Location: 318 Spadina Avenue, Toronto
This post is a bit different than usual. The whole point of this blog is to travel without traveling; however, I actually just came back from a real, no-foolin’ trip to Singapore (where I had chicken rice a couple of times), so this is the rare case where I know what the real deal is supposed to taste like.
Chicken rice, for the initiated, is an exceptionally simple dish — tender boiled chicken on rice that’s been cooked in the stock, served with a couple of sauces on the side. That’s it.
Man, it’s good though.
And the version they serve at Jackpot Chicken Rice is surprisingly close to what I had in Singapore. The rice in particular, with its addictively rich flavour thanks to being cooked with the stock, was pretty much exactly as I remembered from my recent trip.
The chicken itself, however, couldn’t quite match up. The version I had in Singapore had an intense chickeny flavour, and was almost absurdly tender. It was silky and moist in a way that was downright remarkable. The chicken at Jackpot, on the other hand, had a much more subdued flavour, and a texture that was more in line with any other well-prepared chicken I’ve had. It was tender, but not even close to the awe-inspiring degree of the Singaporean version.
It comes with two sauces on the side — a ginger scallion sauce, and a spicy chili sauce. The sauces, like the rice, were very comparable to the real deal.
You can also pay a couple of bucks and get some crispy chicken skins on the side. These are amazing. They’re pretty much like the best chips you’ve ever had. I want a whole bag.
I decided to finish things off with the Kaya French Toast. Kaya is a sweet, coconutty spread that’s typically served on toast for breakfast. The version here is significantly sweeter and richer than the toast you’ll find in Singapore; it’s lightly crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and intensely sweet. It’s really, really good.