When in Singapore, it’s quite impossible not to get a taste of the ubiquitous Hainanese Chicken Rice. Considered a national dish, it can be found on almost every corner of the small city-state. When I first tried it at a food court on Bencoolen Street, I thought to myself, “That’s it? That’s their must-try dish?” Honestly I didn’t find the taste remarkable or extraordinary. For something that’s touted as a national dish, it was too mild-flavored (or bland, to put it more bluntly) for my tastebuds. But I had it again on a cruise ship, for lack of other better options, and the taste of the Hainanese Chicken Rice kind of grew on me. I realized that the sheer simplicity of the dish has that quality of making you long for it once in a while. Here in Manila, I’ve sampled a few Chicken Rice versions but none of them satisfied me more than Hainanese Delights‘.
This restaurant shares its name with its signature offering, the Hainanese Delights. For a very affordable price of P120, you get a bowl of clear soup, plump and juicy chicken quarter and unlimited servings of the specially-flavored rice! That is a real steal, great value for money indeed!
I also loved its Take the Cake (P85) — a mildly spicy appetizer, which is actually salt & pepper-coated radish cakes in bite size pieces. If you love radish cakes like I do, be sure not to skip this delicious dish.
The deal-breaker for me is the noodle soup dish called Surf & Turf (P95/regular size; P80/merienda size). It has mixed pork and shrimp dumplings, hence the name. Although the broth itself was very soothing and flavorful enough, there was something absolutely wrong with the texture of the noodles and the dumplings. It was too sticky and gummy for my liking. What a letdown.
That notwithstanding, I still highly recommend Hainanese Delights for its amazingly delightful chicken rice meal.
Branches: Robinsons Galleria * Robinsons Place Manila * Forum Robinsons * SM Fairview