Sunday, November 23, 2008

temasek, parramatta

Jostling with pho for top spot on my favourite foods list is hainan chicken rice. I think we've found the perfect specimen at Temasek, Parramatta (although I'm willing to take further recommendations... the next one on the hit list might be at Ultimo, based on grabyourfork's review of Chinese Herbal King Seafood Restaurant).

This restaurant in tucked in a little alley on George Street, Parramatta. The street itself was eerily quiet for a Saturday night but the restaurant was pretty full with families and couples. The place is set up a bit strangely - two dining rooms with tables in the alley in between as well, but it seemed to work ok.

Apart from the deliciousness of the food, I was impressed with the speediness of the place - within about 10 minutes of our order, everything was already on the table. Quick enough for us to get back in time to watch the Rugby League World Cup final (which we lost to the Kiwis, argh!)

Mmm, fried hainanese chicken rice - $12. Not the conventional steamed hainanese chicken served with ginger and shallots, but more like chicken karaage - served with kecap manis (sweet soy and chilli. For me it's all about the rice, and this was great. Just the right about of garlic and chicken stock, and washed down well with the accompanying soup.

Serai (lemongrass) pork - $17.80. Very moreish - not too oily.

Tom yum soup - $7.80. There was pineapple in it - is that authentic? A great mix of sourness and spiciness, with lots of prawns, mushrooms and bamboo shoots.

Belacan kangkung - $16.80. A delicious tangle of vegetables with chilli and shrimp paste.

Unfortunately they didn't have bobo chacha that night, which I've been intrigued by ever since I saw it on the SBS TV show, Food Safari. Looks like grabyourfork had it though on her expedition to Temasek earlier this year. Was tempted by ice kacang, especially when a table of 8 near us ordered one each - but the unseasonably cold November weather made me vow instead to return for the bobo chacha another time.

Chapflap took me there on his previous experience of the chilli crab, so we'll be back with a larger group to have that and my bobo chacha! This place deserves more than a 6.4 on eatability!

Disclaimer: I'm not Malaysian so I'm not vouching for the authenticity of the food. All I can say is that it tasted good! Also, as for the service (which has been criticised on eatability) I would say that it was fairly perfunctory.

Shop 2, the Roxy Arcade
71 George Street
Parramatta NSW 2150

(02) 9633 9926

Open 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-10:00pm, Tuesdays to Sundays

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