[Singapore] Chicken Rice from Chef Benny Yap, Silat Avenue, Bukit Merah

Throwback Jan 2020
Chef Benny Yap who runs his chicken rice stall inside the food court at Block 148, Silat Avenue, prepared what he called a non-Hainanese version. Personally, I couldn’t differentiate his Cantonese rendition from the ubiquitous Hainanese one.

But he certainly got his flavours down pat: perfectly-poached chicken, drizzled with the lightest of dressing made from chicken fat, chicken stock, light soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil.

I guess in Singapore, one can’t escape from the demand for two standard dips for any chicken rice meal: a scallion-ginger-salt dip, and a watery chili-garlic-chicken stock dip.

Chef Benny Yap’s chicken rice itself is similar to the Hainanese preparation, i.e. uncooked rice grains were first fried in rendered chicken fat, then cooked in a chicken stock flavoured with ginger and scallions till fluffy. The Cantonese would’ve simply served their poached chicken with steamed plain, white rice.

Chef Benny Yap’s Chicken Rice
Block 148 Silat Ave #01-14
(Jalan Bukit Merah)
Singapore 160148


White cut,poached, Hainanese etc I like them all and eat them in different Asian countries. Can’t eat the skin, however. It’s one of my texture aversions. Always need more ginger sauce.

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I used to like to eat the skin during my growing up years. The squiggly, slippery texture reminded me of poached jellyfish, which happened to be a favourite appetiser of mine as a kid. :joy:

Also, most of the dressing would be on the skin, so that’s where we find quite a bit of flavour. However, I somehow developed an aversion to eating chicken skin upon reaching adulthood. Never understood why, maybe psychological - the idea of eating white fat. Love crunchy fried or roasted chicken skin, though.

And I still like jellyfish. :joy:

Curiously, I can eat jellyfish even though the texture is similar to soft chicken skin (and intestines) but it’s crunchy at the same time. Without the crunch and added flavourings I don’t think jellyfish would be used as food.

I’m a fan of (white) fat in the form of Schmalz, it’s the slimy texture of chicken skin and intestines that triggers a gag reflex. Mealtimes were sometimes difficult as a child, mainly due to my texture sensitivity. Nobody seemed to understand my aversion to slime.

Anything that has a texture like intestines is a big no no.

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More than the sauces, the rice defines this dish.

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Oh yes - that’s why, IMHO, Singapore is light years ahead of Malaysia when it comes to Hainanese chicken rice: Singaporean spots use high quality, fragrant Thai rice.
Malaysian places, on the other hand, inadvertently have poorer quality rice - probably to cut overhead costs.

Cooking rice in two stages, fat then stock, makes a difference and amplifies the chicken-y-ness.

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