reliable, comforting local cooking (and of course, very good hainanese boiled chicken).
boon tong kee is a local institution for chicken rice. known most particularly for the white, boiled variant of the dish, they serve up plates of tender and juicy chicken that arrive doused generously with a sweet-and-savory soy sauce (that I think could actually be the true star of the show).
they also do a large range of cooked dishes, or cze char, but these – while decent – tend to run second fiddle to the chicken (and rightly so, perhaps). on this visit, we ordered bitter gourd sauteed with regular and salted eggs (our new favourite thing to order everywhere, also possibly a reflection of increasing age), and seafood hor fun (the thick rice noodles had a hint of wok hei, but were a little gloppier than we would have wanted).
definitely a good option for the weekdays. the place is packed at dinner times, and is a good alternative if you had initially planned to visit melben seafood, which is just a couple storefronts down (which was what we had initially come for). the common (and typically, the only) gripe I’ve heard about this place is its price, but hey, let’s not be stingy about paying for local food.
surprisingly delicious collagen chicken hotpot (or is it chicken collagen hotpot?), also known as hakata mizutaki, at this little place along bukit timah. I admit to ALOT a healthy amount of skepticism before coming to this place – I don’t like thick soups, the texture or excessive flavor of fat, and the whole idea of collagen as a age-defying beautificant (literary license) is a pretty strange notion (like, do you just grow so fat you don’t get wrinkles?
and, well, it tastes (and is) a fantastically long-brewed chicken broth, although definitely a little too unctuous and viscous for me. but the chicken that comes out the pot is beautifully tender and flavorful, as are the vegetables that cook in the same.
but they don’t just do a collagen hotpot – you get things like okonomiyaki and oden, the latter possibly my favorite dish ever.
easy weeknight dinner – nando’s is always an easy-go-to post-work, both here and in london. I like the standard half chicken, the parents like the espetadas (rather impressive hanging skewer of chicken chunks), and we often get a bit of the garlic bread and hummus to share.
I love that they’ve open so close to me now – and this outlet does a roaring business without crazy lines. good, easy stuff.