Chop Chop is a hidden cafe located in Walnut, California. It is tucked away in the corner of a strip mall, across the street from Mt San Antonio college. Find “Vapor Monkeez” and the place is next door.
This family run restaurant restaurant serves up Singaporean and Japanese cuisine, from curry to laksa, from ramen to Hainan chicken, a poached style of chicken. Hainan chicken hails from the Hainan province in southern China, but this dish is now more associated with Singapore cuisine.
I was craving Hainan chicken and was not in the mood to sit in an over an hour of traffic to go to Savoy in LA. Fortunately for me, I stumbled across this yelp review and someone mentioned Hainan Chicken and Rice. It was also mentioned that this dish sells out, so I called asking if they still had some available. The lady on the phone said she’d be willing to hold my order, so I asked for a dark meat plate, and a regular plate to be held.
The Hainan Chicken is not on the regular menu. According to the owner, they normally offer a fried chicken version and the Singaporean customers were asking for the “real deal”, the poached version. So they started offering it at $9.95 for a regular order, or, if you want just dark meat add $1.00.
I had the regular order which had mostly white meat. Karen upcharged her order to the dark meat only. Asians typically don’t like white meat because it tends to be dry. Not so with a good Hainan chicken. The white meat when poached is extremely tender, moist and delicious. This was no exception. The dish came with 3 dipping sauces: the soy, the ginger sauce, and the house made chili sauce (which the owner said was made especially for the Hainan chicken). The ginger sauce was also not your typical ginger and oil concoction. They added green onions and garlic to the mix, giving the sauce an even nicer flavor.
Aside from the difficulty finding the place, I can’t find any fault here. The food is priced fairly, and since its a mom n pop place, they even have a sign at the cashier saying their food may take a while, because its a small kitchen. Even their tea was fairly priced at a buck.
Dinner for 2, which came with a chicken consomme soup, came to just over $22 before tax or tip. Looking forward to coming back to get my Hainan Chicken fix. As the kids would say .. this place is legit!