”

  1. long before our time… chicken rice is in form of rice ball.. but, sometimes later, chicken rice seller found tat by making rice ball, it’s not only time consuming, it also refrain them frm reducing the rice when serve..
    i’m living in town area so i sorta heard this frm old folks when chatting with old folks talking bout good foods and good old days of kuching
    nice spectacles kenny

  2. You look so cute in your office attire.
    And regarding the chicken rice stall… what I can only say is “別有一般風味“

  3. oh! great! a new place to have lunch in Kuching this time!
    Kenny, you look really good in your office attire. did you slim down a bit???

  4. this is what you call eat to live and not live to eat. after having u advertising for him i’m pretty sure his sales will rocket up very soon. good hearted u are, Kenny

  5. It’s no secret that you can often find the best food in Malaysia in the alley lanes, next to the drains, the sidewalks, next to padangs, wherever. Gotten used to the classy spots already?

  6. honestly did john lee pay u anything for publicity?
    going back to the topic of john lee and how “great”he is, no doubt he has acheived much being only 24. but contrast this.
    who is more successful? john lee with his money and all, or a 28 yr old with a degree in law, economics, political science and an mba? and dont tell me both are.
    its so hard to quantify success nowdays and unfortunately kenny sia, u have adopted the asian mentality – materiality.

  7. His chicken rice used to cost Rm1.50 only and me and ma brother love his chicken rice and we ATE inside his house ok!!??!!

  8. If his chicken rice is only so so then it is too expensive for a stall like this without overhead to sell chicken rice @ RM3.50. U should try the RM2.00 chicken rice some where @ Sungai Maong area, some more it is in a shop more hygiene and comfortable.

  9. I salute the determination of this uncle, even in a five foot way he also can sell chicken rice. Look at the bright he don’t have to pay the monthly rental.Kenny you look ‘cheap’ wearing smart with a yellow tie eating chicken rice standing in kaki lima. Why don’t just ‘ta pau’.

  10. kenny.. u look adorable in that suit..
    *thumbs up*
    and seriously.. did u finish ur food?? i really can’t stand the environment..

  11. Wow! Kenny… I am speechless! Nice tie by the way!
    RM3.50 is still considered expensive for a plate of chicken rice ler. Come Sibu and try the Sibu Chicken Rice. Oso try the sio bak mee. Damn nice wei!

  12. hey kenny! was doing editing for a certain tv station videos (i think u know which one it is, think carefully! :top 50 most gorgeous party: You will be appearing on the show Make The Call, so for u other kenny fans out there : look out for it! Some other familiar blogger faces will make an appearance on the show too 😉

  13. Kenny, next time bring tupperware, ‘ta pau’ back to the office. No need to eat at the dirty staircase, somemore there’s an open drainage. Bacteria everywhere. Eeks!

  14. I am surprised to see that you have to wear a shirt and tie to work. I thought you worked at a software company. Aren’t those usually more laid back?

  15. I hope the stall owner makes some money for his bike. I always find those who make the money the honest way, no matter how slow, a whole lot more admirable then those who choose to make money the quick but malicious way…. Though tis’ true hygiene can be improved.

  16. Why dont your company sponsor him a motorbike..that would be great publicity for your company as well.. or arent you guys into compassion.???

  17. the chicken rice looks nice…does it taste nice as well?
    anyways, you look very different in a suit and tie…compared to the time i saw u in zouk during the gorgeous party…

  18. kenny, this post of urs made me feel like puking looking at the dirty staircase….GROSS!! i dunno how ur friend managed to eat sitting down on the staircase next to the broom. eeeeeww!!!!! =(

  19. The food don’t look very appetizing to me 🙁 Sorry to say this but you look like a nerd with that ridiculous specs of yours! Not that you look like 007 without one but what were you thinking when you bought that specs? Either there’s no mirror at the optical shop or the lady who sold it to you is a hottie and you can’t keep your eyes off her??

