Some say that Chinese Hainanese Chicken Rice is an acquired tastes. We think it’s a required taste if you’re thinking of living and working in, especially, Greater China. If not, stay home and munch on your KFC and obscenely obesity-riddled new dishes like Burger King’s Sundaes with Fat-Fried Bacon. Who “creates” this crap? And people wonder why so many Americans are tubs of walking lard?
Anyway, back to what we were saying…For years, we have made it our culinary mission to find the world’s best Chinese Hainanese Chicken Rice. we have gone to every Chinese restaurant in Australia, New Zealand and the UK to taste this dish at every Chinese restaurant recommended to us. Sadly, Hainanese was more like “Hailowese” and we would leave these restaurants with a rumble in our stomachs and disappointment on our faces.
In Singapore, friends told us that there- on Orchard Street- was “the world’s best Hainan Chicken Rice.” Yes, the small, homey restaurant serves up a good dish- but that special Ginger Sauce which MUST go with the dish was missing.
One cannot have blachan or a sambal with Hainanese Chicken Rice- and which was served to us. This would be like spraying Maggi or Tabasco Sauce on a steak which would just be too bloody much of a jolt to the taste buds. And so, we have ended our search as the best Hainanese Chicken Rice was always been under our noses and, like love, we were looking at all the wrong places for it.
THE best Hainanese Chicken Rice is served at the Grand Hyatt Coffee Shop. Some like it with the skin and bones, but most of us prefer it without the skin, no bones and only white meat- and a double serving of the Ginger Sauce.
The dish also comes with vegetables, a soup and rice- but it’s the way the Chicken is cooked that makes it special to us.
Oh, and we’ll save you the time s searching for the world’s best Chinese dish called “dau see gai”- or Chicken In Black Bean Sauce. This, too, is at the Grand Hyatt- this time the hotel’s excellent restaurant that is 1 Harbour Road. As with our search for the perfect Hainan Chicken Rice, we have searched high and low and even Hainan to see if any other place could surpass The Grand Hyatt’s version.
In a word: No. The dishes have either been under-cooked or full of bones or lacking in, well, black beans and have been bland. The “dau se gai” at 1 Harbour Road is made up of shallots, black beans, a black bean sauce, and perfectly grilled pieces of chicken which one can have on or off the bone. We suggest that the chicken be off-the-phone and eaten, if really necessary, with a simple bowl of rice.
Us, we prefer eating the dish on its own- meaning no rice- and enjoy tucking into this dish on our own so we can make loud sucking noises and with no one at the table asking us what the f*** is our problem.
Frankly, forget about trying to be cute and searching for “real Chinese” food in antiquated restaurants. Visit some of their kitchens and meet their chefs and you’ll pass out. Just visit this five-star restaurant in a five-star hotel serving superb five-star Chinese cuisine- and nothing like those ridiculous five-star prices being charged by many two- star pseudo-ethnic restaurants in Soho and all those rabid “celebrity chef” steak houses that have sprung up like zits and which are heavy on hype and very light on taste and value-for-money. Want a good steak? Also, stay with the Grand Hyatt and take in its Steakhouse.