Chicken, rice, and a few seasonings. Hainanese chicken rice sounds like such a simple and perhaps even bland meal, yet when diners order it for the first time, they’re often amazed by how flavorful the dish is.
The traditional preparation of Hainanese chicken rice, which gets its name from the Hainan province of China where it was created, pairs poached chicken, rice, ginger, and garlic, served with condiments such as soy, red chili sauce, and ginger with olive oil. The rice is typically simmered with chicken stock, fat or neck to create a rich and almost buttery flavor.
In Las Vegas, diners will find both classic Hainanese chicken rice and variations on the dish. Here are five places to order it:
A casual Chinatown spot
Co Anh Sandwich & Noodle is a casual, intimate restaurant on Spring Mountain Road that specializes in banh mi as well as Hainanese chicken rice. Here, the dish is available for $9.95 and is served with pickled vegetables and ginger fish sauce.
Co Anh Sandwich & Noodle Kitchen, 4725 Spring Mountain Road, Suite G; 702-538-9292
Hainanese chicken rice two ways
Chef Sheridan Su’s Flock & Fowl was built around Hainanese chicken rice. A longtime fixture on the Las Vegas culinary scene, Su created Flock & Fowl to introduce the classic dish to Las Vegas. Diners can order it with poached chicken for a traditional experience or opt for roasted chicken and add toppings such as fried egg and sausage for a unique take.
Flock & Fowl, 150 N. Las Vegas Blvd., Suite 100; 702-272-2222
A Spring Valley Hainanese chicken rice spot
Nuro Bistro filled the need for inexpensive, carefully prepared Hainanese chicken rice in Spring Valley with a menu that includes free-range breast meat for $9.75 or dark meat for an extra dollar, plus add-ons including flavored rice, soy sauce and ginger scallion sauce.
Nuro Bistro, 4255 S. Durango Drive, Suite 110; 702-901-4609
A Thai variety
Hainanese chicken rice may have originated in China, but the dish is popular throughout Asia, so it’s not unusual to see it on the menu at Thai restaurants as kaw man kai. One Thai restaurant where Las Vegas diners can find this is Kang Thai. Located on Charleston Boulevard, Kang Thai serves this menu item with steamed chicken, spicy sauce, soup, and add-ons such as fried egg or boiled egg.
Kang Thai, 6475 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 160; 702-685-5269
A hidden gem
Las Vegas’ Chinatown is filled with so many hidden gems that it could take a lifetime to savor them all. One such spot is Big Wong. Located in Seoul Plaza, this no-frills restaurant serves traditional Hainanese chicken rice with white or dark meat, soy and chili sauce for $4.95.
Big Wong, 5040 Spring Mountain Road, Suite 6; 702-368-6808
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