There are quite some buzz on this place recently in various food publications in Hong Kong and I actually went during the first week of their opening a a few weeks ago. I guess it is time to share my experience. First of all, many foodies usually visit a new establishment after at least a couple of weeks or sometimes months of operations to ensure quality consistency. While it is understandable for a new resto to require time to "settle in" in terms of operations, it is not an excuse for inconsistency with food quality and etc. As long as you are open for business, day 1 or day 1000 should not make so much of a difference in my opinion. My experience at Hainan Shaoye fell into the disappointing category.
With an overly abundance of information out there, I think many now know that this place is a venture from the group behind The Drawing Room with the Chef from Chatterbox in Singapore. As the name suggests, the Hainan Chinese Rice is its main draw. Many diners walk in waith the expectation of tasting Hainan chicken just like those they tried in Singapore but like I said in previous entries, being physically in Singapore can be a factor affecting your taste buds.
In my Sh!ok review, I mentioned about the two different school of thoughts in regards to "traditional" Hainan Chicken and the Hainan chicken here seemed to fall somewhere in between perhaps. As a short recap, you can have very flavorful chicken or that of bland flavor and rely on the sauces. In other words, either chicken is the focus or the sauce is whereby the meat is there to help bring out the best f the sauces. There is no right / wrong answer, it is all about personal preferences in my opinion.
What I can say about the chicken here was that the meat was rather bland yet the chicken skin was very rich and flavorful. There were three various sauces for you to dip into, namely the minced ginger, chili sauce and thicken soy sauce. The thickened soy sauce can be thicker in my opinion. Alright, enough with the flavors, time to move onto the meat texture. I ordered the normal cut and how I regret I did not order the thigh only for an extra $10. Thigh meat was firm to the bite and tender but the breast was ... mushy? I do know that the breast part is usually tougher than thigh and have a different texture to it but it just wasn't ... great. I wonder if the thigh and the breast came from the same piece of chicken anyhow.
I liked how they use a tea pot to hold the soup to keep the temperature as constant as possible but I think it is important to start off with hot soup first! Aside from the 3 different sauces, you will find a small grayish tray which was a egg custard with mousse made of thousand year preserved eggs. Quite an interesting side dish and it went pretty well by itself or with the rice.
As for the rice, I quite enjoyed it with hints of gingery and of course chicken flavors. Soft yet not overly mushy, not bad.
We wanted to order the Chai Tow Kway 菜頭粿 (with black sauce) but guess what, they were sold out at around 8pm! Not happy at all! So instead we ordered the Bak Kut Teh which was the Cantonese style with Chinese herbal flavors. It was a bit too weak in terms of herbal flavors.
We also ordered the laksa but the soup base was rather weak and watery as well. I prefer the soup to be thicker and creamier but that's just me of course.
... enough talking for today ... I do have high expectation or perhaps I should be more considerate and come back later once everything has been smoothed out? After all, I ams yet to try the Chai Tow Kway 菜頭粿 (with black sauce).
- Chicken Rice - hints of ginger and flavorful
- The Hainan Chicken - especially the breast part.
- Bak Kut Teh - weak in flavors
Avg Spending: HKD 100 - 200 per person
Hainan ShaoYe 海南少爺
Shop 311, 3/F, World Trade Centre,
280 Glucester Road, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2111 3166
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