The instruction from the Singaporean friend was clear. Hainanese Chicken Riceserved at Katong Shopping Center. But with just 2 days left in our schedule, that looked like an unachievable target. The solution to the crisis was to settle for the Hainanese Chicken Rice at the next “crowded-with-locals” joint we could spot. And that’s how we arrived at Jew Kit.
Hainanese Chicken is a humble dish. This steamed chicken preparation is adapted from early Chinese immigrants from Hainan province and is hailed as one of the national dishes of Singapore. Returning to Dubai without trying and tasting the dish, was a sin I had absolutely no intention to commit!
Jew Kit interiors held so many quaint little intriguing things that made us look around for more than a few minutes, halting the server in his tracks. Posters and showpieces that took us a few decades back shared the décor space with radios, weighing machines and iron boxes from the olden days. With an efficient server taking our orders and patiently explaining the ingredients and textures of various dishes, we were sorted and settled for the food to arrive.
The instruction from the Singaporean friend was clear. Hainanese Chicken Rice served at Katong Shopping Center. But with just 2 days left in our schedule, that looked like an unachievable target. The solution to the crisis was to settle for the Hainanese Chicken Rice at the next “crowded-with-locals” joint we could spot. And that’s how we arrived at Jew Kit.
The order: Hainanese Chicken Rice, Jew Kit special chicken wings, Black Pepper Beef, Hong Kong Noodles and Chicken Fried Rice.
The first to arrive was the Hainanese Chicken Rice, ofcourse. Now for those hailing from a land like India, where things are either coated with a zillion colored spices or drenched in voluptuous curries, THIS will do nothing to your imaginations. The chicken looked bland and oddly naked. While the soup at the base looked flavorsome, the skin of the chicken loosely hanging on the top did less to spark my appetite. But we all know appearances can be deceiving, don’t we?
I dug in.
At first, removing the skin and picking only the meat. Soon, the adventurous streak overcame and my fork gingerly accompanied the skin along.
Hainanese Chicken is probably a dish that will grow on you. Or a dish that you grow up with. The chicken is deliriously soft, tender and juicy. Together with the vegetables and the aromatic soup, it forms a delicious concoction that makes it Singapore’s favoritefor good reason.
The chicken fried rice was good, but remained a simple straightforward chicken fried rice. The Jew Kit special chicken wings was crunchy and fried crisp making it an ideal snack to fight over. The war was however waged for the Hong Kong Noodles and theBlack Pepper Beef which formed an irresistible match, complete with the blessings from heaven in the form of succulent meat pieces, sautéed vegetables and lip-smacking, thick, soy based gravy. The noodles gave away a faint echo of aginomotto (MSG) here and there, but it wasn’t overwhelming and hence was excusable.
So while the original target of Hainanese Chicken Rice from Katong Shopping Center remained unmet, we made well with (I can safely presume this, given the busy-at-all-hours state of the restaurant) the Jew Kit version which was quite a fab deal in itself. And to think that all it takes is a lovely chicken, some vegetables and (probably) a sack of salt to cook up this dish!
Have you tried this national meal of Singapore? How exciting was your experience? I’d love to know!