Monday, February 25, 2013

Boon Tong Kee's Hainanese Chicken Rice

Just a quick note: I have always thought white chicken and Hainanese chicken were the same. They're not, apparently. Although both are of Chinese origin, white chicken is cooked in salt and ginger, and when the water begins to boil, the fire is turned off, allowing the chicken to cook in the residual heat, leaving the chicken pale and translucent. Th accompanying dip is made of ginger, onions, salt, and hot oil. Haianense chicken, on the other hand, is a popular in Malaysia and Singapore, and is the latter's national dish. Plumper chicken are are repeatedly boiled in chicken stock with ginger and garlic, and the resulting broth is used for the rice and the accompanying broth. It features a trio of sauces--chili sauce, pounded ginger, dark soy sauce.

I love both--I still remember a small Chinese restaurant, now closed, in Vito Cruz that served excellent white dish. I'm unlucky, though, with Hainanese chicken--the versions I tasted were unremarkable, until I learned from several blogs that Singaporean chain Boon Tong Kee has opened a branch in SM-Mall of Asia.
Let's get it out of the way--their Hainanese Chicken Rice was excellent. Imagine plump, juicy, tender chicken, very subtle and flavorful. Up until then, I never really appreciated the need for three sauces, but the trio of sweet, spicy, and gingery was just right. 

The rice, shaped like little pyramids, was also flavorful, adding another layer of chicken goodness.

Of the three sauces, I'm partial to the minced ginger.

The quarter chicken costs P245, the chicken rice, P65. Comes with 10% service charge.

Boon Tong Kee 
SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
(+63) 02 804-2862

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