[Penang, Malaysia] Ipoh-style Chicken with Beansprouts from 𝗢𝗻𝗻 𝗞𝗲𝗲, Acheen Street

Onn Kee (founded in 1969 by Mdm Leet Hoo) is one of Ipoh’s leading purveyors of “nga choy kai” (literally, “beansprouts chicken”), a combo of poached chicken, chicken-flavoured rice (the uncooked rice grains are fried in chicken grease before being cooked in chicken stock with ginger, scallions and pandan leaves) and crunchy, slightly blanched beansprouts dressed in chicken fat, good quality soysauce and garlic oil. “Hor fun” flat rice noodles are also usually served with the chicken and beansprouts, in place of the chicken rice.

Today, 50 years later, Onn Kee is still one of Ipoh’s top “nga choy kai” spots, alongside its 2 stiff rivals Lou Wong and Cowan Street. The business is now run by 82-year-old Mdm Leet Hoo’s 3 children: Cheng Sau Wan, Cheng Sau On and Cheng Sow Keong. There are two branches in Ipoh, one in Bukit Mertajam which opened in 2015, and the latest one on Acheen Street in George Town’s historic quarter

We gave the new Acheen Street branch a try last week. What we had:

  1. Poached chicken - the chicken, organic ones from Buntong district in Ipoh, are tasty and with a toothsome texture. The soy dressing was perfect. The chicken is dusted with pepper and garnished with fresh coriander leaves before serving.

  2. Blanched beansprouts - Ipoh’s beansprouts are reputedly the best in Malaysia, many attributing it to the mineral-rich soil and water in Ipoh, although I felt it’s more to do with the local variety of beansprouts planted, and the careful, constant watering of the sprouts by the local farmers there. Bathed in soysauce and garlic oil, the dish is given a generous dash of pepper, and topped with chopped scallions before serving.

  3. Pork meatball soup - these are springy, bouncy pork meatballs, served in a light pork-chicken broth.

  4. Chicken livers - for me, a chicken rice meal is never complete without chicken livers (some people also liked the gizzards).

  5. Chicken rice - the rendition here is one of the best one can get in Penang, as Onn Kee ensures its dishes are cooked to the same exacting standards as the ones in Ipoh. Penang’s standard of chicken rice has always been way behind those of Ipoh, Malacca and KL in Malaysia.

For drinks, don’t miss the famous Ipoh white coffee, famed for their deep, mellow flavours and aroma:

This is definitely the best place to have an Ipoh classic without having to go all the way to Ipoh.

Onn Kee
91 Lebuh Acheh (Acheen Street), 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +604 251 9717
Opening hours: 11.30am to 9.30pm daily.


Fantastic ! Poached chicken Is a mainstay in our eating rotation. When cooked correctly, it is moist juicy and redolent of chicken flavor. Often, I don’t embellish the pieces with any accompanying sauces.

Last dinner in HK tonight. I think Poached Chicken is a definite. Thanks for all your great reports, you’ve introduced so many foods and places. Looking forward to experiencing some in the near future.

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I love going to HK for its food. On the other hand, I dread being in HK because I always overeat when I’m there, and felt stuffed almost the whole time. :grin:

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Dang. Our flight back to SFO today got delayed for tech issues. Rather than wishing and praying UA will adhere to new departure, extended return to Monday.

Man, what we gonna do in Hong Kong over the weekend??? :wink:


Airline will pay for the remaining trip?
I guess you ate too many Chinese meals, why not this!

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UA “paying” for the rebooking fee. :wink:

Moving back to Kowloon side and lodging in TST East for the duration. The extension will make this HK leg a full two weeks. I dread facing my bathroom scale next week. Fortunately, my scale can’t laugh.

Yay, more time to explore HK’s exciting food scene then.
Or a day-trip to Macau? Loads of good eats there as well:

Thanks to @naf and yourself for the excellent suggestions.

Just a couple of nights ago, my wife and I were lamenting about having to go home and wishing for more time here. A higher power must have taken note and intervened on our behalf. This Japan and HK trip has been so enjoyable that we just want to stay and keep eating.

I’m absolutely green with envy. :grin:
Well, do have a great weekend ahead!!

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Tofu Fa tasting in Lantau Island, I hear its a thing…,

I would love to be ‘stranded’ in HK :laughing:

Keep meaning to hit Lantau Island. Still have my Lantau :cherries:. Planned to go to Cheung Chau Island last Thursday, but decided to just roam on HK instead.

LOVE Dau Fa. Especially especially fresh made. Like eating heavenly clouds.

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The chicken looks amazing! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the report @klyeoh

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