Monday, June 13, 2011

Singapore: Hainanese Chicken Rice

The truth is: There is good chicken rice and there is bad chicken rice.

Hainanese chicken rice can be considered the national dish of Singapore. You see it at every corner of Singapore, hawker centres, school canteens, high class restaurants, and even on Singapore Airlines. That's how much Singaporeans love our chicken rice.

There are a few components to chicken rice that will make or break the dish. There is the chicken (duh), the rice, the sauces & condiments, and maybe, the soup.

The chicken tends to be dry at many stalls. Therefore, I define a good chicken by how succulent it is. Its skin also tends to be moist (that means fats by the way). The rice is mixed with the chicken broth and garlic. The chili sauce is spicy and with garlic too! Don't look down on a simple thing like chilli sauce, it will make or break your eating experience!

If you are looking for something extra special, you can go for chicken rice balls instead. These rice balls are more commonly found in Malaysia, although there are a few stores in Singapore that sell chicken rice balls. I tried one that day, and I still prefer normal chicken rice. The chicken rice balls were too gooey for my liking. Plus the aunties at the stall were so snappy, I could have choked on chicken bones.

Good Year Local Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball
Blk 111 Lorong 1, Toa Payoh, #01-366
Chang Cheng Mee Wah Restaurant, Singapore

Here are two recipes that look exceptionally enticing. But honestly, there are such things called premixes. Just grab yourself a decent brand of chicken rice premix, and you're off to getting very fragrant rice!

I have tried many chicken rice stalls (obviously, since I stay in Singapore). And the best of the best include:

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Stall No.10 Maxwell Food Centre
Singapore 069184

Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice
865 Mountbatten Road, #B1-85/87,
Stall 3 Katong Shopping Centre

Boon Tong Kee (Katong)
199 East Coast Road
(Opp Holy Family Church)


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