Melaka Chicken Rice Balls

chop chung wah

Melaka is famous for chicken rice balls. It’s practically an institution over there, with shops dedicated to the golf sized morsels of delight every few meters (or so it seems). There are a lot of established chicken rice ball shops in Melaka, with each person having their favorite. Jennifer brought us to Chop Chung Wah at Jalan Hang Jebat, off Jonker Street.

melaka chicken rice ball

This place is arguably one of the best chicken rice ball shops in Melaka. The line snaking out of the shop is a testament to the popularity of the chicken rice balls. People actually wait under the hot Melaka sun just to eat the chicken rice balls here. Don’t play play, got queue one this place.

chopping chicken

The interior of Chop Chung Wah is basic, with seating arrangements that harks back to the 60’s. Think marble tables and stools. It only registered to me while writing this that I could very well have fallen off the stool coz I usually sit on chairs. There are articles from newspapers adorning the walls and an interesting anecdote here is that the place got on The Star in 2006…and Jenn was part of the entourage who went for that food review.

rolling rice balls

The chicken rice balls is hand rolled by an old lady, conveniently stacked five (5) to a plate in an endless stream to cater to the never-ending march of customers filing into the coffee shop. I’m amazed that they can cope with such demand at all – every single table is full, with people queuing up outside waiting to get in. It’s an exercise in efficiency, I tell you.

chilli sauce

The chicken chopping is done by the son of the owner (who can be rather grumpy sometimes ;)). The family operating this place is Hainanese, and word is, the son is so busy with this chicken rice ball shop that his wife was literally shipped in from Hainan, China to help with the business. It’s a true Hainanese place, they take the phrase “keeping it within the family” to new heights.

chicken rice ball

The chicken in Chop Chung Wah only comes in one variant – steamed chicken. It’s very authentic Hainanese chicken indeed. I found the meat juicy and tender, and you can even see the essence of chicken forming a bed for the steamed chicken. The key ingredient in chicken rice is the chilli, as most would tell you, and this place dishes up really good chilli sauce.


The chicken rice balls are actually flavored with chicken stock and have a slight glutinous texture to it. It goes down really well, and we ordered another plate coz five rice balls each is just not enough. Apparently, five rice balls is equivalent with a regular plate of chicken rice. It tastes delectable dipped in chilli sauce!

It’s definitely a must try if you haven’t eaten chicken rice balls in Melaka before. Just look for the awe-inspiring queue to find the place. πŸ™‚

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51 thoughts on “Melaka Chicken Rice Balls”

  1. The chicken rice balls was awful. Does no justice to the lovely juicy tender chicken.
    I asked for loose rice but the shop didn’t have any. Couldn’t believe they go through the trouble of making the balls but have no chicken rice. How odd!

  2. kaiyee: Me too! I damn hungry now, haven’t eaten since LUNCH. πŸ™
    lucylee: Eh? I love chicken rice balls. It’s awesome for a non-Malaccan like me. Loose rice is everywhere so chicken rice balls hits the spot right there for me. πŸ™‚
    Jason: Yeah, I know what you mean. I ate about 8-9 balls and I still wasn’t full. I didn’t want to eat till I was stuffed coz we still had a lot of things to eat. Had the famous crispy pork popiah after this.
    5 balls != one plate of rice, me thinks. I can easily eat way more than that too.

  3. I thought the place was quite overrated. The rice was good – apparently the right way to eat it is to dip in the chili sauce ;p . But the chicken didn’t complement the rice. hehe

  4. This is the place i’ve always visited. Went Malacca for a video shoot on the last weekend of school holiday – it was so packed & the queue was so long!
    Needless to say, we gave up – it’s a working trip afterall… πŸ™

  5. chefmel: It’s not overrated for someone like me from Sarawak. πŸ˜‰
    I dip the chicken rice balls in chilli sauce too, it’s awesome. I do like the chicken, very tender and juicy. Eh, talking about this for a while dy. I go to your place visit ya? πŸ™‚
    crappy booze: Yeah, the queue is quite formidable. It requires a lot of patience and good company to get through it. πŸ˜‰
    A lot of kiasu Singaporeans were there, must not lose to them. Hehe! πŸ™‚

  6. we were supposed to go to THAT shop but the line was soo freaking long!! till the bridge!!! we couldn’t tahan the hot sun (as u know how hot it is) and in the end, we ended up in Famosa chic rice balls instead….
    pics in my fb, check it out if u want πŸ˜‰

  7. HB, you know so much of this dish Chicken Rice Ball. Did you had it in Sibu as a kid too? I heard of it but never saw it and glad you took picture how it looked like. There no where in San Francisco restaurants have this dish.
    I will try to find a recipe to make it at home.

