Two is better than one, so we paired two things we love the most: Singaporean Chicken Rice and French wine. Turns out, they accompany each other pretty darn well! But our selections may surprise you.
For those of you who don’t know (really?), chicken rice is Singapore’s staple food. Even our French colleagues can’t get enough of “adding meat” from the chicken rice stall uncle at the food court. So we tried pairing these dishes with wine at Lee Fun Nam Kee Chicken Rice and Restaurant, one of The French Cellar’s no corkage partner restaurants!
Original Soya Sauce Chicken – Signature, must-try dish
Yes, chicken is generally paired with white wine, but that’s not always the case especially for Asian cuisine. We heard that the signature soya sauce is quite powerful, so we needed a candidate that is ample and distinct to prevent its taste from getting lost in the soya sauce. Hence, our Gaillac Rouge – cabernet sauvignon and syrah; fruit, spicy and oaky red from the South-West.
This fruity wine with melted tannins paired excellently with the powerful soya sauce and the soft, natural taste of chicken underneath, while the medium-body complemented the thick consistency of the soya sauce. What brought the pairing to another level, however, was the oaky and spicy notes of the Gaillac that engulfed the earthiness and saltiness of the soya sauce, overall enhancing the flavours of the wine and the meat.
Steamed White Chicken – Classic chicken rice chicken
For this classic chicken dish, our go-to choice was the Gaillac Blanc, a blend of mainly sauvignon blanc from Gaillac. As we used moderate amounts of ginger, dark soya sauce and red chili (for our French colleague who can’t take spicy food), we decided to use a frank white wine to balance the umami of the chicken.
Taking a sip of Gaillac after a bite of the oily, garlicky chicken, the wine’s intense but delicate lemon and grapefruit aromas were extremely refreshing, while not overpowering the stock. The citric finish actually gave more dimension to the savoury chicken, not to mention the lemon peel notes complementing the cucumber amazingly well.
Famous Crispy Roast Pork – Worthy of its name
Roast pork can usually go both ways, and this time we chose our white wine, Galtier Blanc. The Hong Kong-style crispy roast pork accentuates the taste of the meat itself (without much sauce), accompanied with mustard that is spicy yet and delicate. For this, we wanted a fruity white that is fulsome and rich enough to stand up to the pork meat and mustard.
Galtier’s crispness from its acidity and minerality were the perfect catalysts to blend with the crispy skin of the pork and to tone down the pork’s oily fat. Whereas, the constant battle and reconciliation between the mustard’s spiciness and Galtier’s white fruit (peach) and tropical fruit (pineapple) notes only kept us asking for more wine and meat.
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