4 Tastiest Salt Baked Chicken 盐焗鸡 Yim Kook Kai in Ipoh
Visitors often stop and buy home the famous Ayam Garam at one of the 4 Tastiest Salt Baked Chicken 盐焗鸡 Yim Kook Kai in Ipoh.
Ipoh’s famous salt-baked chicken is a brand sought after by visitors after they had their fill of ‘Tauge Ayam’ of “Nga Choi Kai” and “Tau foo fah” a delicate Chinese soya bean dessert.
First-timers to Ipoh will be curious to try this chicken dish and want to taste it but they can’t as the shops only produce the salt baked chicken for takeaways.
Some are openly curious and think the chickens are salty like salted fish.
The Cooking Process
The name, salt baked chicken, is derived from the cooking process. The preparation process is basic. First marinate the chicken with Chinese herbs. Then wrap the Chicken in paper packets and baked these with rock salt.
- Chinese Rice Wine
- Tang Kuei or Chinese Angelica
If you prefer organic kampung chickens, you need to request at the shops when you purchase.
Normally there aren’t any chili sauces to go with the birds.
Not all the Ayam Garam is so prominently displayed.
I’ve visited the top shops in Ipoh for the best salted chicken but don’t have all the photos as sometimes, it’s just too delicious to eat and we just forget to take a shot.
What’s in the box?
All the chickens are cooked in a fetal position. Some chickens are plumper than others, but generally, most of the birds are about 1 to 1.2kg each.
What’s the taste of Salt Baked Chicken?
Due to the cooking process, the white meat is normally a little dry and the dark meat is tender. Taste wise, the birds are salty overall and full of the fragrance of Chinese herbs.
How to Eat Salt Baked Chicken?
You can’t eat the chicken on its own, as it may be a tad salty for delicate palates.
Generally, I like to take it with some plain rice porridge or congee salted eggs and pickled vegetables work best to balance the taste.
Or you can have it as a dish with rice and stir-fried veggies at home.
How to up the heat up the Salt-Baked Chicken?
You can steam the chicken in its envelope or if you prefer, take the bird out and pour over a bottle of Brands’ chicken essence and for relish and color some chopped carrots and some wolfberries.
I discover the chickens flavourful and satisfying enough to have it on its own, without having to add on other ingredients.
But if you like, why not?
You’re the boss of your Ayam Garam!
What to do with leftover Salt Baked Chicken?
I find that the bones create a distinctive stock for soups, porridge, even casseroles, and gravy.
The bits of leftover flesh, a great filling for a Chinese herb-infused chicken sandwich.
Where to buy Salt Baked Chicken?
A quick check with Google Maps will generate some cool results as the shops are identified clearly.
If you’re in the heart of Ipoh, just a few turns and you’ll arrive at the shop with the shortest queues. All depending on the time you reach of course.
Don’t worry, the bird is ready cooked and you purchase a chilled bird to take home.
You can’t miss the Ayam Garam Outlets!
Three of the top Yim Kook Kai is within a stone’s throw from each other; they are situated at Jalan Theatre.
It’s so handy to just swing the car around, run to the shop, place your order and head back to the car with your previous purchases.
Don’t worry upon reaching the counter, you’ll find a multitude of chicken ready packed in boxes, all lined up and ready to go.
So here’s the list of the outlets I’ve tested.
Ayam Garam Sin Tat Seng
This brand has two shops. The older shop simply called Tat Seng and the newer shop is across from Funny Mountain’s soya products, called Ayam Garam Sin Tat Seng.
The salted whole chicken from Tat Seng is wrapped in a yellow or brown and white box sold at RM19. Other items of interest include boneless roast duck (RM32), the smoked duck (RM38), and an assortment of pork dishes.
Ayam Garam Sin Tat Seng
48, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakry, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh
Happy Delicious Salted Chicken
Happy Delicious Salted Chicken started from a stall in the Kafe Zun Seng Fatt on Jalan Bandar Timah. The new outlet is painted a bright red on Jalan Theatre.
The difference is in taste.
- The Eight Treasures Salt Baked Chicken (RM22)
- Regular Salt Baked Chicken (RM19)
- Smoked Duck (half, RM19; whole, RM37)
- Chicken Drumstick (RM7)
- Duck Drumsticks (RM8)
The birds are stronger in taste and salted to the core with the ‘eight treasures’ herbal taste securely contained within the cavity.
The breast portion may taste a little dry. The herbal taste is strong and unbeatable.
Happy Delicious Salted Chicken (福禄寿盐焗鸡)
54, Jalan Theatre, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh
Business Hours: Daily 9.30 am – 9.30 pm
Ayam Garam See Heong
This lesser-known salt baked chicken in Ipoh holds its own against with the big brands and sells a variety of food gifts to bring home apart from their salted baked chicken produced in three ways; normal salted chicken (RM19), vacuum packed (RM19), and a special full moon package (RM22).
Ayam Garam See Heong
51, Jalan Theatre, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh
Business Hours: Daily 10 am – 6.30 pm
The most famous Salt Baked Chicken 盐焗鸡 Yim Kook Kai in Ipoh
Aun Kheng Lim is the most famous salt baked chicken shop in Ipoh.
Loyal customers swear that it’s the best. The salt-baked chicken shop opened for business in 1987.
The shop which is painted bright red with white accents stands at the corner of the Jalan Theatre. It is almost impossible to miss it.
Aun Kheng Lim’s kampung chicken or free-range chicken is stuffed with herbs like female ginseng and Goji berries.
Baked wrapped in a parchment paper parcel under a mound of rock salt, the chicken’s meat is juicy and practically falls off the bone.
The Taste of Aun Kheng Lim Salted Chicken
The overnight leftover chicken bones, with flavors, infused heavily with salt and herbs, make a great stock. I like to make chicken porridge with the leftovers.
Each box costs RM19. You can purchase a vacuum-packed version for freezing.
The best way to enjoy is to pull the meltingly tender flesh straight off the bone with the delicious clear juice dripping!
Aun Kheng Lim Salted Chicken 宴琼林盐焗鸡
24, Jalan Theatre, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh
Business Hours: Daily 9 am – 6.30 pm