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Hainanese chicken question

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Hainanese chicken question

Robb S. | Feb 2, 2004 04:30 AM

I've found two places in Tokyo that serve this Singaporean dish, but their versions are somewhat different, so I'm curious about what the real thing in Singapore is like.

The newer place (Hainan Jeefan in Azabu-Juban) serves very tender chicken, very fragrant steamed white rice, and three sauces - a thick dark soy sauce, a ginger sauce, and a sweet chili sauce exactly like what I've gotten in many Thai restaurants. Plus a very peppery but otherwise unadorned chicken broth.

The older place (Mu-hung in Nishi-Ogikubo) serves more ordinary rice that seems to have been cooked in chicken broth, an oilier soy sauce, a very good homemade chili sauce, ginger sauce, and a more complicated chicken soup with boiled cabbage and tofu bits. They say they serve "Jasmine rice" with this dish three times a month, on the 10th, 20th, and 30th. Mu-hung had a smaller menu but better side dishes, with very puffy and tasty roti to go with the thick Malaysian curry.

So I'm curious as to whether the Jasmine rice is an essential part of this dish in Singapore, or is it optional?

(There's a third Singaporean restaurant in town, Big Land Tree in Takadanobaba, but they only serve Chinese dishes like dumplings and chicken stewed in Coca Cola.)

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