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An iconic landmark on the Singapore chicken rice scene.
Been here a few times with friends and decided to share the experience with my family, so we visited this rustic little coffeeshop for dinner last evening.
Parking: Kerbside parking is limited, so we usually park at Bugis Junction or National Library which are (diagonally) opposite Purvis Street. Don't risk parking in a dark alley.
Menu: Quite a substantial offering, considering the size of this eatery. The Chicken Rice and Roast Pork with Preserved Vegetables seem to be very popular dishes here, but we added a Steamboat for good measure. Presentation of the dishes is very rustic, with well-worn serving plates providing good fodder for Instagrammers.
Flavours: The food is generally quite tasty if you consider it more home-cooked than commercial. Nothing really to shout about or write home raving, just simple comfort food at rather affordable prices.
Service: Yet Con is quite well-known for the staff's brusque service, we were quite prepared when requests were met with blank stares and indifference. We still managed to enjoy our food, up to the time that one service staff went round gathering up the condiments and sauces, muttering "take more of the sauce, we're closing soon and I need to keep the sauces". Crusty staff are always (cute) and welcome, compared to rude and surly staff. The staff are afterall part of the ambience of Yet Con.
Well-worth a further visit ...
Yet Con is a familiar name in the Hainanese culinary scene and is probably the oldest Hainanese restaurant in Singapore, dating back to 1940 when it was founded. Thats a whopping 79 years, even older then independent Singapore itself!
Located along the historic Purvis street, Yet Con's interior takes you back in time to the days when policemen still wore shorts - ceramic tiles on walls with the quintessential wooden frame mirror with Chinese inscriptions and large, albeit dirty wooden tables coupled with dated wooden chairs. Even the signboard fronting the eatery looks like a piece of relic, weathering the sun and rain for countless years. The only modern thing in this place is probably the air conditioning.
Steamboat - The 3 of us ordered the smallest steamboat serving ($8) which came with tiny fishballs, a smattering of pork, squid, prawns , chicken etc and an additional plate of rather unfresh beef ($8). No choices were given for the soup base, which was chicken stock.
Beancurd - I'm inclined to think that most cze char places make this beancurd dish the same way, braised with lots of egg gravy atop. The beancurd wasn't outstanding even though it was placed under the recommended section of the menu. Simple and no frills and something I can easily find at most cze char stalls.
Hainanese Chicken - No trip to a Hainanese eatery is complete without ordering their namesake Hainanese chicken. Yet Con's rendition was void of any oily residue that is known to plague this dish without compromising on the tenderness of the meat. The only gripe I had was that the meat was a wee bit too dry.
The 3 of us chalked up about $43 for this relatively simple and filling meal. If you hanker for a simple, no fuss food at average pricing, then Yet Con would probably work for you.
See all my pictures here.
This place needs no introduction. Most famous for chicken rice and crispy roast pork, Yet Con has been serving Hainanese specialties since 1940. This institution has not changed since I last visited it 18 years ago. The old world charm it exudes remains one of its most appealing traits.
The elderly Chinese waitress spoke English well, to my surprise. We were served promptly and food arrived equally fast. A large bowl of piping hot chicken broth with tofu and coriander, followed by steamed chicken (they only have the "pak cham kai", no roast chicken here), roast pork and stir-fried kailan in oyster sauce (not pictured).
True to Hainanese tradition, the chicken did not have any soy dressing at all, so it seemed a little bland. The rice, however, delivered all the taste. It was very fragrant, beautifully savoury and I dare say, more salty than the chicken. Too bad it was in such a tiny bowl. We almost asked for more but decided to curb our carbs.
The roast pork was indeed crispy but a tad too dry for my taste. It also went very well with the rice.
I'd certainly go back again to try the other dishes. I don't know but something about eating in that environment makes adds an old homestyle flavour to the food. I love the classic marble-top tables and coffee-shop style wooden chairs, the no-frills wall tiles and lovely mosaic flooring. I hope they never renovate.
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