Tar Pau Nation: What to order in

Covid-19 stay-home guide: Soya sauce chicken with traditional flavour

Nanyang Chicken’s soya sauce-braised pork and whole soya sauce chicken.
Nanyang Chicken’s soya sauce-braised pork and whole soya sauce chicken. ST PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE

In this daily series, Senior Food Correspondent Wong Ah Yoke digs into delivery options and rates them for you

Nanyang Chicken is a tiny cafe in South Bridge Road with one main dish on its menu: soya sauce chicken with rice or noodles. It was started by the boss of Nanyang Sauce mainly to showcase his premium soya sauce, which is brewed under the sun in the traditional way.

The sauce manufacturer's roots date back to 1959. It is now run by third-generation owner Ken Koh.

I have met Mr Koh, but had not tasted the chicken. Since the eatery is now offering free islandwide delivery, I thought this was a good opportunity to do so.

But it comes with a catch. Delivery is free because Mr Koh handles everything himself, so you do not get to choose when the food arrives.

The eatery delivers to a different region every day: the North West zone on Mondays, Central zone on Tuesdays, South West zone on Wednesdays, North East zone on Thursdays and South East zone on Fridays. Delivery time is between 10.30am and 1pm.

Like this column, it takes a break on weekends as, presumably, more people will be cooking at home.

The Nanyang Whole Soy Sauce Chicken ($28.80) came wrapped in aluminium foil and was not cut, so as to keep the meat from drying out.

And it was juicy, with the meat well-marinated by the delicious sauce in which the bird had been poached. There was also a separate pack of gravy to use as a dip.

It was well-balanced and not too sweet or salty. I also liked that the meat was firm and not mealy.

  • HOW TO ORDER

    nanyangchicken.com

    DELIVERY CHARGE

    Free islandwide with fixed delivery dates and times

    RATING

    3 stars

You can cut the chicken up with a pair of scissors or a knife. But I find it tastes better when you tear it with your hands. The meat comes off in slivers and feels smoother, but it can get a bit messy with the sauce.

 

Besides the chicken, there is also Tau Yew Bak ($12.80) or soya sauce-braised pork. However, I found this lacklustre. The pieces of pork belly, tau pok and Chinese mushrooms were cooked just right, but the sauce tasted one-dimensional. It was salty, but there were no nuances of other flavours.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2020, with the headline 'Soya sauce chicken with traditional flavour'. Print Edition | Subscribe