Driving along Jalan Puchong one day, my wife remembered a nearby claypot chicken rice shop that she had patronised with her work colleagues. Two weekends later, we were there to try out what I later found out to be a very well known and popular claypot chicken place.
Shi Yue Tian Claypot Chicken Rice Shop (食越添瓦煲鸡饭) is located on C31, Bt 8, Jalan Puchong. They have a branch in Jalan Kenari 19A in Bandar Puchong Jaya, not very far from the mother shop. It was very busy when we arrived there. Almost all the tables were filled and there were numerous other people waiting in line to tar pau (打包 take away). I had no idea this was such a popular place.
The shop proudly displays newspaper and TV highlights of it. And there were quite a number of them.
They also have a tai chow (大炒) offering various typical Chinese dishes. The menu was on the wall. But we were not distracted. We were there for the claypot chicken rice and we stuck with that.
This guy was the apparently the "chef". I told him I was taking his picture and he smiled. Beside him were all the condiments for the chicken rice. Around him were dozens of clay pots - all cooked with charcoal fire.
Every claypot chicken rice restaurant offer steamed soups. This was no exception. The waitress rattled out a whole variety of available soups. We settled for 2 bowls. The first was this pepper pork tripe soup (胡椒豬肚湯). It was delicious. The flavour was delightfully peppery - not too strong, absolutely right. In it were adequate pieces of pork tripe and pork ribs.
Our second bowl was a white radish soup (蘿蔔湯). Again the flavour was very good. The sweetness of the radish was distinct. My only grouse was the way they cut the radish. They could had cut them in chunks rather than slices. I think we would get a better texture of the radish.
Most claypot rice places use chicken feet, necks and other miscellaneous meats to make their steamed soups. Not this place. The meats they use for their soups are all bona fide - pork meat and ribs. No spare parts. Good value for money.
We had a plate of blanched lettuce. It was just ordinary.
Finally the highlight arrived at our table. It was delivered by a friendly guy named Ah Lim. He apparently thought we had waited a long time and went personally to the kitchen area to pick up a pot for us. By the manner he walked around ordering the workers, he appeared to be the boss man. But he did looked a bit too young.
It was a big pot and searingly hot. In it was a generous portion of chicken. We ordered a pot with salted fish and the aroma of it was distinct and marvellous. There were also plenty of lap cheong (腊肠 Chinese sausage). The rice was fluffy and not sticky. I saw the chef guy preparing the rice. He threw in a lot of lard into the pot. I think that contributed immensely to the flavour. There were sprinklings of spring onions and minced garlic on the surface. When mixed, it was really a very delicious pot of chicken rice.
The big pot served nearly 4 plates. More than enough for the both of us. I relished it thoroughly. I particularly enjoyed the crusty rice at the bottom of the pot. The half burnt rice was so very aromatic and crispy.
Ah Lim gave me his card. He asked me to call in advance on our next visit to avoid waiting. But we did not. The service was really quite prompt. We got our food very timely and there was no cause for complaint at all, in spite the crowd. All in all, it was a good meal. Definitely worth the drive all the way to Puchong.