With the numbers of Filipinos vacationing and working in Singapore, our awareness for Singaporean food has quickly risen, triggering shops that offer this distinct cuisine everywhere in the Metro. Even famous Singaporean chains have set up shop here. Nevertheless, it’s a small home operation that’s reverently being passed via word of mouth as the best local Hainanese Chicken Rice–Stevie’s.
Operating from a house in Bel-Air subdivision in Makati, Stevie’s Hainanese Chicken Rice is strictly a to-go affair. Order the chicken at least a day in advance, then pick it up a day later. One order is good for 4-5 people. The chicken is packed in a foil tray covered by cling wrap, while the rice is in another. Choose from the plain chicken rice set (P950) and olive rice (P1,100).
With each order comes containers of the traditional Hainanese chicken sauces: sweet thickened soy sauce, a zesty grated ginger sauce, and a fiery hot chili sauce. Also included is a container of the sauce the chicken comes in. The instructions packed with the order directs diners to heat up the separated sauce, then to pour it on the chicken. The chicken itself shouldn’t be heated because it can dry it up.
When you pick up the chicken, make sure that the car you’re driving has a trunk—no hatchbacks! The smell is so delicious you may have difficulty driving. Or you can always stop by the road side and dig in. It might be difficult to take public transport when you pick your order up, so grab a cab at least. The packaging is cumbersome; I can’t imagine how I’d manage to ride a jeep or a bus with the chicken in tow.
Is it worth the bother? YES, LAH! The chicken is poached tenderly, having a just cooked softness that’s characteristic with good Hainanese Chicken Rice. The flavor is spot on, a light flavor that’s perfect when mixed with the strong dipping sauces. It reminds me of Boon Tong Kee’s Hainanese Chicken; arguably one of Singapore’s best.
If you’re having evil cravings, Stevie’s is the next best option to flying to Singapore. It’s well-worth the effort and the price. Grab a tray to bring to your next pot luck and expect to receive endless oohs and aahs. It’s that yummy.
Stevie’s Hainanese Chicken Rice
21 Libra St., Bel-Air Village, Makati City