Singaporeans are famed for our queue culture, from Hello Kitty plushies to Baked Cheese Tarts; when we know something is good, we queue. One of the many things that got the nation queueing is HongKong Style Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodles, who has recently clinched a michelin star.
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Their original stall is situated in Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, and recently they have opened up a store across the food centre, along Smith Street. We were curious about the new store, and decided to check it out.
When we arrived at the restaurant, in the late morning; there was already a long queue at the restaurant. We decided to head up to the hawker to see if there would be a queue there as well. True, enough there was an equally long queue over at the hawker stall in the Food Centre.
Upon stepping into the restaurant, we were greeted with a blast of air-con, a refreshing change from the humidity in the hawker centre. We were surprised to see a ordering machine, for people who would like to skip the face to face interaction. We ordered and tried their famous Half Chicken, Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle, and Char Siew and Roasted Pork Rice, which took a full 30 minutes wait, before the food arrived. We were summoned by a buzzer that they gave us when we ordered to collect our food.
The Soya Sauce Chicken, had well seasoned springy noodles, paired with soft and smooth chicken with a side of their special chili sauce. The dish was well balanced in general, as the springy noodles went well with the succulent chicken, and did not seem like it was over dosed with sauces.
The Char Siew Rice had perfectly caramelised Char siew that was tender an oozes with fragrance, along with Shao Rou (Roasted Pork) which had thick and crunchy skin that can be heard from a far. The sauce drizzled onto the rice helped to keep the balance of the dish, as some might find the crunchiness of the Shao Rou to be too dry.
The half chicken can be eaten on it’s own or paired with rice or noodles. However, surprisingly, the taste of the chicken in their noodle dish is different from their half chicken. The Half Chicken has a herbal taste to it, perhaps it is due to the use of seasoning and sauces in the chicken noodles that changed the taste of the chicken in the noodle dish.
Although both hawker stall and restaurant serves the same food, the price tag offers a slight difference, with the hawker stall selling their Soya Sauce Chicken Noodles at $2.50, and the restaurant at $4.50. Perhaps the aircon, and fancy buzzing system makes up for it; but, will the hawker spirit be diminish along with the new and fancy upgrade?