Thursday, June 28, 2007
What if I told you the Hainanese chicken rice you've been eating all along, isn't really Hainanese at all?
What if I told you that real "Hainanese chicken rice" isn't that nice at all but rather, lacks the robust flavour you have grown accustomed to?
Don't go throwing chicken rice balls at me now. Well, what do I know? Qin and her family is of Hainanese descendant and her brother tells me that their chicken rice is dry, sauceless, and the chicken is really, really kampung tasting. Not that I'm complaining because I get to eat really good, tasty chicken rice here in sunny Singapore everyday.
If you want to get a taste of true authentic, Hainanese chicken rice though, get off your butt and visit this place called Yet Con, the only authentic Hainanese restaurant left in Singapore located in Purvis street.
In fact, their chicken although sauceless, isn't as scary as it sounds. It's got a nice chicken-y taste and is quite succulent in terms of juiciness and texture.
But why would you want to go through that much trouble just to taste some chicken rice? Well, I'll give you two more reasons; their tze char and steamboat.
Steamboat seems to be really popular over there and having tried it before, I'll say it's fairly good.
I'll be able to recommend a few tze char dishes though.
Stir-fry beef with kailan. Slightly tender pieces of beef with a robust sauce to rely on. Always something I'll order here.
Hainanese chap chye isn't like the sloggy and slimy and mushy chap chye you find in economic rice stalls. Here, it comes with a crunch, a guarantee of it's freshness. Plus, who needs sauces that reek of dried shrimps to make a good dish? Here, it's refreshing but flavourful and comes with seafood and meat, all the more you should get it.
Even if you have a distaste for all of the above, this is what you should be here for. Hainanese pork chops. Even if you don't take pork, comon try a bite, sometimes you need to live a little ya know?
MMMMMMMMMMmmmmm mmm! It's crispy and SO DAMN TENDER. Shockingly true, and not what I expected. It comes doused with a tomato based sweet n' sour sauce which is surprisingly, not tomato-ey at all. It's dark brownish rather, a testament to the other oriental sauces they add in to obtain the slightly sweet savoury taste with a nice tang from a good dash of vinegar.
So you don't wanna take a bite at all. Eat the potatoes that come with the dish, it's super duper nicely pan fried and have that old school taste. Oh, but what a waste.