Sunday, April 20, 2008

Yet Con Chicken Rice, Singapore

Chicken Rice

Wow - that was unexpected. We weren't even planning to come here; actually, we went to their competitor Chin Chin across the street first. Only on a whim did we swing over here afterwards (25 Purvis Street, 6337-6819) just to give it a try. We are so glad that we did.

If there were only one word that I could use to describe this place, it would be "character." Every aspect of this place was full of character, be it the proprietor at the front with his abacus, the old school yet air conditioned decor, or of course, the food itself: the chicken rice was unlike any that I'd had elsewhere. The chicken skin was lined with salt, pairing perfectly with the fat underneath, while the incredibly fragrant rice could easily stand on its own. The giant bowl of soup was garnished with pickled veggies and celery leaves, and even the ginger condiment was a delight with its layer of chicken oil floating at the top of the jar. The only thing I didn't like was the unnecessarily salty hot sauce - to which competitor Chin Chin got my vote on instead.

That aside, this place has instantly skyrocketed to one of my favorite chicken rice places on the island, perhaps even threatening my all-time favorite Tian Tian. Then again, I'm not sure if it's appropriate to compare the two: clearly this place was much more traditional. Either way, it was such a refreshing change from all of the other chicken rice places around that I really enjoyed it, and wouldn't hesitate to come back again.

9 comments:

Cafemakers said...

I've been in Singapore for 1 of 2 weeks, love the blog! Read it nearly every day for food reviews. If you have a chance, I hope that you can make it over to the Food & Hotel Asia show at Singapore Expo this week -- will be glad to talk about Singapore's restaurants and show you around Asia's largest competitive coffee event (over great coffee, of course). Andrew (ahetzel (at) cafemakers.com)

强仔 said...

Yet Con is one of my favs too. Not somewhere I'd really recommend my health conscious friends. If you're there you should try the roast pork (smothered is sweet dark soy) and the steamboat is darn good too.

Debbie said...

Actually my fav chicken rice stall is located on the lower level of the Beach Road hawker centre, opposite Golden Mile complex. At $2.30 for a plate (not sure if price has been revised since I visited), it is super oily but extremely satisfying, even for chicken breast meat. Go try it sometime if you are in the vicinity.

Tym said...

Yet Con is a classic. I've been eating there since I was a kid, in the late 1970s, and I swear, the proprietor with the abacus has not aged a day since then. It's great for a traditional steamboat too, although some of my friends have commented that the price is a bit steep. But I'd gladly pay to keep Yet Con going any day!

Anonymous said...

If you like Yet Con, perhaps you might want to give Peng Kee a try, that is, if you haven't already. It's located at Public Mansion, Balestier Road. It's run by this old Hainanese uncle and his wife, and I think they've been around for decades. I think Peng Kee more than holds his own against competition from the more famous Balestier chicken rice joints like Boon Tong Kee and Loy Kee. The shop would remind you of Yet Con, sans air-conditioning but with the familiar mosaic tiles. Some may argue that his rice is not fragrant , but I find that's one of his strengths - fluffy and not too oily - I think i've done four bowls at one go. The soup here is good too, with a generous helping of silky tofu. And the highlight is definitely his chilli sauce, which is very tangy and appetizing.

mandy said...

do try de chicken rice at alexander village. its at de row where 2 drinks stalls are selling avocado juice (mr avocado is one of them). yummy!!

Pete said...

Drat - you found my secret chicken rice spot & blogged on it! Yet Con's been around for 60-70 years or so. My grandparents had one of their dinner dates there when they were in their youth!

Great roast pork, too, served with sweet dark soysauce. You should also try some of their classic Hainanese stir-fries: the fish maw/chicken/eggs/white cabbage, and the cuttlefish/pork/tunghoon-vermicelli in dark soysauce.

barbieken@mac.com said...

i love your blog...really sensible comments and not at all pretentious unlike food bloggers who think they're food critics. need to ask you something though --about writing food stories. Please do let me know how you can be contacted. My email - felixdcut@yahoo.com. Thanks!

A said...

I am not a Singaporean, and not Chinese. I was introduced to Yet Con 4 years ago when I first came to Singapore, as a "safe" bet! I mean, you really cannot go wrong with Chicken RIce, can you?
4 years hence, I eat everything that locals eat but my perennial fav still remains Yet Con. Mind you, not just Chicken Rice, but the most rich green and lusciously garlicky Kailan! Also topping my list are the Sweet and Sour Fish and Hainanese Pork Chops.
And the best way to enjoy the chicken is by mixing the chilly sauce, dark soy and ginger in just the right ratio.
2 things bother me though - The increasing prices and falling (rapidly) service standards.

Anyway, I'm going there again tonight! :)