  20. hmmm… there’s actually a few places in kl similiar to this but d only diff is there’s place to sit la… and the food’s not too bad either. abt pricing i can’t quite tell cos we always go in big groups so the bill is mostly over RM50… kenny if u ever wanna go off the beaten track to find food in kl jz drop me a mail, i’ll b happy to bring u food hunting.. ;P

  21. good post that cover all sort of live.
    the chicken rice tau keh will like to
    thank you for your free advert for him.
    knowing you have heart for people really
    makes me keep on going to read your post

  22. Hi,
    Its my first time I read about your website. I heard about you from my ex-collegue and so I do some scouring and read some of your articles and I found that you’re very funny guy and hilariouslah..
    Ok, I hope someday you will write something different about people like me (I’m a chinese transexual) and their lives around Malaysia and at least showing respect to this minority people. Anyway, good luck to you for your work and hope to hear some interesting news from you here.
    Sammi, Kuching

  23. You didn’t pay RM3.50 just for the rice, Kenny, you paid for the experience too haha! Sometimes you can get good food at run-down places.

  24. Hey, the uncle is living with dignity!!!
    He earned his living even though not with style.
    You must respect him-who is one of the many quiet contributor to this corrupted society.

  25. i’ve been there twice for tapao, but that time they only charge RM1.50… u can pay extra maybe RM3 for double extra rice and meats… i like their pork. taste good.

  26. hey… the chick rice there is not bad.. tho i normally “ta pau”. from what my dad told me, he actually rented a space in a coffee shop before but he didn’t get as much customers as selling on the roadside.. 😀

  27. Can’t believe there are so many wussy here. Eating by the road side won’t kill you ok. It used to be part of our Malaysian life.
    If you get a chance to look at how some restaurant prepared their food, you would also think twice about eating them. Go to the Bangsar mamak and you can see big rats runing near the food stalls.

  28. the uncle so kolien de. Bicycly been stolen. =( Sooner or later he will buy another new one? lolx. u look good in office wear. So lausit one. haha.

  29. 1) u look so different in casual/work clothes
    2) ur friend really damn bo chap…v casual chin chai anything also can guy…but it is this sort of ppl that helps to ensure the survival of that ahpek
    3) actually in penang when i was there, and especially also in pasar malams ard kl, it is quite a common thing to eat standing up. nobody bats their eyelashes at standing up to eat a hot bowl of asam laksa.
    4) gotta hand it to the ahpek..the determine to eke out an honest living..
    5) nothings wrong.. if theres demand for such a supply.. dont fault the ahpek for supplying it..
    6) have a good time in MY HOMETOWN KL this wkend!

  30. I had eaten his chicken rice before….Was a long time ago …10 years back i guess….but i cant imagine why he cant afford another bicycle after 10 years…..his chicken rice is not that bad either and last time my dad used to tapao instead of sitting on the “luxury” dining area……

  31. In reply to:
    honestly did john lee pay u anything for publicity?
    going back to the topic of john lee and how “great”he is, no doubt he has acheived much being only 24. but contrast this.
    who is more successful? john lee with his money and all, or a 28 yr old with a degree in law, economics, political science and an mba? and dont tell me both are.
    its so hard to quantify success nowdays and unfortunately kenny sia, u have adopted the asian mentality – materiality.
    Posted by: Jack at 12 December 2006 9:31 PM | Link to comment
    It doesn’t matter what sort of qualifications and the number of qualifications that you earn in your life.
    It is how much you earn, how much reputations you gain, how publicly related and socially known (bonus if it is international) and the amount of money you make in life that makes you sucessful.
    I am pretty sure with that list of qualifications that you had mentioned earlier, you must have something to do with it, and obviously you are either jealous or offended by Kenny Sia when he called John sucessful.
    If you have a list longer than a mile, lost all your hair, lost all your social life, but with no jobs and no money. You are still a loser.
    Perhaps your brain and mentality is the thing you should question at before you start making such embarassing statement.

  32. if you think the place that uncle do his business is not hygienic, think again, try go to the kitchen area whenever you eat at mamak, fast food restaurant or any kopitiam… you never know 😀

  33. hello (: i’m planninng a trip to malaysia! just wanted to ask…about how much is a taxi ride from kl sentral (the train station) to puduraya bus station?
    sorry that this comment is irrelevant to the chicken rice post!! is the only Malaysia blog that I know of and read regularly hahaha.

  34. Wah, RM$3.50 is considered expensive? If I can find a SGD$2(about RM$4) chicken rice in Singapore I will ‘tao chio’ liao…
    If I’m afraid of the crime rate there, I would have moved back with my dad long ago man.

  35. To JACK,
    I would say JOHN LEE is successful than those who have all kinds of degrees on hand. WHY? Everyone in this world if they have the kind of money, they would be able to achieve that many degrees too, and its a matter of time. But for John Lee…i think that is consider SUCCESS. MOST degrees holder are jobless or either not working in their field of study. How do you consider that successful?
    Study found that most millionaires did not go to University. Well thats just my thought!

