SINN JI CHICKEN RICE – Sinning in Novena

Gluttony and Novena

Gluttony is one of the original sins.

Someone told me about this relatively new chicken rice place right opposite to Novena church.

So if the chicken rice is good and I seriously overeat and succumb to the sin of gluttony, I just have to cross over to Novena and say a few Hail Mary’s.

The Origins of the Sinn

The idea of visiting Sinn Ji intrigued me for 2 reasons.


First, I was told that it’s just behind the bus stop opposite to Novena. This would put it squarely on the stretch where Wee Nam Kee used to be.

Wee Nam Kee was our only go to chicken rice place when I was a wee boy in the University.

It was open 24 hours and it was where we would go to find our sustenance drunk and/or half drunk and/or mildly drunk after a night of revelry at Hard Rock Cafe and Anywhere, singing with Brother Zul and Alban in a half drunken state.


The second thing interesting about Sinn Ji is that their chef is a young man barely in his late 20s known as Derwin, and he supposedly does poached chicken well.

The Contraption


He has introduced this metal tube to be inserted into the Gluteus Maximus cavity of the chicken to speed up the circulation of the hot broth on the inside of the chicken, so that the breast meat is evenly cooked both in the interior and on the exterior.

Presumably, this allows him to lower the temperature of the poaching liquid or to reduce the amount of cooking time so as to ensure that the insides close to the bone does not come out bloody.

And to those who have attempted to cook chicken rice at home, you would know that the skill in getting the poached chicken plumb, juicy but not bloody is to get the cooking time absolutely spot on, and with gentle poaching.

So in theory, this contraption does make sense.

But my young friend, you just raised my expectations of your poached white chicken many times over.

And I go round assiduously hunting down the perfect poached white chicken like the holy grail.

I have gone all the way to Taiwan no less in my search for the Holy Grail. See Best Chicken Rice in Taipei Boon Keng Chi Chicken Rice.

The irony that I might be about to sinn, and that Novena church is just opposite, is not lost on me.

The Sinn Bin

I was in a relatively good mood when 2nd daughter extraordinaire Sarah and I jaunted off to Sinn Ji.

This day, Biden may have provisionally become the next US President and we may be bothered by the Orange Menace no more.

It’s almost unreal.

The world may return to normalcy, where lies, insults and shock jock antics may not fill our senses no more.

Where decency may rule, and the proclaimed leader of the free world may actually act normal, almost regal.

I said a silent prayer.

It’s time for some good chicken rice.

The time of reckoning

I ordered both the white poached chicken and the roast chicken.

Hallelujah – the poached white chicken was succulent, plumb and juicy.

It was ordained with a tasty dressing of I think light soy and sesame.

It lifted the chicken up on high, and doth freely our spirits fly.

The heavens opened and the angels sang.

And metal tube apprentice, for you the bells did rang.

In other words, I was very happy with the poached white chicken.

It was delicious.

And the roast ?

Well I wouldn’t say it was compelling but it was decent enough.

It had a nice salted skin and the insides were moist.

Perhaps a little heavy on the five spice.

Good enough.

And Biden did win.

The Grains of Destiny

I cannot begin to even stress that a good poached chicken without a good perfumed, moist rice with a streak of grainy independence is like Romeo without Juliet.

Without Juliet, he is an Ah Beng sounding loser pedophile, swiping furiously left on Tinder.

Sinn’s rice was very acceptable but my acid test is would I happily eat the rice without anything else and yet be deliriously happy that the calories are worth every bit of it.

Any good chicken rice must pass that test without question.

Almost but not quite at Sinn Ji.

Texture was good but a little short on the fragrance and lacking that unbearable lightness of being.

It was decent but I wouldn’t take out my jagged dagger and commit Hari kiri over the rice.

But hope springs eternal that they would improve as Derwin grows older.

The Fires of Hell

And the chilli ?


What ?

Were you expecting a soul searching self absorbed diatribe over chilli?

Did you hear?

Biden won.

Sinn Ji Hainanese Chicken Rice

275 Thomson Road, Novena Regency #01-05, Singapore 307645

Opening hours:
11:00AM to 9:30PM

6258 0855

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