When I started this blog in 2010 (gee, time flies), one of my early posts was about Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore.
Sin Swee Kee in Seah Street was where I had my first encounter with chicken rice and where you could say I fell in love with the dish.
I haven't had chicken rice in years because shortly after that time, I turned vegetarian.
Recently though, I have gone back to incorporating some meat in my diet -- but only when I am traveling and only if the experience is so iconic to the place.
On this last trip to Singapore a week ago, I decided it was time to go back to Sin Swee Kee and see how it had fared these past years. I don't see it mentioned as a top chicken rice place, but this was where I had my first taste so I knew I had to try it again.
I wondered if it would be as good as I remembered it to be.
The place seemed to have been spruced up and an open kitchen is now on the premises. There's a fresh coat of paint on the walls and even the logo has been modernised.
From where I sat, I looked out on Seah Street and people watched.
There wasn't much of a crowd on this weekday night -- it was almost 9 p.m. and Sin Swee Kee was just about ready to close.
Naturally, I ordered the Hainanese chicken rice with a side order of my favourite prawn fritters. Renovations and upgrades notwithstanding, the food looked, smelled and most importantly -- tasted pretty much the way it did four years ago -- when I declared it to be the best ever chicken rice in Singapore.
Sin Swee Kee's unique crushed ginger sauce was as bright green and fresh as it used to be and I asked for an extra portion.
Once more with feeling ... Sin Swee Kee is still SHIOK, lah!