Friday, April 19, 2013

Hainanese Delights

Of all days when I had to do errands for work, it had to be this day to feel a little off and sick.  I could feel a cold coming. My throat is sore. I feel really tired. Typical symptoms. (I must have gotten it from someone sitting near me in the jeepney. I hate it when people have no decency to even cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough in public especially those with a really bad cough *think phlegm*.)  The heat outside didn't help matters. As soon as I got back to the office, I knew I had to eat something good. I was craving for a hot bowl of chicken soup. Chicken soup always does wonders when you feel sick but I couldn't think of where I can get one so I ended up at Hainanese Delights.

My little corner right by the window.
I had my first authentic taste of "Hainanese Chicken Rice" when I went to Singapore several years ago and I loved it! The next time was only in February this year at this awesome restaurant in Ayala Triangle, Makati so I was excited when I found this nice  restaurant tucked into the corner at the 2nd floor of Robinsons Cybergate that serves this classic Singaporean dish.
Hainanese White Chicken with Unlimited Rice + a drink (PHP 130.00)
Admittedly, it's not the most appetizing chicken to look at. It is pale and has no color plus it's BOILED. It looks very boring indeed. 

But does it taste as boring as it looks? NO. NO. NO.  How many NO's will it take to convince you?

The flavor of the chicken and rice is awfully good. It provides a quiet, subtle canvass for the different sauces you are meant to eat with. 

If you think this isn't enough, don't fret. They serve unlimited fragrant rice. UNLIMITED. Plus a bowl of soup and a glass of iced tea. So what else are you waiting for? 

The rice is cooked in a different chicken stock or perhaps maybe even the same stock used to poach the chicken which absorbs all that wonderful flavor.

Hainanese White Chicken Delight with Unlimited Rice + drink (PHP 130.00)
Typically, Hainanese chicken is slowly poached and cooked in a stock infused with ginger, spring onions and garlic.

The chicken was well cooked. The meat was very flavorful, moist and tender. 

Three different sauces:  Ginger paste that adds that nice zing, a fiery red chili sauce in oil and soy sauce

Anthony Bourdain said that how you mix the condiments with the chicken rice is almost as important as the dish itself.

Take the Cake Fried Radish Cake (PHP 90.00)

I remember the first time I had "carrot cake" from a hawker stall in Singapore.
Two thoughts went through my head while I watched the dish being prepared - "that's not a cake!" and "where's the carrot?"
hawker style Carrot Cake, taken way back in 2006 during my trip to Singapore
It turns out that they call radish a "WHITE carrot" in Singapore. Singaporean Carrot Cake is made from finely grated radish mixed with water and rice flour that is then steamed.

Take the Cake (PHP 90.00)
Take the Cake is the very same "white carrot rice cake" that's cut into cubes and fried. It's slightly crisp on the outside. Once you sink your teeth into these little morsels of heaven, it gives way into the softest, most delicious innards. I couldn't stop eating them! 

The serving portion is good enough to share for two if you order other things on the menu. Hainanese Chicken Rice comes with a bowl of soup and a glass of iced tea all for the price of PHP 130.00. You can't get a better deal for the same dish anywhere else in Cebu than that.

If you are craving for cheap Singaporean delights, then head on to Hainanese Delights at Robinsons Cybergate. You won't regret it.

Location: 2nd floor, Robinsons Cybergate, Fuente Osmena Circle, Cebu City
Open during mall hours (10:00 AM-9:00 PM)