Sunday, 30 May 2010

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese chicken rice has long been a favourite of mine. I still remember the best I've had; at the Shangri-La in Singapore when I was about 9. It was the rice in particular, silky grains laced with fat, tasting intensely of chicken, I haven't had the same anywhere since. In fact, Hainanese chicken rice seems to be a rare dish to be found in London.

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
Whitgift Centre
Croydon CRO 1UZ

Tel: 020 8688 8378

Uncle Lins Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Bex said...

I love this dish, only ever had it home made though. Nick has made this before, seems pretty easy and delish.

Dave said...

The best chicken n rice I ever had was in a small housing estate in Singapore.
It was simple, as the dish is. After all it is just boiled chicken and rice cooked in the stock, but it was really really good.
One not to forget, others have not come up to the standard of that one dish.

S said...

as fave of mine, too. i have had it in NYC and Boston's china town. sounds luscious. and a great bargain, too, no? x shayma

Mr Noodles said...

This is one of those dishes that doesn't travel that well. In London, I've had an OK but not brilliant version at Rasa Sayang.

Off to Singapore and KL later this year so I'll be sure to check this dish out.

Alex said...

This is probably my favourite dish at the moment. It's so easy to make at home and bashing the ginger is just about the most fun culinary technique there is.

However, Singapore Garden just of Finchley Road do a good one:

Stevie Whitby said...

Had a Malaysian friend over to stay for a week and took her to Whitgift to do the shops (yawn). We came across a place called Uncle Lim’s and she went wild, she said it was just like canteens at home. We wanted the Hai Nan Chicken but it wasn’t available that day so I had the meal deal for £6 and she went for the Char Kuey Teow (well we shared really). I don’t know much about Malaysian food but she said this was as authentic as you could probably get, she especially said that the beansprouts were still crunchy as they should be and the prawns were big and juicy and loads of them. My meal (a lovely rich beef dish tasting of coriander, a fried prawns dish and a serving of firm green beans in a spicy sauce). What I loved about her dish was that it contained chives and the taste came through but very subtly, gorgeous – I thought chives were just in English cuisine! I couldn’t finish my meal, it was massive but the staff put it in a plastic container as a doggy bag – evening meal sorted for the price! Will go back for the chicken but just thought I would comment anyway after reading your blog. Having been a devotee of Indian food for decades I’m now a convert to Malaysian food – big time!!!

ARBaggs said...

I went to Uncle Lim's the other day on your recommendation. I am tring to eat my way out of Croydon with out getting stabbed or cooked in a deep fat fryer.

The reviews in the Croydon Advertiser were starting to pee me off, so I am now writing my own.

Love your blog, been following it for a while.


Uncle Lim's Kitchen said...

Thank you for patronising us, we hope that you will continue to support us. We will have a new promotion menu coming up soon. Please follow us on facebook and twitter (coming soon). For those bloggers who wrote about us feel free to come in to claim for a teh tarik or bubur cha cha on the house (ask for sarah). Check out blogs out for news and promotions.

Uncle Lim's kitchen