A couple of weeks back I was in Singapore, and as with all my trips, my first need was a plate of chicken rice. So where does one go for good chicken rice at midnight? Five Star, of course. While my preference runs to Boon Tong Kee, it isn't open until 2am like Five Star is.
[Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice, East Coast Road]
Pinata and I ordered a plate each, because all bets are off where sharing chicken rice is concerned. Each man for himself!
I rarely ever dine in, so I was glad to see braised peanuts brought to our table.
I really do love this stuff, and while I've got the flavour right at home, I've yet to manage to make them soft and tender. If anyone has any tips, do let me know!
In any event, they were a little on the dry side, but tasty nevertheless.
The staple accompaniment to chicken rice is either barley or lime juice. It's been that way since I was growing up, so I had to have some.
In the torturous humidity that engulfs Singapore, this was quite a treat. Cooling and not to sweet, it really did hit the spot.
We've now come to one of the most important elements of good chicken rice: The chilli. It has to be equal parts fragrant, spicy and tangy. Failing any of these, it's an all out unacceptable experience.
[Fragrant Chilli Sauce]
Yes, just stare in awe at that picture right now, because it's perfect and always has been!
In a bid to pretend we weren't eating one of the worst things you could have at midnight, we ordered some vegetables as well.
As much as I love all the chocolate in the world, I also love vegetables, and a simple stir fry of garlic and kailan.
[Kailan Stir Fried with Garlic]
The vegetables were fresh and perfectly seasoned without being excessively oily. Nothing spectacular, but a nice pop of colour in the otherwise monochrome palette that chicken rice comes in.
More importantly, how does the chicken fare? At Five Star, they use only kampong chicken, and we ordered regular as opposed to roasted chicken breast meat (when in Rome).
[Kampong Chicken Breast]
The chicken was tender and juicy, with a lovely hit of sesame oil. Definitely still one of the best chicken rice chickens I've ever had. The portion isn't huge, but it is definitely satisfactory when paired with the oily rice. Back when I was a little more concerned about being a ball, I'd order double the chicken and half the rice. Now that is perfection!
Pinata finds it funny that I call this "chicken rice rice". But it is, isn't it? What other way is there to describe this delicious, fluffy bowl of goodness?
The rice was oily, but not too oily and the perfect treat to go with the rest of the meal. Even just the kailan with chicken rice rice was fantastic! While the soup itself is always decent, I've never been overly fond of chicken rice soup, so I didn't actually drink it on this trip.
If you ignore the fact that we spent almost RM90 on chicken rice, it was a terrific meal. Excessively priced or not, chicken rice is never something I skip when in Singapore. I still haven't found any in the Klang Valley that compares! However, where Singapore is concerned, Boon Tong Kee is my preferred stop (as mentioned), and I'll review it the next time I'm there!