Saturday, August 27, 2011
A taste of disappointment
When there is a multi-cultural cuisine worthy to be mentioned, Singapore comes to mind immediately. One of the must-eat dishes is the chicken rice, and I am a fan of it; whether it is Singapore chicken rice, the original Hainanese one, or Thais khao-mun-gai, I like them all. Singapore's version is renowned for its refined recipe of Hainanese chicken rice, of which the chicken is prepared in a special process, accompanied with three dipping sauces with dark (sweet) soy sauce, chili and ginger paste, eaten with a bowl of chicken fat immersed fragrant rice. A visit to Singapore without including a meal of chicken rice is probably not having the trip complete.
When Orchard Chicken Rice, opened sometime last year by a local restauranteur, it proclaimed itself The Taste of Singapore; the first dish to sample is her chicken rice. The impression was negative on the first visit last year. The chicken was not tender, and the pale meat was tasteless. The steamed rice with immersed chicken fat was dull. I don't have too much to say about its dipping sauce (although I don't like it), since the fondness of sauce is always subjective; ever some renowned chicken specialty shops in Singapore such as Yet Con and Boon Tong Kee, some likes the sauce but others do not.
I revisited Orchard last week, and, yes, my mistake. The chicken rice was no better then last year's; it was pieces of chicken meat sadly floating on the sea of soy sauce; again the overcooked meat was not tender and was tasteless in nature; I doubted why it is so brave to be named Singapore chicken rice. The cendol and char kuay teow didn't yield a hint of the native Lion City's taste either. I didn't dare to continue another dish as I had to flag the white flag to Orchard.
Orchard Chicken Rice (Taste of Singapore) **
7/F Central World Plaza
4 Rajdamri Road
Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Open daily : 10 am - 10 pm
Pay (food only for two): around THB 500