MOW

My Vietnamese friend’s Malaysian friend and the Malaysian friend’s Singaporean friends all agree that Malaysian Oriental Wok serves one of the best Hainanese chicken rice in town.

At this strictly no-frills joint, for $9.80 you get a pink plastic plate of rice topped with soy-drizzled chicken, a sprinkle of spring onion, a small dish of spicy sambal and a bowl of chicken broth, namely all that jolly fat from the chicken boiled up into a soup.

This version is missing a few of the usual accompaniments – the chicken should normally be a white-cut chicken with the soy sauce, ginger/spring onion sauce and the sambal on the side. It also usually comes with greens. However, I’m told that most places in Melbourne don’t serve their chicken this way so Malaysian Oriental Wok doesn’t lose any points for lack of authenticity. Better still, Hainanese chicken can sometimes leave you with a rim of oil around your mouth, but Malaysian Oriental Wok’s version is fragrant without being greasy.