Penang Old Wong Chicken Rice

Special thanks to Penang Old Wong Chicken Rice for extending this food review invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Today's visit to Butterworth brings me to Penang Old Wong Chicken Rice (槟城老黄滑鸡饭) in front of Taman Mesra Permai. This air-conditioned restaurant occupies two units at the end of a new row of shops.
Penang Old Wong Chicken Rice opened in July 2016. Its signature dish, Hainanese Steamed Chicken, follows a recipe inherited from the proprietor's father. The patriarch used to operate a hawker stall many years ago.
Hainanese Steamed Chicken (白滑鸡) is available in different sizes, ranging from RM4.50 for individual portion to RM36.00 for the whole chicken. Shown here is half chicken for RM19.00. The soft chicken skin provides interesting mouthfeel. Steamed chicken is often eaten with Bean Sprouts (芽菜, RM4.50), which needs to be ordered separately.
The next dish is half-bird portion of Roasted Chicken (特色烧鸡). Unlike its steamed counterpart, the roasted version carries interesting texture especially on its skin. As the flesh is not as juicy as the previous dish, it requires heavier seasoning from soy sauce. Between the steamed and roasted versions, it is just a matter of individual preference on which is the better one.
Barbecued Pork (回味叉烧, RM6.80) is reasonably tender and carries pleasant sweetness. I find the pork very delectable.
Roasted Pork (回味烧肉, RM8.80) is scrumptious too, thanks to the crispy skin and tender flesh underneath.
Another signature item of this restaurant is Plum Sauce Pork (梅子酱炸香肉, RM6.80), which is made from deep-fried pork chop. Glazed with sweet-tangy plum sauce, this dish is great in drawing appetite.
Mixed Soup (老火菜尾汤, RM3.80) is traditionally made from leftover meats and vegetables, using heavy seasoning to suppress blandness of stale food. Nowadays, this dish has evolved as a delicacy in its own right. I like the combination of sour and pungent flavors of the soup. Also available are Boiled Chicken Feet (卤味凤爪, RM5.80), which are stewed in savory gravy made from soy sauce and oyster sauce.
Chicken rice is usually paired with a watery type of chili sauce. Besides being spicy, the sauce also presents moderate degree of citrus-like sourness. Of course, Chicken Rice (香油饭, RM1.80) is also an integral aspect of a chicken rice restaurant. The oily rice is infused with ginger and lemongrass for lovely fragrance.
Other condiments that are often associated to chicken rice are ginger sauce, sambal (ground chili paste) and thick soy sauce.
Just recently, the restaurant also introduced an assortment of 10 claypot dishes (十全煲). Each of these dishes is cooked in an individual claypot, which helps to impart aromatic toastiness. The dishes can be ordered in portions as affordable as RM3.80 each, allowing customers to order several claypots for a complete meal. Regular-sized servings (for 3 or 4 persons) are also available, ranging from RM7.00 to RM15.00 per claypot.
One of my favorite claypot options is Salty Cream Sauce With Crispy Pork Claypot (咸香奶油炸香肉煲, RM5.80). I like the balanced, creamy taste of the buttery sauce. Curry leaves serve to improve aroma. This dish should be eaten while it is warm, otherwise the gravy thickens and the pork becomes too dry.
Salted Fish With Pork Belly Claypot (咸鱼花腩煲, RM5.80) is cooked in thick, savory gravy. Dried chili peppers and garlic chives are included to enhance flavor.
Curry Pork Claypot (咖喱五花肉煲, RM4.80) releases lovely aroma as soon as it arrives the dining table. Its fiery flavor should strike a chord with people who enjoy spiciness. The only downside is that the curry is too oily.
Kam Heong Pork Claypot (甘香五花肉煲, RM4.80) uses local Chinese stir-frying style which is known for its distinctive aroma. Incorporating ingredients like curry leaves, bird's eye chili (cili padi) and dried shrimps, the pork belly pieces are scrumptious indeed.
Spicy Roast Pork Claypot (香辣烧肉煲, RM7.80) is not as spicy as I expected, but I think the dish is still reasonably well-cooked. Besides roasted pork, the claypot also contains okra (ladies' fingers), onion and garlic chives.
Kung Bao Chicken Claypot (宫保香鸡煲, RM4.80) uses sweet-savory gravy with mild spiciness of dried chili peppers and peppercorn. Diced chicken is also flavored with onion and garlic chives.
One of my personal favorites is Crispy Fried Chicken Marmite Claypot (香脆妈蜜鸡煲, RM4.80). The sauce is based on Marmite, a British brand of savory paste made from yeast extract. Besides honey-like sweetness, pieces of chicken are also peppered with sesame seeds. Again, this dish should be consumed while it is still warm before the gravy emulsifies.
For something not as meat-centric, Stir Fry Tofu Claypot (酱爆豆腐煲, RM3.80) is a sound choice. The thick gravy also contains ground meat, egg, carrots and garlic chives.
Moving on, Golden Egg Foo Young Claypot (金黄芙蓉蛋煲, RM3.80) is stuffed with Chinese sausage (腊肠), onion, carrot and scallion. I find this egg dish quite delectable. Finally, Sautéed Stewed Vegetables Claypot (清炒菜胆煲, RM3.80) uses milder flavor to act as counterbalance to other meat-heavy dishes.
For drinks, Old Wong White Coffee (老黄香浓白咖啡, RM3.80) and Old Wong Mixed Milk Tea (老黄鸳鸯奶茶, RM3.80) are popular choices.
If caffeine does not appeal to you, there are also juices such as Yakult Apple (苹果+乳酸菌, RM6.80) and Yakult Orange (鲜橙+乳酸菌, RM6.80). The drink is quite sweet; I think this is due to sugar content in cultured milk.
Meanwhile for Apple Lemongrass (青苹果+香茅, RM5.80), refreshing aftertaste is attributed to the presence of lemongrass. As for Soya Bean (香浓豆奶, RM3.50), its pulpy consistency is a nice change compared to "smooth-flowing" ones that are more commonly encountered in other restaurants.
On weekdays, Penang Old Wong Chicken Rice offers 4-item set meal at an affordable price of RM8.80. The meal includes a choice of meat, rice, soup and drink. There are also special discounts for students and senior citizens. This is great because Chung Ling Butterworth High School is located just around the corner.
Name: Penang Old Wong Chicken Rice (槟城老黄滑鸡饭)
Address: 2A, Lorong Mesra Permai 4, Taman Mesra Permai, 13400 Butterworth, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 019-421-3331
Business hours: 11:00am-10:00pm, closed on Mondays
Coordinates: 5.43051 N, 100.39320 E
Directions: Penang Old Wong Chicken Rice is located in Taman Mesra Permai, Butterworth. The restaurant is adjacent to Tiffin Cottage and faces Jalan Ong Yi How. Street parking is available in front of the restaurant.

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