I seldom post about coffeeshops but here I must share where my favorite Prawn Paste Chicken (Har Cheong Kai) lies. After tasting several different ones, I still have to hand it to the first (and best) prawn paste chicken I'd ever tasted at
Hong Kong Street Zhen Yuan Ji @ 412 Balestier Road, nestled amongst a row of shophouses along the main road.
I had come here for the famous XO fish head beehoon before, as well as the Moonlight Hor Fun (Yue Guang Hor Fun) - seafood / beef hor fun with an egg yolk beaten into the center resembling the full moon.
However, nothing beats the Prawn Paste Chicken (Har Cheong Kai) here. The chicken winglets are deep-fried till a lovely golden crisp, and tastes every bit as crispy as it looks. The flesh is tender and none of that sticky or redness of frozen chicken meat.
The best part of it is the flavor. When one's teeth first sinks into the crackling skin, the first burst of flavor hits upon the palate - the near exact taste of lobster crackers! Yes, one could imagine that they are really munching on the sweet pieces of lobster crackers when they eat this, before they chew on the succulent flesh within. The chicken winglets are not greasy as well, giving it a very pleasant texture overall, easily enhanced by a couple drizzles of lime squeezed onto it.
Forget the rest of the dark-skinned, soft textured prawn paste chicken I eat at many other places after that - they are either too salty or lack the aroma of the prawn paste which this dish's name acclaims so proudly.
I could eat this everyday..... *sinful*