According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department, most part of Malaysia will be experiencing rainy days for the next three months due to the El-Nino phenomenon. So on a cold rainy night what would you wish to eat? Something piping hot I reckon, something like a hot claypot of delicious chicken rice to be exact.
I first discovered this non-descript looking restaurant way back in the late 90s, when a friend brought me here. At that time, Taman Connaught was considered pretty far from Kuala Lumpur proper as Cheras wasn’t exactly fully development yet. I still remember how I thought the name, Restoran Gafan (literally means “Add Rice” in Cantonese dialect), is a bit unimaginative and was wondering why were we travelling so far just for claypot chicken rice when we can get the best nearby our places in Pudu.
Just take a look at their menu and you can guess what’s the fuss about this place. There are a grand total of ten different types of claypot chicken rice to choose from, ranging from the original soy sauce chicken to unconventional ones like beef and mutton versions. That’s why is best if you can visit this place with a group of friends so that you can try as many types as possible. Here there are only two sizes, either small (RM7.00-RM10.00) or large (RM13.00-RM19.00). I know some of you might be thinking about the similarity with the Restoran Busy Corner in Damansara Utama. They are almost the same. Apparently, it was opened by the same owner as Restoran Gafan but was sold to another party a few years back.
As I am a big fan of anything tomyam, I ordered a small pot of Thai-style Chicken Rice. Giving this thumbs up as I love how the tomyam flavour compliments so well with the rice and the chicken. If only they made it more spicy than sourish. But any Thai-food fans should try this nevertheless.
The Drunken Chicken (Juei Gai) Rice is one hard to find food, if there’s any elsewhere. It is still a soy-sauce-based rice, but the chicken is not. Instead of soy sauce, the chicken is marinated and cooked with cooking wine. Not sure how true it is, but the waitress told me they only use premium cooking wine imported from Japan. But one thing that I can be sure of, is this one tasted absolutely wonferful. The chicken is just so tender and you can’t resist the fragrance of the cooking wine. This is one rare exception when I don’t mind to be drunk!
While I am not a fan of Nam Yue (red fermented beacurd) at all, unfortunately my mum is. So I reluctantly allowed her to order the Bean Curd Sauce Chicken Rice instead of the recommended Claypot Mutton Rice, as both my parents not really keen on mutton. Any Nam Yue fans might want to try this, as my mum seemed to enjoy it a lot.
Besides all those assortments of claypot rice, they also serve various
types of boiled soup such as the Lotus Root, Old Cucumber and Water
Crest Soup (all priced at RM4.00 a bowl). And of course, many types of
vegetables are available too, although me and my parents were simply
too full to order anything else besides those 3 pots of rice.
I will come back to try their other types of claypot rice, especially the mutton and the beef ones. The claypot rice here definitely is better than average, although I won’t say they are as good as the old school ones in Pudu. But when it comes to variety, I think Restoran Gafan pretty much wins hands down. The only thing that might sets it back would be its considerably premium prices for its mutton, beef, prawn and fish claypot rice, and the terrible jam on Wednesday night (when the famous Connaught‘s pasar malam is held weekly) and Friday night.
But hey, we Malaysians will cross seas and mountains for the sake of good food right? You might just find ’em here at Restoran Gafan. Add rice anyone?
Restoran Gafan (Cheras)
Address: 40, Jalan Cerdas,
Taman Connaught, Cheras,
56100 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 03-9101 4024