When angmohs come to Singapore, one of the local dishes they must try is the hainanese chicken rice. And I believe most people would point them to either Boon Tong Kee or Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice.
Their chicken rice might be good enough to fool the tourists, but both these restaurants serve trashy chicken rice. The chicken meat taste blend, tough and dry, the sauce is just salt and no fragrance from the chicken, and the rice taste like plain rice . Not to mention miserable portion and the exorbitant price. You are better off eating any random chicken rice at hawker centre or foodcourt; they probably taste about the same.
It wasn’t the same 10 years ago. That was the first time I tasted Boon Tong Kee, and it was the best plate of chicken rice I ever had at that point. One day after school, my classmate brought me to the outlet in Katong. The chicken meat was juicy and tender, together with the sauce and rice, it was really damn good! But their quality suffered with increasing popularity over the years. It is saddening to see the quality being compromised when the brand is established.
Another chicken rice stall that is worth discussing is Sin Kee Chicken Rice. This stall used to be at Margaret’s Drive hawker centre, but they have moved to the building along Commonwealth Road, just 100m away from the original site. I personally have not tasted the chicken rice at Margaret’s Drive, but I have recently eaten at the new location. Surprisingly the chicken rice was quite decent! But (there is always a but, if not it would be my favourite chicken rice store) what I find is the juiciness of the meat is not evenly sealed; some parts of the chicken is significantly drier than others. According to my beau the standard now is no where near what it used to be.
The 3 important components of hainanese chicken rice is the chicken, the rice and not forgetting, the sauces. A good plate of chicken rice is definitely not a ‘healthier choice’. For the meat to be succulent, the chicken has to be FAT.
My all-time favourite chicken rice stall is…
We love this store because all the components are balance.
Chicken: OMG tender, every part of it. I don’t like to eat chicken breast, but I gladly eat the chicken breast from this store. The meat is tender, but not oily.
Rice: Pretty decent. Not hard or dry, not blend, not too oily.
Sauces: The chicken sauce is a perfect balance of sweet and saltiness. The chili sauce is violent – spicy and fragrant. Don’t forget to ask for black sauce and ginger sauce!
There is a permanent queue at the stall, so be prepared to wait about 15 minutes. We always go there for lunch, not sure if there is any chicken left for dinner!
Xing Yun Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
Blk 347 Jurong East Avenue 1
Yuhua Market and Hawker Center