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Aug 14, 2008 06:05 PM

Restaurant Basilic / Hainanese Chicken in Montreal

Has anyone tried the new Thai-Vietnamese Restaurant Basilic in Chinatown, right next to the Harmonie bakery? A lineup practically out the door caught my attention when walking by. When I went closer, I was startled to see a lifelike plastic version of Hainanese Chicken Rice (labelled "Hai-Nan Chicken Rice") in their window and am wondering if anyone's tried this particular dish at this new resto.

I've been fixated on Hainanese Chicken Rice ever since seeing Anthony Bourdain's Singapore episode of "No Reservations" and am hoping to try it when I'm in Vancouver in a few weeks, where apparently there are a few places that do it quite well. It never even occurred to me that this dish would be findable anywhere in Montreal, so I was startled to see it in the window and am wondering if this Singaporean/Malaysian specialty is available anywhere else in the city? If I hadn't just eaten I might have gone in to try it right then and there!

Picture & review:

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  1. It is impossible to find Hainanese chicken rice in Montreal. I've looked everywhere. I have yet to try Basilic. I have had it numerous times in Malaysia and I've been on a quest to find it here!

    3 Replies
    1. re: keelo

      Hi keelo, do let me know if you try it at Basilic! And thanks for confirming my suspicions that Hainanese chicken rice is not easy to find here.

      1. re: kpzoo

        D'oh! Just went there for lunch with a bunch of co-workers. I found it to be a pretty ordinary Vietnamese place, with slightly nicer decor and a more elaborate menu than most. Prices were OK but the food was nothing to write home about.

        As for this special rice dish, the menu listed "Hai Nam Chicken" on the Rice Platters page. I inquired about the rice, asking if it was cooked with the chicken, but was told it is ordinary steamed rice, drizzled with oil, vinegar and shallots. This did not sound like the real McCoy to me, so I passed on that.

        Opted instead for a pork-chop with rice, egg, and shredded pork. The pork chop was fatty, bony and thin, but still pretty tasty and not overcooked, thank goodness. There was a pretty generous pile of those dried shredded pork bits, which also seemed fresher than at other Vietnamese places. Other than that, it was pretty average stuff. I would not go back as I tend to prefer more hole-in-the-wall type places for this kind of food. Was seriously disappointed about the Hainanese chicken, guess I'll have to try Crystal of Saigon for that!

        Restaurant Basilic
        83 Rue de La Ferté-Gaucher, Boissy-le-Châtel, Île-de-France 77169, FR

      2. re: keelo

        Crystal of Siagon on St. Laurent has had it on their menu since dirt was a rock... It is good, but can't vouch for it's authenticity (it may be the real deal) ...

        I have been eating it for years, and am still here....

        1. re: anachemia

          I haven't yet, and my first - one and only - experience of Hainanese Chicken Rice in Vancouver last month was a bit (OK, a lot!) disappointing, so I likely won't be going here anytime soon. (Poached chicken = bland, even with dipping sauces. Rice = fairly yummy. As my husband said at the time, it's probably one of those dishes you needed to grow up with to crave on a regular basis.)