Our pursuit for culinary discoveries led us to the small town of Melaka. Our travel guides and various websites kept mentioning one thing: Melaka's specialty, the famous chicken rice balls. Chicken rice balls, chicken rice balls, chicken rice balls. CURIOSITY PIQUED. On the town’s main streets, there would be massive lineups in front of restaurants, and sure enough, right at the head of the line, there would be a big white sign with CHICKEN RICE BALLS written in sharpie. What on Earth were these chicken rice balls and how do I get them in my stomach now?
What do you picture when you hear chicken rice balls? For some reason, I was imagining some sort of delicious chicken fried rice mix shaped together in a ball and fried so you have a crispy exterior and soft interior. Something like that. Sounds good, right?
Can you feel the story heading in another direction?
AM I FORESHADOWING MY DISAPPOINTMENT WELL ENOUGH?
We arrive at the restaurant. By the way, I hope you're enjoying these irrelevant filler photos that I took during our time there—they're really just added here for suspense until we get to the end of the chicken rice ball story.
So we’re at the restaurant. We’re not even that hungry to be honest. We just want to try these freakin chicken rice balls before we leave this town. The menu doesn’t have photos, so I take a gamble and I ask for… “EIGHT BALLS PLEASE!” Waitress says “That’s all?”, and I’m like “Yep!”. She points at some chicken and asks us if I want some chicken on the side. I’m like “yo stop trynna upsell me just bring me dem balls (paraphrasing)”.
Soon after, a plate arrives, and on it are 8 balls of rice. THAT’S IT. Just 8 ol’ balls o’ rice. Chicken rice balls weren’t BALLS of CHICKEN & RICE. They were BALLS of JUST RICE, and you could order CHICKEN on the side. WHAT? That’s like ordering a pepperoni and cheese pizza and receiving a cheese pizza with pepperoni on a side plate.