The concept of rice bowls (donburi) comes from Japan where busy workers have to settle their meals quickly and cheaply. It’s not surprisingly that many Singapore restaurants, such as Tanuki Raw and Ninja Bowl, serve Japanese-influenced rice bowls. But Eat Chicken Rice, a stall at the basement food court of Cineleisure, two stalls away from Fish & Chicks, is doing something different: it serves Singapore-inspired rice bowls. The rice bowls are not pre-prepared; they are cooked freshly upon ordering, so you may have to wait a while. All dishes cost $8.90.
Their signature, truffle chicken rice, is not served in a bowl because a bowl cannot contain so many ingredients; it comes on a plate which consists of a mountain of truffle rice and half a poached chicken. Mushrooms are infused with truffle oil and then mixed with the rice. It’s smart of them to pair poached chicken with the truffle rice because the rice is already heavily flavored on its own so it should be paired with something light to offset the flavors.
From the rice bowls section, they have a decent curry chicken rice bowl that comes with julienned cucumber and poached egg, but out of the rice bowls, I prefer the salted egg yolk chicken rice bowl. The crispy popcorn chicken is coated with salted egg yolk and black pepper. The black pepper adds a wicked excitement to the dish. It also comes with fish skin to give the dish a crunchy texture, although I think the popcorn chicken is crispy enough on its own.
While Eat Chicken Rice serves rice bowls, they also have more traditional chicken rice. The chicken rice set comes with half a spring chicken (about 300g-350g), a big bowl of rice, a side dish, and condiments. The chicken is cooked on the day itself. No MSG is used. The condiments, such as chilli, ginger, soya sauce, are made inhouse. Even the oil used to pour over the chicken is specially infused with herbs.
From their traditional chicken rice, I tried roasted chicken rice and Szechuan-styled poached chicken. The roasted chicken rice is more savory than the norm but the sesame oil is less heavy, whereas the Szechuan chicken, covered with peanut, is not as spicy as I have anticipated. They are okay, but I still prefer the rice bowls which are different and more innovative.
Eat Chicken Rice
8 Grange Road, Koufu food court, Cineleisure, Singapore 239695
t: +65 9828 3490
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.