Thai owned: "Red Chicken: the original Singapore chicken rice" in pictures

A whole menu full of Thai entrees, Thai iced tea n coffee, and pictures of the Thai monarchy, make me assume this is not owned by a singaporean.

I asked the waitress why the name has Singapore in it, and she said it’s because the chicken rice dish is singaporean.

The dish arrives, the chicken was moist n tender, with a nice soy sauce base. Think of a cantonese style white cut chicken (bak cheet gai) with a blander version of the sauce from cantonese soy sauce chicken (si yau gai). I was given a plate of dark meat, and my brother was given white meat, all without asking.

The rice was like any other chicken rice, firmer grains than usual, light flavor.

Sauces were not the typical singaporean, or even Cantonese, or Chinese-viet style. The red/orange sauce was quite sweet, and the soy sauce was more like a tangy Thai sauce… like the sauce you get when you order the crying tiger dish at thai restaurants. They did not give me minced ginger in oil, but I might have seen it in the kitchen area (which is partly visible from the front), so you may need to ask. You can also ask for extra soy sauce (as in, the one that came in the chicken’s plate). btw, the two dipping sauces came out almost 10 minutes after our dishes came out, for whatever reason…

It came with a soup, they let you pick from spicy and non spicy. I chose non spice, and got a nice n light, but unremarkable chicken soup. I’m now curious to see what the spicy one was like.

To me, there’s nothing singaporean other than the fact that they’re trying to use the name to market their store for whatever reason. Thailand has its own chicken rice dish, and other than the soy sauce base, it’s very much just Thai style Hainan chicken rice. It’s not bad, it’s just not what they’re claiming it is.

The closest comparison I can make to Singapore, is that it’s chicken texture is faintly similar to boon tong kee from Singapore… very faint.

I’m going to edit in a bit, editing on mobile is difficult.


Thanks for the nice report back @blimpbinge! Sounds like it was so-so “Singaporean / Hainan Chicken Rice”?

Was this the specialist jthur and others were talking about a few months ago?

This place sucks.

But it’s so new, hard to pass judgment so quickly, especially when every ounce of me wants to be ever so harsh.

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i was at red chicken about a month ago. i was underwhelmed, but proclaiming themselves to make a true singaporean version, i was expecting a lot more.

but a chacon son gout.

Try Chop Chop Grill in Walnut. Hainanese chicken is legit. But they usually take 25-30 minutes to fulfill your order.

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tasty food in rosemead is closer and as of yesterday became my WSGV favorite.

and it took a half hour and was worth the wait.


Maybe you need to tell them to make it, “chop chop!”

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This place is awesome I’m suprised they don’t get more live from the press or ppl who like food. Way better than side chick or savoy imo

Tasty Food, is now on my to-do list and it’s only $8?!?!

But that chicken looks awkward to eat with that length

@secretasianman, you got like a Top 5 places for Hainan Chicken Rice?

i agree; i like chicken & rice in each mouthful and that’s difficult to do with it cut that way. the chicken is almost tender enough to cut with the plastic spoon they give you though.

not really; tasty food is now my personal #1

i’ve tried savoy, red chicken, dong nguyen. yasmin the now defunct malaysian place did a roasted/steamed version, but IIRC no ginger/scallion sauce.

savoy is IMO kinda like what 101 noodle express is to the beef roll; once the best by a clear margin and still good, but not necessarily something to get overly excited about, though they get points for the sauces available in copious amounts.

the side chick version had the most flavorful rice, but as i mentioned before, i’m a chicken/rice in each mouthful kinda guy so that distinction factored in lower for me than it might for others, especially as i was hoping that the chicken would be more moist than i found it to be though the sauces were on point.

pho hai kieu has an interesting version as they have their own sweet ginger sauce that they offer as a condiment in lieu of the customary sweet soy, ginger/scallion & chili sauces.

it’s on a back burner to try renditions at the better pho ga places. wasn’t impressed by the pho ga bac ninh version, but i’d like to try the version by the pho ga place in the same mall as ahgoo kitchen. (pho ga hai nam?)

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I think Cocoin does a very good rendition of HCR.

And I think Savoy is too often taken for granted.

And yes Tasty Food is very tasty, although the environs leave much to be desired.

i find it to be part of the appeal myself, but a chacon son gout.

It’s khao man gai, which is the Thai version of Hainan chicken. Apparently a popular dish in Thailand, especially for breakfast. (I have not been to Thailand.)

It’s odd they would call it Singapore chicken. Maybe they thought people are more familiar with the concept of Singapore chicken? Not sure of the clientele they are trying to reach.

Singapore is probably the defacto self-proclaimed Hainanese chicken & rice purveyor of the world. It is commonly found throughout Singapore. Everyone has their own favorite, and don’t try to convince others why your favorite is better than someone else’s.

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… and yet on my last 2 trips to S’pore, I must have eaten this dish at like 8 different so-called highly touted specialist places (hawker center or otherwise). None have hit that magic spot taste-wise for me, incredibly. Either the chicken quality has gone down, or the attention to the rice is no longer what it used to be.

Dr. Leslie Tay in Singapore is an avid foodographer/foodologist in his spare time. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s worth looking up. He put together a handsome book on the Singapore food scene (The End of Char Quay Teow - maybe 5-7 years ago?) that sums up how the recent changes in society have contributed to the rapid decline in the quality of endemic food in Singapore. He also has a blog, ieatishootipost.

I don’t know when you first went to Singapore (1993 for me), but the island has gotten far too crowded, the cost of living has skyrocketed and the quality of local food is not the same.

For me, probably the three largest changes for food in Singapore is the market dynamics relating to the food industry, the delegation of food-related labor to non-Singaporeans and the introduction of lots of cuisines that previously had little or no representation.

i had the fried chicken version at tasty food today.

they were cooking up a batch for a catering job and told us the wait would be about an hour. they suggested calling ahead with an ETA so they could be better prepared to provide our orders in a timely manner.

(626) 569-1867. open 11-8 closed tuesdays.

i decided to wait, diverted myself with an order of won ton mien from harlam’s kitchen. i have to admit, they whip up orders with an almost hypnotic precision.

it looked half won ton, half shui kao and pretty tasty.

others in my group decided to go with the pork chop fried rice (they polished off before i rejoined the table, so no pics) and for $6 it looked awfully good.

it was worth the wait:

lightly fried but just as juicy, this version of the chicken was accompanied by a rice that for want of a better way to describe it,reminded me of the rice you find inside a spam musubi. it appeared to be gently stir fried and tossed with slivers of scrambled egg. an interesting foil to the fried chicken.

i noticed a stack of cookbooks including david chang’s momofuku cookbook; there’s someone back there (i’m assuming the son) who’s quite earnest in his efforts to create ‘tasty food’. i look forward to seeing what else comes out of this particular stall of this humble food court.