A chicken stall in a village: not the chicken rice as we know it.
Beef stall: popular in most cities
Pow or Chinese buns: found everywhere. But the bean pow was not to my taste.
Finger treats: the packet on the right nearest to the camera used to be my favourite during Chinese New Year but these days they are hard to find. So I was delighted to find them in Hainan, and promptly bought some.
Don't be surprised to see this warning in Chinese restaurants
Chicken rice is a very popular dish in both Singapore and Malaysia. Many people are curious whether chicken rice in Hainan and in this region is the same. After all it originated from there.
So, when I landed in Hainan after a short flight from Shenzhen chicken rice was my preoccupation. Wherever I went it was the main thing in my mind.
It wouldn't be that hard to spot chicken hanging in a stall I assured myself.
But the familiar chicken rice stall so common in Singapore and Malaysia was nowhere to be seen. It was only in a small town called Wuzhishan in the mountains that I spotted one. At last!
On enquiry I was told that I had to buy either half the chicken or the whole thing. And the rice is not chicken rice but plain rice. I gave up.
The second time was in a village. I was told the same thing. Forthwith I lost interest in Hainan chicken rice. No loss as their chicken looked unappetizing, honestly.
In China, I noticed there is the Chinese version of fast food which is more popular. Choose your dishes, find a seat and someone will provide you with chopsticks after ticking off the food items on a list. Pay after your meal at the cashier
.As for chicken rice, give me the Singaporean or Malaysian version any time.
Don't waste your time looking for the real thing.