Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Classic Dish That Is Now Hip at Red Chicken







There's a dish that is making a major comeback.

It seemed not long ago everyone can only named one place to go for the steamed chicken we all tend to love ... Hainan Chicken. The place people would suggest is name of an Italian specialty cafe that can served out this southeast Asian favorite poultry dish.

What's Hainan Chicken and why is it so special?


Hainan Chicken Rice - Steamed Chicken with sauces

Let me break this down. In order to get this dish right, you pretty much have to cook this chicken to be moist and have a silky texture feel. The skin would needed to be in this texture of a taste (it's a blasphemy not to include the skin!). On top of that, the rice need to be steamed with the chicken stock to have that flavor.

Oh, let's not forget about the sauce! That's probably the most important, but yet more ignored part of the whole dining experience of Hainan Chicken. You got have that chili, soy, and ginger sauce to separate the sweet, spicy, and savory taste for that chicken.

It's used to be only south part of China specialty named after the island where it was famous for. However, it was grown be loved by most of southeast Asia like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and any big Chinese populations. For marketing purposes, most Chinese restaurants just simply named it "Hainan Chicken" because people will understand you wanted steamed chicken with all these pou pou involved.

Getting back to it, there used to be only one place that serves in the whole LA as of 2002. I know because that Italian place (Savoy Kitchen) was named the #1 date place for Asian community in LA. They served pizza and pasta, but was ecstatically known for this steamed chicken. I for one, are not a devout follower of this place and was on the look out for a better one.


Singapore Fried Chicken with Rice

Flash forward to present day and time where there is Yelp, Google, Instagram and other online presence that can get you to survey the land for that offerings. There are places like a food court in a supermarket, a hole in the wall restaurant, or even places that is known for other specialties dishes, but serves a bang up chicken like this.

How did I ever wind up in Red Chicken? Long story short, it was because someone I know complained about the service here, but mentioned how good the place was in having this dish. Service be damned.... I would not miss out if this is one of the better steamed chicken I am going to see.

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Fried Chicken Wings

It basically looks like family run restaurant where I can see kids are there too during dinner time. I guess people don't mind if the food is good and can ignore this simple fact. My best guess also was that the owners running it has some sense of social media as they keep their taps on it and also update their website regularly. How savvy they are? We'll find out if they can find this post online.

My initial thought about this no frill, limited menu item place was that they are specialized (the name of the place, Red Chicken) was actually pretty good. I do love their wings and their fried chicken rice dish. The one that is where the dish people craves for... the steamed chicken was spot on. All those prerequisites I posted earlier have all been met, so I really am excited for the place to challenge the Italian place a few miles away.

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Pink Milk - It does a body good?

This is a pretty straight forward place with not much to entice people to make the long trek for. People usually settles, but I think with the steamed chicken getting more popularized as I have noticed a sizable list was circulated by a few publications... it may be a good alternative finally.

For once, I can honestly say that popularity is catching on during the new Millennial era of SnapChat or Instagram. It was forgotten and underappreciated by the Gen X era of bloggers. Let's hope it doesn't get too crazy as more of these red chicken are popping up. I am noticing they are catering that crowd with those crazy milk drinks. Instagramable?...hardly, but you get the idea.

We all love a good comeback stories, but we also remembered the fizzled forgotten. Xiao Long Bao.
Red Chicken
1001 E. Las Tunas Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776

Red Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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