It’s Not Just About The Chicken Anymore


It used to be that when you went out for chicken rice, chicken rice was all you got. Tender white meat on a mound of fragrant rice; each grain glistening with oil from the chicken fat that’s used to flavour the rice. The only decisions you had to make then were whether you wanted white or roast chicken, thigh or breast meat. And of course whether you should have the black sauce with the other condiments of grated ginger and a vinegary chilli sauce, or pour it over and mix it into your rice.

Back then, the juiciness of the chicken, the smoothness of the rice, even the condiments, were things that could elevate a stall from it’s competitors. These days sadly, it’s not just about the chicken, but how much value you can add – in the form of a million other dishes – as evidenced on a recent trip to 5-star Hainanese Chicken Rice Restaurant.

We had a roast chicken, a steamed white chicken, Hainanese pork chop, stewed pork belly with preserved vegetables, fried prawn & yam balls and fresh greens. It was delicious (and way too much for 6 people) but all those other dishes totally distracted me from the main event – the chicken. I couldn’t decide what to eat first. I wanted to savour my chicken, on my rice, with a dash of chilli and ginger, but I couldn’t resist a bit of pork belly, and the pork chop kept calling my name. In the end, I just couldn’t concentrate with all that other food going on…

When did it get to be that the chicken rice became only a bit player in a much bigger arena?

When I went for chicken rice but all I remember were how good the prawn & yam balls were….

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About Mizdee

Food, food, food. Apart from love, it's the other thing that makes the world go round. When I'm sad it's a comfort, when I'm happy it's a celebration and when I'm not hungry, it's just greediness. But hey! Why not? Life is short too pass up a good meal.

3 comments

  1. *sigh* I know exactly what you mean, and while some may say lots is good, so more is better, I go for tasty, grainy but tender, not too oily rice; tender, juicy chicken, and a killer chilli sauce. Some stiffly fresh coriander leaf and crunchy, juice loaded cucumber complete it. Anything more is probably too much…

  2. While you lament chicken’s loss of status I’ll just sit here and be glad that you took photos of your great and varied meal. I love simple chicken, but I also welcome the new stuff. The more food the better is how I see it!

    • Miz Dee

      Streetdiscrete @ I’m glad you enjoyed the spread. I definitely did. But my one bowl of rice (and my stomach capacity) wasn’t enough for all that food. So I may have to stick to just chicken …and what the heck… maybe a side of pork chops to go with ;)

      Denise @ when it comes to awesome chicken rice, I think u hit the nail on the head. Sometimes when the the chilli and black sauce are kick-ass enough, I can eat it with just the rice and cucumbers. No need for chicken even!

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