However, I heard that there was one place that was worth trying - Uncle Lim's Kitchen, in East Croydon of all places. Situated in a shopping centre, at first glace it looks like a place I'd never stop at. A glass counter with bubbling trays of sweet and sour chicken, if you look a bit closer you'll also see Malaysian beef curry, and a sign advertising Hainanese chicken rice served from Fridays to Mondays. I was here for one thing and one thing only.
Served cold and off the bone, the chicken was dressed in soy sauce and was tender and juicy. The skin was springy and globules of jelly clung to the meat. The rice was tinged with garlic and a chilli sauce spiked with pounded ginger added a welcome kick. I was a bit sad that this wasn't served with the usual bowl of broth to accompany it though. Priced at £5.80, it was a bargain.
So happily I have a fine rendition of the dish a mere 20 minutes from home. It wasn't as good as the best I've had, but it would take a lot to top that.
Uncle Lim's Kitchen
Upper North Arcade
Croydon CRO 1UZ
Tel: 020 8688 8378