I’ve heard many times about how amazing the Hainanese chicken is at Temasek, so I jumped at the chance to go and try it when we went there recently with some family friends. There were a lot of us at the table so we got to sample a wide range of their menu. The food didn’t take long to come out but what I noticed was that it came out in the order that we ordered the dishes with our waiter – something to keep in mind for next time! This was quite surprising because most of the time at Asian restaurants the dishes just come out whenever they’re ready.
The first dish we ordered was the beef rendang which has tender, fall-apart chunks of beef that are flavoursome from the spices used in the rendang. The sauce was also great with rice.
Next up was the sambal balacaan kang kong – a vegetable dish with water spinach, sambal and shrimp paste. This probably could have done with a bit more chilli kick, but the shrimp paste and garlic added a heap of flavour to the vegetables.
The star of the show, the Hainanese chicken, arrives and it is indeed as soft and tender as I’ve heard it to be. The whole chicken has been deboned, so the silky pieces of chicken can be popped into the mouth and eaten without fear of crunching on any bones. The chicken also comes with the usual 3 condiments of ginger, chilli and soy (not pictured). We also order a pot of chicken rice ($7.50) to go with this. Definitely the best Hainan chicken I’ve had in Sydney so far!
We also get a serve of char kway teow. I usually order this whenever we go to a new Malaysian/Singaporean restaurant because it’s usually a good indicator of the quality of the restaurant (as well as the Hainan chicken). This noodle dish doesn’t disappoint – the noodles are soft without being mushy and they’re also generous with the lap cheong and prawns in the dish.
We try the Serai (lemongrass) fish which is one of the favourites on the table, especially among the parents. The pieces of fish are cooked perfectly and covered with a sweet sauce which definitely has lemongrass but it isn’t too overpowering. Even Sir D who doesn’t like lemongrass enjoys this dish.
My other favourite dish apart from the Hainan chicken is the Singapore chilli king prawns. The prawns are smothered in egg white and a chilli sauce which packs a punch but goes fantastically well with the fresh prawns. The sauce was so good that after all the prawns have been eaten, I scoop the rest of it onto my plate to eat with rice.
Meat on a stick is always a crowd-pleaser, so we order chicken satay sticks which are very tender and tasty. I also like the addition of pineapple as one of the side dishes to go with the satay.
Lastly we order the kecap manis sotong which is fried calamari in a sweet soy sauce. This dish was recommended by the waiter and it was a hit! The lightly battered calamari rings are fried until crispy and then covered with a sweet sauce reminiscent of the sauce used in the crispy shredded beef that you find at Peking restaurants.
Temasek definitely lived up to its reputation of serving great Malaysian and Singaporean food! The service was efficient and friendly and I would definitely return to try more of their hawker-style dishes and of course, for more Hainanese chicken!
The Roxy Arcade
71 George Street
Ph: +61 (02) 96339926
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 11.30am-2.30pm and 5.30pm-10pm
Closed on public holidays
Minimum spend for dinner – $12pp