SGV: Hainan Chicken at Side Chick

Hainan Chicken

Hainan Chicken


Side Chick at the Westfield Santa Anita mall in Arcadia has garnered a lot of buzz lately. At the helm is Chef Johnny Lee who I last saw opening Ramen Champ. After that venture, it seems he hopped over to Sticky Rice and became obssesed with Hainan chicken, the classic chicken and rice combo is beloved all over Asia with the epicenter in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. I do love the Thai version over at Sticky Rice and asked what was the main difference? It seems Johnny’s Side Chick leans more towards Chinese so it’s not served with broth (if you want that, it’s an extra $2).

Chef Johnny went on to serving his Hainan chicken and rice at popups and eventually opened Side Chick which is under the umbrella of restaurants owned by the Sticky Rice folks. They also have Match Match and Monkey Bar next door to Side Chick.

While Side Chick has a number of items on its menu including roast chicken with a soy honey glaze, chicken salad, chicken noodle soup and a bunch of add-ons and sides, I wanted to get the classic first. I got all dark meat though you can order it with white meat only or a mix of meats. It’s served with the fragrant garlic rice and a trio of sauces and dips. I was actually full from a meal over at Monkey Bar so I ate this for breakfast the next morning. I can’t say for sure a short wait in the fridge deepened any flavors but the chicken was still very juicy and had that velvety texture I love. It is different from Sticky Rice but both versions are very good. I’ll keep eating at Sticky Rice when in Downtown and I’d get Side Chick when in the San Gabriel Valley.

Side Chick at Westfield Santa Anita

400 Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007  —  (626) 688-3879

© The Minty  2017