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Famously known for their Hainanese Chicken Rice, Pork Chop and Kopi, authentic Hainanese cuisine is slowly but surely diminishing in Singapore. One restaurant that has stood the test of time is the Golden Mile Thien Kee Steamboat Restaurant.
Naturally, as a joint famous for their steamboat, I had to go for it. But a quick look around the tables and I know this place is also know for its Hainanese Chicken Rice. To me, the ultimate test of a Hainanese Chicken Rice lies in the a simple bowl of rice. It’s got to be grainy and fragrant, like eating tiny little pebbles infused with chicken stock. The rice can be so good that one can just chomp on it alone and it would be enough for an entire meal.
Maybe, I’m used to stronger flavours because the rice here tasted so-so only.
The chicken itself was tender and juicy but I felt, it was somewhat lacking in flavours. I know I have had better Hainese Chicken elsewhere (will be featured in separate upcoming post). Hainanese chicken has to a distinctive robust taste infused into the meat, tender to the bite and bursting with juices. This was felt slightly bland and most of the taste came from the sesame oil.
The roast meat was crunchy and was satisfying better than the chicken. It was all gone way before the chicken, if that says anything.
Next came the taste test for the chicken stock in the steamboat. The steamboat here is sold as sets, and since we were a party of three, we ordered the S$40set which includes vegetables, two eggs, some thinly-sliced beef and an assortment of seafood including prawns, squid, some fishballs, a few pieces of liver, small pieces of sea cucumber, cockles and pork slices.
For S$40, the steamboat set has decent variety but the portions are tiny for the price. A worthy mention would be the fishballs which were extremely crunchy! I loved them.
Unfortunately, the stock was disappointing. It was bland and tasted watered down so I decided to throw in some sesame oil from the chicken and chilli into my bowl to satisfy my tastebuds.
No doubt I have had better food elsewhere, I loved the retro interior of the Thien Kee Steamboat Restaurant in Golden Mile. It reminded me a time when I frequented Beauty World in the late 80s, early 90s with the family when we lived in Toh Tuck and Beauty World and Bukit Timah Plaza were the closest malls to us.
I would only recommend this place for nostalgia’s sake. So, go before we lose another place like this to urban Singapore. Golden Mile Thien Kee Steamboat is located at B1-20 Beach Road Golden Mile Tower (tel: 62985891/62935910).
Thanks for reading!