Singaporeans and Malaysians often argue about who makes a better nasi lemak or chicken rice, but the real truth is that both versions are delicious. And if you’re headed to Kuala Lumpur (KL) or Selangor to prove us wrong, do us a favour and head to these stalls below instead – they offer the best chicken rice you’ll find in the vicinity.
When we think of chicken rice, the word “wholesome” comes to mind. No doubt, the comforting idea of combining the aromatic rice and juicy poached chicken does make our heart flutter, especially when it’s paired with a side of beansprouts. Thankfully, we’re not the only ones who think so because, the wholesome meal earned the 45th spot on CNN’s The World’s 50 Best Foods.
Served steamed or roasted, the chicken rice meal is simple, flavourful and uncomplicated to find around Malaysia. Whether through hawker stalls or the best-established spots, it’s easy to find chicken rice across many Malaysian restaurants. However, discovering the perfect plate of Hainanese chicken rice does not come so often. The beauty of finding the perfect chicken rice requires scoring points on these three elements: chicken, rice and chilli. Most importantly, the texture and flavour of the rice. What completes the hearty dish is the condiments consisting of soy sauce, chilli sauce and crushed ginger.
If you’re feeling hungry already, we got your back. Get ready to indulge in the full-bodied flavours of the best-rated chicken rice in KL.
A guide to the best chicken rice in KL and Selangor:
Kim Kee Nasi Ayam Hailam (Halal)
Ampang peeps would vouch for this heavenly plate of Hainanese chicken rice. Famed for serving one of the best halal chicken rice in KL, Kim Kee is located at the Medan Selera stall right next to the Petronas McD in Ampang Jaya. Adored by many for its delicious fragrant rice and tender roast chicken, the portion is quite wholly for the price you’re paying. Plus, the bean sprouts served on the side makes a harmonious serving with your rice and chicken. Besides their signature chicken rice, diners can explore their steak options on the western menu too.
Address: 1, Jalan Kolam Air Lama, Taman Dato Ahmad Razali, 68000 Ampang, Selangor
Operating hours: Monday to Saturday, 10.30 AM – 10 PM
Hainan Chee Meng Chicken Rice (Halal)
Established in 1958, Nasi Ayam Chee Meng was founded by Mr Yeok Kai Seng and began its journey as a humble chicken rice and porridge stall on Old Klang Road. Today, the establishment has mushroomed across Klang Valley, with its most popular branch located in Bukit Bintang. Customers rave about their flavourful rice and tender roast chicken. Keep in mind that finding parking is tough, so be sure to plan your trip wisely.
Address: 50, Bukit Bintang St, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: 11 AM – 8 PM (daily)
Dee Chicken Rice (Halal)
Here’s another chicken rice spot worth going to if you’re in Pandan Indah. Dee Nasi Ayam offers the signatures but with a traditional twist. The menu highlights their specials, including chicken chop chicken rice, bbq chicken rice, rendang chicken rice, honey chicken rice and chicken rice kampung. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the grilled lamb chicken rice. With prices ranging between RM9.90 to RM18.90, we think this place is worth a try.
Address: No 41G, Jalan Pandan Indah 1/23, Pandan Indah, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: 10 AM – 7 PM (closed on Friday)
Kam Kee Chicken Rice (Non-Halal)
Once you’re done coffee-hunting at Kampung Attap, take a short drive to Jalan Sultan to enjoy a hearty plate of Hainanese chicken rice at Nasi Ayam Kam Kee. A favourite to the locals, Kam Kee is adored for its flavourful roast chicken. If you’re in the mood for a side of roast pork, they’re known to serve one of the best too.
Address: 42, Jalan Sultan, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: 10 AM – 3 PM (closed on Wednesdays)
Restaurant Loke Yun Chicken Rice (pork-free and lard-free)
Located in Ampang, Loke Yun chicken rice was founded in 1971 with authentic recipes passed down through generations. In case you didn’t know, the restaurant still resides in its original location, making this joint unique among many chicken rice lovers. Pop by for a visit and order their Hainanese-style poached chicken. Plus, the restaurant serves kampung chicken which is a favourite for many due to its flavourful taste and juicy meat. The staple poached beansprouts are a must-try too.
Address: 158, Jalan Besar Ampang, Pekan Ampang, 68000 Ampang, Selangor
Operating hours: 10.30 AM – 3 PM + 5.30 PM – 8 PM (closed on Thursdays)
Kar Heong Chicken Rice (Non-Halal)
This may be out of the way for some, but Subang Jaya has its fair share of the best chicken rice spots. Situated in SS14, Subang Jaya, Kar Heong chicken rice serves an Ipoh-style version where bean sprouts are an essential side dish to have.
If you’re not into chicken, order a side of Siew yuk (roasted pork). Apart from rice, diners can enjoy their other signature dishes such as chicken sliced hor fun and curry noodles.
Address: No. 18, Jalan SS 4c/5, Taman Rasa Sayang, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Operating hours: 8.30 AM – 9 PM
Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice (Non-Halal)
Established in 1985, Heun Kee claypot chicken rice is run by Heun May Lan, who kickstarted her journey with a small hawker stall in PJ’s Old Town wet market. Today, she has earned recognition for serving the most unique and delicious claypot chicken rice in town. What makes her aromatic dish so special is her cooking method using charcoal stoves. Highlights include the signature claypot chicken rice and claypot lap mei (waxed duck and Chinese sausage). If you’re planning a visit, her shop is located in a shophouse under the bridge, close to the Pudu wet market.
Address: 59, Jln Yew, Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: 11 AM – 9 PM (closed on Thursdays)
Hong Kee Claypot Chicken Rice (Non-Halal)
If you’re at Petaling street and are craving a bowl of comfort, check out Hong Kee claypot chicken rice. Located opposite REXKL, the roadside stall also uses charcoal dishes to cook its specialities perfectly. Apart from its signature claypot chicken rice dish, the stall also sells Portuguese ikan bakar. There may be a line, so be patient. We can assure you that it will be worth the wait.
Address: 83, Jalan Sultan, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: 5 PM – 11.30 PM (closed on Wednesdays)
Charcoal Claypot Chicken Rice at Jalan Ipoh (Non-Halal)
Ask any claypot chicken rice enthusiast, and they will recommend you to Taman Kok Lian’s famed spot. Unlike others, this Charcoal Claypot chicken rice spot does not have an official name but has earned a place in every customer’s heart for its authentic taste and juicy meats. Plus, you can get a decent portion made for two for the price you pay.
Address: Lot 1224, 7, Jalan Batu Ambar, Taman Kok Lian, 51200 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: 10 AM – 5.30 PM (closed on Wednesdays)
(Hero and featured image credits: @gratiamikha & Getty Images)