On my every visit to Sin Kee, nearly every table is adorned with a portion of the signature mun fan or steamed rice (RM9.50). Some go in at lunchtime, loyal patrons who walk in with a frayed pair of Japanese slippers and a copy of the papers, just for a lunch of gravy-laden rice and a cup of herbal tea. I’ve also had to share a table with a fair number of couples, and I now have compelling evidence that a dinner of braised meats is the best way to get to know someone.
There’s good reason a dish so deceptively simple has brought so many people back time and time again. There’s a sense of innocence in removing the upturned plastic bowl to reveal a generous mound of rice, positively squelched beneath the pile of vegetables, stewed pork, lap cheong, prawns and egg. The sauce – a familiar blend of light soy sauce, oyster sauce and rice wine vinegar – binds every shortgrain into small, tight packs. Now to imagine it with glutinous rice…
The chicken chop (RM13.50) too is something of an institution here. The meat is bashed for even cooking, breaded, fried and doused in brown gravy. Also on the plate are all the feel-good things you expect with Hainanese chicken chop – peas, fried potatoes and thickly sliced onions. At Sin Kee, I much prefer the chicken variety over the pork for the latter is curiously made with pressed mince pork rather than a large chop.
If you’re after the more common dai chow dishes, I can safely report that the butter cream chicken (RM22) – also a Sin Kee favourite – is a keeper. The aroma of curry leaves that wade in the puddle of butter immediately hits the nose, transmitting impulses to the brain. Bonus: The sauce is loose and thin, and tasting of real butter rather than starch. Plus, the chicken doesn’t soak up too much of the sauce, remaining crisp throughout dinner.
The fu yong eggs (RM15) are more average, which isn’t to say you shouldn’t order them. But it’s hard to screw up an omelette filled with mostly delicious things like waxy sausage, prawns, lettuce, bean sprouts and mushrooms. For good measure, the nam yue pork ribs (RM22) are a raunchy treat. Each dry, deep-fried, bony piece is arrestingly salty, but you can’t (and won’t) stop at one. In fact, you might order a second plate. Maybe even a cold beer…
|Venue name:||Sin Kee Restaurant||Contact:|
194 Jalan Tun Sambanthan
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sun, 12noon-2.15pm; 6pm-9.15pm|
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