Whenever Yet Con Hainanese Chicken Rice is too crowded and our hungry tummies don't allow us to wait for a table, we will cross over to Chin Chin Eating House, which is located at Purvis Street as well, to get our fix of the well-loved local delicacy. Chin Chin has been established since 1934 and is also another legendary Hainanese chicken rice institute in Singapore.
Being our second choice doesn't mean it's no good. Both rendition of chicken rice are simply different and delightful in their own ways, so ultimately it really boils down to personal preference.
If I want to compare, well... Chin Chin has a bigger and brighter space. Service here is erm..... much much better.
Unlike Yet Con, Chin Chin serve both Steam Chicken (half $13 / whole $26) and Roast Chicken (half $13 / whole $26).
For Individual Plate ($3.50 onwards) order, we get to choose the chicken parts we like. Which means that, if we want drumstick, or no breast meat, or add an extra wing, Chin Chin can accommodate to our requests. (I once tried asking at Yet Con and got an earful instead. Ouch).
The chicken rice at Chin Chin has somewhat deviated from the usual Hainanese way of serving, coming across as Cantonese in style and is more of the modernized version which most people are used to nowadays.
A light dressing of fragrant soy sauce and sesame oil is drizzled over the dish, pleasantly enhancing the natural flavors of the chicken rather than overwhelming it. Texture wise, the chicken is cooked just about right, retaining a moist and tender bite. Coupled that with aromatic rice and tangy chilli sauce, we undoubtedly have a winner here.
Do I like the white steamed or golden brown roasted version better? Haha I like both, and will order depending on my craving.
Sometimes if I'm with more friends, I will get the Hainanese Pork Chop ($6/$10/$15) for sharing too. This is considered a classic Hainanese dish, comprising of deep-fried pork cutlet paired with tomato-based sauce.
To be honest, the dish is not that fantastic here but the nostalgic feel it evokes somehow always made me order it. It brings me back to the better parts of my childhood days. (Read: Pork Chops ~ My Mum's Style)
But the Hainanese Mix Vegetable ($9/$14/20) or chap chye, now now that is a must order!
The vegetables itself are executed well but pretty ordinary, it's the saltish sauce loaded with dried cuttlefish flavor that propelled it to reign over all the other versions I ever had. So umami! You just wanna have more!
Besides these Hainanese fare, Chin Chin also has a menu that extends beyond. An array of zhi char-style dishes to go with your chicken rice? Why not?
I spot perennial favorites such as Sweet & Sour Pork ($10/$15), Cereal Prawn ($15/$25), Sambal Kangkong ($8/$12), Claypot Beancurd ($10/$15) and Prawn Paste Chicken ($10/$15).
Prices here are wallet-friendly. You just have to prepare your appetite :)
Chin Chin Eating House 津津餐室
Address: 19 Purvis Street, Singapore 188598
Contact: +65 6337 4640
Opening Hours: Daily 7am-9pm