My quest for Hainan Chicken around Southern California continues. Last week, we found Chop Chop Grill, a Singaporean hidden gem in Walnut. This time we found another hidden gem in Rowland Heights, located in a non descript, tiny strip mall off Colima.
Man Chan means “dinner” in Cantonese, and the food served here is definitely Cantonese style comfort food. Ironically, the boss lady spoke Mandarin and fortunately for me, some English.
We came here on a Thursday night, at I was surprised at how tiny the place was. Four tables for 4 to the left, 3 tables for 2 to the right, and a couple of tables on the back leading to the kitchen / bathroom. Wow, indeed a “hole in the wall” mom n pop place.
We sat down, quickly glanced at the menu, but I already knew in my mind what I wanted: Hainan Chicken. So I ordered the “regular” version for me, and for $2 more, got Karen the dark meat only. To drink, I was about to get the Chrysanthemum tea, but at the last minute asked if she had “Wintermelon” tea, remembering that Savoy in LA had it. Sure enough, she did! Score!
The boss lady came back with our drinks and 2 bowls of the house soup. Based on other yelper’s photos the house soup changes… today’s soup had some sort of orange squash. I thought it was carrots until I bit into the soft flesh, and realized it was some sort of squash served in the chicken broth they probably used to prepare the Hainan Chicken. It was on the house, and it tasted good. No complaints here.
The chicken came, and my regular order came out first, and then shortly after, Karen’s dark meat order. There was about 6-8 ounces of chicken, most (not all) had the bones removed. I had 2 pieces which was still attached to the rib cage. The chicken came with one, perfectly scooped bowl of rice, inverted onto the plate, some picked cabbage (it had a kick to it!) and 2 sauces: a ginger-onion sauce, and a red chili sauce.
At first glance, I didn’t think it was going to be enough food. When I finished my last bite, I was satisfied. Almost everything was great about the dish, except the rice. It was dry. Karen scooped a few spoonful of her soup to revitalize the rice. It was that dry.
Aside from the dry rice, the dish was almost perfect. They don’t offer the soysauce dipping sauce like Savoy or Chop Chop does. I could not complain about the price, $23 and change for 2 Hainan Chicken dishes with 2 tea drinks, so its a 4 solid star visit for me.