  36. absolutely freaking brilliant. there is nothing in new york city that has that much class, except perhaps our infamous osama bin ladin’s chicken and rice stand on 55th and 8th…

  37. LoL …you are brilliantly humourous. i like that “flamingo” uncle. Hope he will become one!! N btw it is ok to have that experience..dun feel “pai seah”. Truly Malaysian!

  38. Ah.I recognise the chicken rice meal.My good fren Jamie tapau 2 packets for us one morning and we had it for the 1st time at Kaya & Toast. Now I understand why she always ‘tapau’ them instead of having it at the stall. Nevertheless, its tasty. Yum.Yum.

  39. i would love to try it someday. and i think he must thank you for promoting his chicken rice free here. u’ve done another good deed:)

  40. im with jack here.. its not the money or the social interaction u make that distinguish u from a winner or a loser.. People like John shud be recognized/admired for the contribution and innovation he created.. its shud never be measured with materialistic shites such as being rich at the age of 24, and his merc.. Kenny is being materialistic by looking at that angle..
    either with degree or not..we all live basd on commision.. work, get paid and spend.. what we need is a revolution.. or a revolutionaries just like Mr John himself..
    Ever tot how did skating and those weird X-Treme games goes pro? That is the work of revolutionaries…
    Anyway, Kenny can be one of them.. all the best!

  41. Well Kenny,
    I do remember one case, where an uncle selling ais kacang in Port Klang (I did worked in port klang for about a year).
    He is millionaire now. He used to sold ais kacang in front a few coffee shops but now he own these few coffee shops…hehe.
    Anyway, how’s the taste? Any good? Should try at least once when i visit Kuching again next summer.

  42. This uncle must be getting an influx of customers so suddenly, people going there just to see what it’s like and he’s probably thinking “oh the gods must be helping me at last”. I would definitely go there to try it one day. Good publicity!

  43. Kenny. Thank you on behalf of this “uncle”you say. He;s not as old as you might think. After 30 years of self employment, he has managed to raise a family of four, 3 sons and one daughter. With a really “TRUE” side by side working wife” they have had a very secussfril business. Good food is rare nowadays. The ironic thing is, he has managed to guide his family from his work ethics and devoution to his work, he has shown his sons the true meaning of making a living. All his sons have very responsible positions with varous companies. He may live on the dark side of Kuching, but I assure you, he is more successful than most of us will ever be. I betcha he could match bank accounts with anyone reading this. I am a friend of the family, so i don;t have to eat in the dining room, I eat upstairs:))). I come hear and have his cicken and rice every year from Canada. He is my hero. And Kenny, you have done nothing but drive the inquisitive to his stall in droves. Thanks and keep up the good ,free adverticing. It;s great!!

  44. OhhH! I am twelve Kenny, and my sister told me about your website! You look totally adorable in that suit! Your entry, especially the one called Xia Xue and I are getting married, made me laugh lodes. Keep up the good work.
    -P.S, the owner of the shop and Yoda creep me out. Keep it coming tho!

  45. Haiya kenny, i would be pai seh, i think i rather ta pao then standing at kaki lima.. especially in smart.

  46. wow…..i like this type of food and style…i will try it…..change to simply life and let respect this knid of bbusiness….

  47. I live nearby from this chicken rice stall. The owner not only sell chicken rice, he also sells pork and eggs. They taste really good, and I haven’t found any other stalls that can offer similiar taste. The stall owner had been at the same location for God knows how many years… he only works half day to serve lunch. Very sweet guy. I was so surprised to see Kenny’s posting about this stall. 🙂 Only if this stall owner had gone to a business school or are more business-minded or ambitous, then he would have owned his own chicken store chain.

  48. allah~same as normal chicken rice only~nothings speacial la~n expensive oso~its jus little bit only~better go others place more comfartable 1

  49. Its my first time looking at ur website
    Its certainly a great blog…u got there
    Keep up the good work….
    Wow…Idon’t even know that there is such a unique stall…Although the chicken rice might be expensive and not hygienic….but its the experience that’s worth the RM3.50….And for sure I’ll go there for lunch sometime….by the away…what is the uncle’s operating time?…I don’t want to reach there and go back empty stomach…

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