When it comes to Chicken Rice in Singapore, there are no shortage of recommendations. From the super hyped ones such as Tian Tian (of Michelin Bib Gourmand fame), to commercialised chains like Wee Nam Kee (in fact I think they are the only chicken rice shop-turned-chain?) to that nondescript Chicken Rice stall that only locals in the area know about, but would be the first thing you go to after being away.
The stall I’m featuring today falls in the latter, one where I grew up in – the northern part of Singapore, Yishun.
I’ve been eating at this Chicken Rice stall at Yishun Central for as long as I could remember, some 20 years back. The stall resides at the corner of a coffee shop at Yishun Block 925, just a stones throw away from Northpoint City.
So, what makes Yishun 925 Chicken Rice special, aside from the nostalgia sauce?
A $4 plate here grants you a plate of rice, a bowl of soup and a dish of chicken meat together with some pickles.
The Rice of the Chicken Rice
Firstly, the rice grains are cooked just past al dente, a term that you don’t associate with Singaporean food usually, but in this case, I am using it to highlight the level of doneness in the rice. It’s not hard but has just a wee bit of bite in the grains with good separation between grains.
Every spoonful of rice is a culmination of umami flavours consisting of garlic, ginger, pandan and chicken stock. The rice, is so good that before you know it, you have already finished the a plate of rice while barely touching the chicken.
The Chicken Meat
Many Chicken Rice stalls like to smash the chicken meat with the side of the cleaver, making it appear larger in surface area, while breaking up all the muscle tissues and in doing so, giving the perception that the flesh is tender. That is a lazy bullshit shortcut. You will normally find the meat from such methods thin, flimsy and often mushy.
The meat at Yishun 925 Chicken Rice are not only tender, but have volume and height, suggesting that they had not been smashed. The flavour unfortunately like most chickens in Singapore is not very flavourful, but thankfully, enhanced with an abundant drizzle of soy-sesame sauce. I also enjoy the pickles that aren’t quite achar but still give a nice crunch and almost fruity relief to the very umami flavours abound.
The Chilli Sauce
Lastly, the garlic chilli sauce at Yishun 925 Chicken rice has been consistent all these years with a good balance between sweet, sour, spicy and savoury note.
There is a consistent queue at Yishun 925 Chicken Rice, and they often sell out around 5pm.
Where are your favourite Chicken Rice stalls in Singapore?