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Oct 21, 2012 04:05 PM

Hainanese Chicken (and all its variations)

Just came back from a trip to SE Asia and was blown away by the regional variations of Hainanese Chicken I had. I'm wondering where I can find some of that here in the GTA?

I'm familiar with the Cantonese-style (with the mashed ginger/green onion/oil dip), but am looking for something more similar to Singapore's Boon Tong Kee with its spicy sauce and "oily" ginger rice (mind-blowing), as well as any Thai restaurants that make khao mun gai.

It seems like the most-discussed places on this forum are Lion City in Mississauga (Singaporean), Hawkerbar on Ossington (Australian-Singaporean), and Bagahon (Singaporean). Any other good places?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. - Hawker Bar is pretty far from what you're looking for.
    - Lion City, I've not had.
    - Gourmet Malaysia has a slightly different variation. Good (just had it tonight!), but not what I think of as Hainanese.
    - Honestly, the closest I've had is at Phoenix. And that's only okay.
    - I hear there's a place in Pacific Mall on the 2nd floor that serves it too. I think it was mentioned on the board.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jlunar

      Hawker Bar isn't bad. Its changed a lot since they first opened. rice is fattier and chicken is juicier. Obviously being a breast, it will not be as juicy as thigh. However, its decent IMO. once i had it and it was really bad (overcooked). Now its pretty good, if they don't overcook the chicken.

      i do not like gourmet malaysia's version at all.

      Bagahon is the place in pacific mall. Its good but once they gave it to me without any sauces saying they were out. i was like wtf....if you told me when I ordered i would have had something else. haven't been back since I was served a gross laksa from there though.

      1. re: szw

        Has HB improved? I gotta admit, after the first disastrous visit, I haven't been back. I'm rather wary of returning... all the flavours (across the board) were just not what I associate with Malay/Sing food, so...

        1. re: jlunar

          I enjoy it but you have to disassociate looking for authentic food. I think on its own, its still good food made with care. If you are expecting exactly authentic flavours you will be disappointed. The laksa is disappointing if you are looking for a real singaporian laksa. Think of it as sayur masak lemak and its good!

          I think disassociating traditional flavours is especially difficult for sing/malays because home food is so near and dear to our hearts and also its not that widely available here.

          Its kind of like how I like eating at Yuzu, but someone from japan probably would be taken aback by the whole meal.

          1. re: szw

            Even tossing traditional flavours aside, I just got bad food: mushy rice, dry chicken, overuse of ginger (on everything), and just not tasty food. Now, not everything was bad, but I ordered the whole menu and more than half was just not well done. :(

    2. Lion City's is awesome...

      though- the other dishes there?...meh.

      1. Malay Thai in First Markham Place used to do a fairly good version, but I haven't been there in ages.

          1. re: sweetie

            we have tried phoneix, RM, gourmet malaysia, South Asia (?), Lion City, etc.
            Our favourite is the Macau counter in the foodcourt at Peachtree on Kenendy & 7. Second would be gourmet malaysia.

            1. re: caitlink

              Oooh... at Peachtree, you say? I might be out there on Friday... will have to stop by!

              1. re: jlunar

                Yes. It's at the foodcourt. The Macau place next to the Chinese bbq counter (on the right). we like it a lot. I think there was also a writeup about this place in the Ming Pao Saturday magazine.
                They are good for the chicken rice, pork chop sandwich.

                1. re: caitlink

                  Thanks caitlink! Will see if I can suss it out.

                  1. re: jlunar

                    It's the signature dish of Delicious (Ho Ching Heung) at 360 Hwy 7 E. Available for Monday lunch and all dinner except Tues. It's better than Phoenix and Gourmet Malaysia.

                    1. re: ace123

                      They use the more flavourful and chewier 'free range chicken' too!! Better than the 'mushy' texture bird found almost everywhere!