  8. I am Hainanese, that is how we ate chicken rice back home. My grandma used to teach me how to make the rice balls when I was small. The chili sauce is the best part. Have to thanks my mom taught me how to made that (she is a Hainanese too!!)
    If I am not lazy, I normally make chicken rice balls too when I cook chicken rice. This is my fav dish and I can eat this everyday πŸ™‚

  9. It’s such a torture to be reading this post. Yet the masochistic side of me insisted on reading and scanning all the images over and over again.
    *Stares intently at chicken rice balls images and die*

  10. shim: Farmosa chicken rice balls has some mad SEO skillz. I heard it’s a bit too commercialized though, we went for the established old places. πŸ™‚
    Thanks! I shall check it out. πŸ™‚
    ShaolinTiger: Yeah, this and one other one (forgot the name) are the two famous ones in Melaka. There’s also one in Jonker Street proper, but it’s not as good. There was a chicken rice ball eating competition though.
    I should have joined. πŸ˜‰
    Erica: Nope, it’s a Melaka specialty. There are no chicken rice balls in Sibu. πŸ™‚
    The anecdotes here all all from Jenn and her dad, who lives in Melaka, and thus is privy to the ongoings there. πŸ˜‰
    Kun: Yup, they have great chicken rice balls. πŸ™‚
    Foo: Back home in Hainan (China) or your hometown in Malaysia?
    How do you make chicken rice balls?
    I’m rather curious. Like rolling sushi?
    It would be fun to try and make some. πŸ™‚
    SW: Haha! Well, there’s chicken rice balls in Aman Suria too (heard from ST) if you like the stuff. πŸ™‚

  11. Hoe Kee down the road is another place to go for chicken rice balls, while both are equally as tasty, Hoe Kee has the cooler and cleaner dining area, it’s the shitniz yo!

  12. Hm. Might head over to Aman Suria one day. But,nothing beats eating Chicken Rice Balls in Malacca..esp Chung Wah’s..and the pork satay. Pork SATAY!! (omg. I should stop thinking about Malacca)

  13. Don’t attempt to move their table for jointing purpose. I was scolded by them once and there is actually a sign informing so on the wall. Powerful ler …

  14. This is the original chicken rice balls shop that has existed for umpteen of years! It’s still the best and that’s why it always has the longest line haha. Can’t beat originality yo!

  15. KY: Okay, will check that out the next time I’m in Melaka! πŸ™‚
    SW: Yup, I ate the pork satay too! Satay celup as well, will post it up tonight. πŸ™‚
    Ung Ing: Haha! I didn’t see that sign. The guy quite grumpy one right? πŸ˜‰
    David: Interesting! This is the first chicken rice ball shop in Melaka?
    Aish: Yeah, I saw. πŸ™‚
    sweatlee: Eh, you too! A lot of people were in Melaka over the weekend it seems. πŸ™‚

  16. GOSH so reminiscent of that Melaka trip I had years ago. I’ve been to that very shop once and I’ll forever remember the rice ballllllls!! πŸ˜€

  17. Implosion: I accept your dare. I shall film myself doing it next time I’m in Melaka. πŸ™‚
    foodcrazee: Asam fish? Does it taste good with chicken rice balls? Gotta try that out next time now that you’ve mentioned it. πŸ™‚
    cindy khor: Yup, it’ll be fun. I want to go again coz we didn’t have time to go on Eye on Malaysia. Heh! πŸ™‚
    zpin: Yup, chicken rice balls is the best thing since sliced bread. πŸ˜‰

  18. LOL HB, I went to the same shop for the rice balls. Was travelling around west Malaysia with my uni friends, and visiting their hometowns. I didn’t realise it was rice ball so when my friend said “30 Lap Fan”, I looked at her as though she was insane, until the rice came. She did not tell me anything before that because wanted to see my reaction. LOL So many years ago, forgot the taste already. πŸ˜›

  19. Chicken rice balls.. This is the very 1st time i get to know… I already get bored to eat chicken but when seeing the photo, suddenly I felt hungry.. Strange huh? ;p

  20. Back home = Johor, Malaysia.
    Actually, it is very easy to make the chicken rice balls. No, is not rolling like a sushi. Both hands will need to be able to take a lot of the heat from the hot rice.
    Next time, when I make chicken rice again, will have my friends help me to take the video and will send you the video.

  21. fish fish: Heh! I can probably eat a lot of chicken rice balls too. Had 7-8 and it wasn’t filling (coz wanted to save space for other Melaka food).
    I’m planning to do West Malaysia too since my car is here now. πŸ™‚
    Shirley Snow: It’s a Melaka thing, chicken rice balls. There’s actually a story behind it, but the historical accurary is doubtful. πŸ™‚
    dez: Batu Berendam eh? It was quite close to our hotel, next time I go there I’ll check it out. πŸ™‚
    pm: It’s coz I’ve answered you a lot of times before dude, and you always ask the same things. Wait, you’re gonna ask me about glass in my eye again. πŸ˜‰
    Foo: Cheers! I’ll love to see how it’s done. πŸ™‚

  22. Shirley Snow: The story of the chicken rice balls – there’s two versions, one more plausible than the other. One involves Hoe Kee (the chicken rice ball shop) and how he was imprisoned and the other was just about chicken rice balls being convenient – it keep warm longer and it’s easier for people to eat while working at the docks. πŸ™‚

  23. I do agree! This place offer the best chicken rice balls and trust me, I tried other eating places and it’s nothing compared to the one offered at this shop. And their chili is marvelous! I wonder whether they sell it separately…

  24. ibi2108: Yeah, this is the best chicken rice ball I’ve had too! Awesome stuff indeed. πŸ™‚
    The line can be VERY long though.


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