Everyone who's a "Far East kid" (that's what school-going kids who hang out at Far East Plaza are called) will be familiar with Hainanese Delicacy Chicken Rice, aka "The Far East Chicken Rice". Sure, there's not just this one particular eatery selling this local fare, but this is by far the most popular, and somewhat famous. It's possibly the only "well-known" and lauded local hawker cuisine present in the Orchard Road vicinity. Just ask the long line of hungry diners snaking outside this tiny eatery. Because the small hole-in-the-wall eatery can only accommodate up to 50 diners at any one time and no reservations are taken, this is quite the eat-and-go place. Any lingering pauses after your meal is finished are mete with impatient stares from the long queue of people waiting outside the eatery. But really, such "peer pressure" is to be expected, and a considerate soul will quickly finish up their meal so that the next set of diners can eat. Personally, I think it's horrendously rude to refuse to vacate a table after you're done with your meal, if you can see that others are waiting for your table. Worst are those ignoramuses that purposely and defiantly linger after a meal and pretend not to see the glares of the waiting diners.
During my poor broke secondary school, junior college and undergraduate days, my friends and I ate here regularly. The food's good, affordable, and comfortably set in air-conditioned surroundings. Plus, service is Speedy Gonzales-fast so if there's a queue, it moves quickly. While chicken of the poached and roasted varieties are the mainstays here, there is a small selection of complementary side dishes, like oyster sauce kailan and stir-fried dou miao, soy eggs and plain fried beancurd.
Because the 2-person portion isn't enough for the both of us, we got the 3-person Chicken ($12) portion consisting a mix of both the white and roasted chicken. While the Rice ($0.50 per plate) isn't particularly standout and tasty, its subtlety was a good backdrop to the stronger flavours of the chicken, soy and potently spicy chilli.
Both variations of the chicken were good, and memorably delicious. Tender, moist and succulent meat that was packed with the essence of the aromatic spice-laden marinade. I appreciated that the oft-overlooked cucumbers were very nicely treated, skins off, sweet and crunchy.
The Soy Braised Eggs ($1.50 for each) were, as you can plainly see, not great. The dark grey rim of the yolk proved these not to be super fresh, but in all fairness, these were simple and basic fare and very rarely do roasted meat places do this well anyway.
Hainanese Specialist Boneless Chicken Rice
14 Scotts Road
Far East Plaza #05-116
Tel: 6734 0639
Open Mondays to Wednesdays from 12noon to 8pm
Thursdays from 11am to 2pm; and 7pm to 9pm
Fridays from 11am to 8pm