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That's the cuisine I miss the most outside of Msia! One can get Canto or Taiwan or Shanghai/ Hunan cuisine at most major cites but not Hainan. Way back in Penang was Lok Thye Kee on Penang Rd that was the place for our family to go for special occasions. Unfortunately, the restaurant is gone, only the bldg is there and in shambles. Next trip back to KL I am gonna try Yut Kee! Thanks for a very nostalgic (and appetising) post!


This is a wonderful post. I didn't want to stop reading. The food looks delicious.


bookmarking this post to read and was remembering our discussion on your fb page...I associated Kaya and chicken rice with Singapore till I was introduced to ipoh chicken rice at KL and now read about Kaya in your post


What a beautiful post. Good read, I have always been fascinated by the charm Yut Kee holds on the locals and tourists alike. How the ethereal charm never ceases amidst the development and commercialization of kopitiams.


One of my favorite post ever on your blog (that is saying a lot). Hainan chicken rice is a great one dish meal.


Chicken rice and kaya toast - two of our favorite memories from our travels in Southeast Asia. What a beautiful story.


Brilliant post! I was eating Hainan Chicken Rice 2 days ago with my Malaysian mother-in-law and asked her why what I have always known as a Malaysian dish was called 'hainanese'. She didn't really have an answer, but thanks to your article, I now know the roots of hainanese cuisine!

Adrian Suan

Good write up! Keep it up!
Malaysia is also have a secret to share to
The world'Nyonya Cuisine'
Love reading on your Hainanese cuisine!

Nate @ House of Annie

What a great article. Although I don't understand the creation of the chicken chop. Since the place is not halal anyway, why did they use chicken instead of pork? Price considerations?

That last pic of the blue fog with the red flowers is a work of art!


Hi Nate -- thanks for the kind words. We loved researching and writing this piece.
As for the chix chop, let's remember that Yut Kee was founded in a time and a place where Malays and Chinese often ate together at the same table whether or not pork was served. So all could enjoy a chop if chix chops were served. Yut Kee had many Malay customers (so Uncle Jack tells us) ... even today you'll occasionally see an older Malay gentleman or two tucking in at the coffee shop while Chinese at his table or close by enjoy their roti babi.
Of course, those are Selangor Malays of a bygone era. Malaysia -- or Selangor at least -- is a different place today.


Excellent, excellent post. Thanks for the recipes too!

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