SGV: Hainan Chicken Is All You Need at Savoy Kitchen

Hainan chicken

 

I found myself at Savoy Kitchen over the weekend. Savoy is one of those old school spots known for one thing- Hainan chicken. However, their menu also features pasta, pizza and curry. I like to think of it as a mostly Italian (or perhaps pseudo Italian) restaurant with Asian management and touches. So having Hainan chicken or Malaysian curry isn’t too unusual.

But the reality is, Savoy is really a Hainan chicken restaurant and should give up the other items.

smoked duck pizza

 

I asked our server what the most popular pizza was and it was the chicken but since were getting two plates of chicken, we opted for the smoked duck. This is the second most popular pizza.

Earlier in the evening we were served somewhat dense bread I thought could be focaccia if you didn’t know what focaccia was with the requisite olive oil and vinegar. Really, it was just hard biscuits.

Our pizza was like that. The bread was a bit softer, and puffier but it was absolutely odd. I did like the thinly sliced red onions and the duck was indeed very good. But was it “pizza?” No, it wasn’t.

When I was in Hong Kong one summer years ago, my cousins took me to a Pizza Hut thinking I missed American food. At the time I thought it was the worse pizza I ever had.

I don’t know what’s worst but I’m leaning on don’t order pizza at Savoy.

beef curry with pasta

 

It’s been a few years since I had gone to Savoy. I was off chasing the best Hainan chicken in town and always knew Savoy will be the forever winner in people’s minds. That’s okay. They don’t need to say they’re the best as there’s always a wait.

As the five of us debated how many plates of Hainan chicken to get (we ended up with two), a friend mentioned he thought we should try the curry. After all, they had a whole section of Malaysian style curry. It seemed natural then to get the beef. But with noodles. I would have gotten it with rice but the group over-ruled me.

It turns out this curry was not very thick and lacked the earthy depth I like in curry. I started dreaming of Malaysian curry and laksa soup and gave up on this dish. Though to be fair the beef was in giant chunks and rather tender.

Savoy pasta

 

We also had the Savoy pasta which features ground sirloin and comes with roasted pork loin. Like the curry, I wanted the sauce to be thicker. I didn’t think much of the tomato sauce either.

The next time you’re over at Savoy, just remember, get the Hainan chicken only. You can get just chicken, just dark meat, extra chicken, a whole chicken, extra rice and lots of sauce (the triumvirate of ginger-scallion, hot sauce and soy). See, there are choices at Savoy. Make the right one.

And how is the Hainan chicken? Tender meat, great rice and relatively inexpensive. No wonder they sell so much of it and have been around forever.

Savoy Kitchen

138 E Valley Blvd., Alhambra, CA 91801  —  (626) 308-9535
 
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