Top End chicken rice a contender for best Down Under

IMG_20190209_205445_558.jpgBorn and bred in Singapore, I have a biase when it comes to chicken rice, or food for that matter. I’ve yet to taste a chicken rice outside the country, aside from Malaysia, that is good enough for me. Even those recommended by well-thinking friends in their home countries have fallen short.

I’ve tried chicken rice in a few places in Australia, mainly in Sydney, and found them to be different from my preferred taste.

Hence, I was pleasantly surprised when I ate at an Asian restaurant in Darwin. Based on my past experience, I wasn’t expecting much other than to have an Asian meal to fill my stomach on a hot summer day.

On the menu at Fusion Cafe Darwin was chicken rice. It was pricey too at A$17. My wife and I decided to order one portion since she wasn’t really hungry.

The service was excellent was the staff (who looks like she could be the boss) was sensitive to our needs. She asked if we wanted an additional plate to share the rice and even offered us another bowl of soup.

At first glance, the chicken rice’s presentation was nothing to shout about. It looks like what we get from our local hawker centres. The plate came with a generous portion of chicken and char siew.

Even when we divided the food between us, both of us had more than enough.

The chicken was boiled and a little hard, probably because it had been cooked earlier. But, it’s not unlike what we’ve tasted elsewhere in Australia.

The char siew, sliced in thicker chunks than back home, is tasty.

Accompanying the main course was a dip comprising sambal chilli and chicken rice chilli. The mix of spiciness and sourness make for an interesting taste which went well with the meats.

I loved the salted vegetable soup which was rich and tasty.

What is chicken rice without the rice? Made from broken rice grain (which is my rice of choice from chicken rice), it was flavourful and reminded me of home. It’s that good. Now, Australia can claim to have at least one chicken rice that ticks the right boxes for me.

If you happen to be at the Top End, do check out Fusion Cafe Darwin at Shop 18, 356 Bagot Rd, Millner.


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