Friday, August 02, 2013

Economy rice

I miss this terribly!!!

Economy rice, also known as mixed rice or chap fan (什饭) is commonly found throughout Malaysia in food courts, hawker centres, street vendors and local kopitiams. Depending on each proprietor, there could be anywhere from 10 dishes to 20 dishes available to customers each day who customise their combination of dishes with a portion of rice or porridge. Customers are charged according to the type and amount of dishes selected.

The food is presented in open troughs kept warm by warm water or electrical heater below. Typically, the proprietor would also sell chicken rice on his premises and in such cases, customers could opt to have their portion of rice swapped for the oil rice normally served for chicken rice. Also, customers are free to take complementary soup.

Economy rice is one of the quickest, most convenient and most economical options for a meal, hence its name. It is also a 'home-cooked meal outside of home', if that makes sense. At many places, economy rice stalls are frequented daily by the local population, forming friendship bonds after a while.

I really miss the stall at Taman U, where I grew up. Their lemon chicken, curry chicken, braised pork belly, as well as sour and spicy pork ribs are amazing. I also remember one really efficiently-managed one in Desa Petaling, where I almost always chose their brinjal and potato. Another stall is situated near our childcare centre, where Dad sings high praises for their yong taufu dishes. Further away in SS2 is a vegetarian economy rice restaurant, which I visited every weekend during my high school and college years.

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