Sunday, December 27, 2020

The Hainan Story (海南寶) @ Hillton Mall - New 5-In-1 Multi-brand Restaurant Brings Together The Best Of Hainanese Cuisine


New at Hillton Mall is The Hainan Story, a 5-in-1 multi-brand restaurant at Hillion Mall. It brings together the following five brands under one roof. They are Newspaper Curry Rice, The Hainan Story, Uncle Robert Western, Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice and Ah Chiang's Traditional Porridge.

Toast with Homemade Gula Melaka Kaya & Cold Butter 4/5

The Hainan Story brand shares the same restaurant name. It offers old-school breakfasts. The Traditional Hainanese Toasts are thick and fluffy with a pillowy-soft centre and crisp crust. This is best eaten with Homemade Gula Melaka Kaya & Cold Butter. Not to forget to go along with a cup of Kopi Gu You. Coffee with a slice of butter.

Ah Kor Hainanese Lamb Stew with Rice 4.2/5

Besides the coffee and toasts, The Hainan Story has several claypot dishes such as Hainanese Claypot Chicken Char Siew Rice ($8.50), Hainanese Claypot Ee-fu Noodle Soup ($8.50), Laksa with Hainanese Steamed Chicken ($8.50) and Ah Kor Hainanese Lamb Stew with Rice ($11.80). I had the lamb stew, which is incredibly tender. The sauce is mildly sweet with a hint of herbal, best to go with a plate of steaming white rice.

Mama Wee's Hainanese Kou Rou Set 4/5

During British colonial rule, a dish that originated in Singapore is the Hainanese Curry Rice, where the Hainanese chefs' combined pork chop from British cuisine, and ingredients like curry chicken, chap chye and babi pongteh from Peranakan cuisine. Offering this at The Hainan Story is the brand Newspaper Curry Rice. There are six different sets such as the Mama Wee's Hainanese Curry Chicken Drumstick Set ($7.80), Mama Wee's Hainanese Kou Rou Set ($8.80), Nanyang Flavour Fried Chicken Drumstick Set ($6.80), Signature Fried Pork Cutlet Set ($8.80), Prawn Fritter Set ($8.80) and Crispy Fried Silver Dory Fish Set ($9.80).

Old English Oxtail Stew 4.5/5

During the British colonial era in Singapore, many Hainanese chefs worked for British families. They created a unique take on western food with their Hainanese roots, giving the classic British cuisine a distinctly Asian take. A must-try dish is the Old English Oxtail Stew ($18.80), braised for hours with fresh tomatoes, spices and onions. The melt in the mouth meat is even paired with homemade mashed potatoes. Another nostalgia dish on the menu is the 1980's Hainanese Fried Pork Cutlet Coated with Potato Chips Crumbs ($14.80).

Chicken Rice Fried Rice with Pork Cutlet 3.5/5

Another interesting dish is the Chicken Rice Fried Rice with Pork Cutlet. The dish used the chicken rice from Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice and paired it with their pork cutlet. Unlike the usual pork cutlet, it is coated with potato chips crumbs instead of breadcrumbs for that extra crunchiness. However, the chicken rice fried rice was a letdown. I didn't taste the chicken rice flavour. It tasted just like regular fried rice.


More famous brands like Ah Chiang's Traditional Porridge and Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice make up the five concepts in Singapore. Ah Chiang's Traditional Porridge offers a bowl of comforting traditional porridge, with close to half a century of porridge-making expertise. Of course, how can we not include Hainanese Chicken Rice from Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice, an iconic dish put Singapore in the world map?

Note: This is an invited tasting.

The Hainan Story (海南寶)
Hillion Mall
17 Petir Road
Singapore 678278
Nearest MRT: Bukit Panjang (DT Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 730am - 930pm

1) Alight at Bukit Panjang MRT station. Take Exit A2. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

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