Hainanese chicken rice (海南鸡饭) must be one of the most popular dishes in Malaysia and Singapore. This simple, yet tasty, dish is so popular that it can be found anywhere from hawker stalls, franchised outlets, to restaurants in both countries.
Whenever I visit Singapore and if I am undecided about my choice of food, I always opt for Hainanese chicken rice. This is because most of the time, one can’t really go wrong with this dish in Singapore.
There are many well-known Hainanese chicken rice restaurants in the city state but my favourite restaurant is Nam Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant (南记鸡饭餐室). The restaurant is located in a shop lot along Upper Thompson Road. This family run restaurant has been in business for more than 40 years.
The shop décor has probably not changed much from the time it first opened for business with mosaic tiles on the walls and hard bench seating booths. In keeping up with time, the restaurant is now fully air-conditioned.
In my most recent visit, I dined in Nam Kee. The restaurant was quite empty as we arrived at around 6pm. Our order was promptly taken.
While waiting for our food, we helped ourselves to the chopped chillies and ginger which go well with the chicken.
Our food arrived quickly. The rice was fragrant, had good flavour and just the right amount of oil.
The steamed chicken was tender and juicy and the light soy sauce helped to enhance its flavour. The best thing about it was the chicken had little fat.
We also ordered salted vegetable soup (咸菜汤). It came with a generous portion of fish slices, prawns, squid and tofu.
A plate of stir-fried vegetables rounded up a balanced meal.
The restaurant also serves roasted chicken and other ala carte dishes such as Hainanese pork chop, minced squid with youtiao (油条), prawn rolls and fried tofu.