Saturday, 3 January 2015

Paper wrapped Chicken at Hillman Restaurant

When I first heard about paper wrapped chicken (纸包鸡), I wanted to try it. I lived in Sydney at the time, and as far as I knew, there was no Sydney restaurant served that dish. This was before the internet. I soon forgot about it.

Hillman restaurant, Kitchener Road, SingaporeWhen I heard it recently, I did a little research and found out that there're only a few restaurants in Singapore serving this Cantonese "classic" dish (even fewer in the rest of the world). So I wouldn't want to let it to slip my mind again, and so I chased down a few restaurants that serve this.

The name that seems to most associated with this dish is the Union Farm House, and it isn't too far from my place. But having read some negative reviews regarding price and quality, I decided to try the Manhill restaurant. As it turned out, they changed their name and location from Manhill to Hillman, and moved to the present location of Kitchener Road a stone throw away from the City Square Mall. They did that after they won the World Famous Restaurant by the World Association of Chinese Cuisine.

Award that adorns the wall of the restaurant
The Vibe: The restaurant housed in a nice Paranakan building on Kitchener Road, and has a no-frilled casual dining setup. Its wall is filled with history - accolades and newspaper articles depicting the restaurant's various milestones.

Hillman restaurant, Kitchener Road, Singapore

The Service: Reasonably prompt and friendly.

The Food: We ordered 3 dishes between the two of us. The first two are easy to decide, with pwc being the reason why we're here. We ordered 6 pieces (5 pieces minimum). And the fried pork ribs in Chinese style also has a picture on a poster on the wall just below the picture of paper wrapped chicken, so we ordered it as well.

Paper Wrapped Chicken (纸包鸡)

I thought it would be nicer if it was more burnt/roasted. But then the paper outside prevents it from being too burnt without having it caught fire. It isn't my cup of tea. I can tick this chee-pow-kai off my bucket list. It's a long list, I need to do some cleaning up by filling my stomach with exotic food. I give it 6 / 10.

Paper wrapped chicken
Paper wrapped chicken

Chinese Fried Pork Ribs in Chinese style (排骨王)

Another interesting tasting dish where its taste probably needs some acquiring. Chewing releases a smell that reminds me of Camembert cheese ! While I regularly enjoy eating Camembert cheese, I don't want to smell it in Chinese food. Ada suggested that coffee is one of the ingredient. Again, I'm a humble man with simple taste.  6.5 / 10.

Chinese Fried Pork Ribs in Chinese style

Happy Beancurd (双喜豆腐)

I'm quite happy with this Happy Beancurd dish. The sauce is easy to go down, and the beancurd quite smooth. 7 / 10.


Overall Score: 6.5 / 10. I'm quite sure that if I ordered the right dishes from the selection of a large menu, I would give it a higher satisfaction score. But I can only judge what I have eaten. And I have eaten chef's special dishes that really challenge my palates. But I'm glad I went.

There's quite a bit of foreigners dine here, thanks to its international reputation.

Off topic, close by site: This heritage gate at the the City Square Mall is the only thing remains us of a very colourful amusement park that defines the age that it operated. I love to get onto a time machine and have a look at this amusement during the heydays of 1930s and 1960s. City Square Mall is built over the ground of the defunct The New World Amusement Park.

The gate of the New World Amusement Park, Singapore
The gate of the former New World Amusement Park,
decked out in Christmas spirits

1 comment:

  1. Even I haven’t heard about paper wrapped chicken. BUT after knowing about this I really want to try it out. I wish I could find paper wrapped chicken at some local San Francisco restaurants! Anyways, thanks for this article!