What’s on the menu at Jackpot Chicken Rice, a Hainanese restaurant from the chef of Patois

What’s on the menu at Jackpot Chicken Rice, a Hainanese restaurant from the chef of Patois

Name: Jackpot Chicken Rice
Neighbourhood: Chinatown
Contact: 318 Spadina Ave., 416-792-8628, jackpotchickenrice.com, @eatjackpot
Previously: Lucky Red
Owner: Craig Wong (Patois)
Chefs: Craig Wong and Danai Hongwanishkul (County General)

The food

“I grew up eating Hainanese chicken rice—it’s my comfort food,” says Wong, who comforted himself with the dish a lot after Patois burnt down last June. “Everyone’s grandma made this for them growing up, but there are so many different ways to make it.” At Jackpot, Wong poaches chicken legs and thighs in a perpetually boiling master stock flavoured with ginger and scallions. The bird’s then deboned and served over schmaltz–stir fried rice, with a cup of winter melon soup and a hunk of crispy chicken skin. Two other variations of this dish include roasted chicken and braised tofu. Foie gras, a soy-sauce egg or greens, like bok choy, can be added to any plate for a few extra bucks.

Hainese chicken rice: poached chicken served with schmaltz-fried rice, crispy chicken skin, winter melon soup and ginger-scallion dipping sauce. $14.50. Hainese chicken rice: poached chicken served with schmaltz-fried rice, crispy chicken skin, winter melon soup and ginger-scallion dipping sauce. $14.50.
 

 
Roast chicken rice: Sambal-glazed chicken roasted in a Chinese barbecue oven with schmaltzy rice, and served with winter melon soup and Thai fish sauce. $14.50. Roast chicken rice: Sambal-glazed chicken roasted in a Chinese barbecue oven with schmaltzy rice, and served with winter melon soup and Thai fish sauce. $14.50.
 

 
Tofu mushroom rice: Braised tofu with edamame, veggie XO sauce, crispy tofu sheets and shiitake mushroom rice ($13.25). On the side, Jackpot's signature shaoxing wine- and soya-poached egg ($3). Tofu mushroom rice: Braised tofu with edamame, veggie XO sauce, crispy tofu sheets and shiitake mushroom rice ($13.25). On the side, Jackpot’s signature shaoxing-and-soya poached egg ($3).
 

 
Tempura-battered broccoli in a lemon-kewpie mayo with cilantro and lime leaves. $5. Tempura-battered broccoli in a lemon-kewpie mayo with cilantro and lime leaves. $5.
 

 
Chef Craig Wong. Chef Craig Wong.
 

The drinks

A mix of imported beers (Tiger, Tsingtao) and local craft like Blood Brother’s Shumei. Cocktails, like the Singapore Slang, are downright boozy. This particular lowball combines Beefeater gin with Heering cherry liqueur, Benedictine, lime and pineapple juice. Virgin options include non-alcoholic drinks that are popular in Asia, like chrysanthemum iced tea.

Singapore Slang: Beefeater Gin with Cherry Heering, Benedictine, lime juice, pineapple juice, a few shakes of bitters and caramelized pineapple. $11.95. Singapore Slang: Beefeater gin with Heering cherry liqueur, Benedictine, lime juice, pineapple juice, a few shakes of bitters and caramelized pineapple. $11.95.
 

 
The Black Currant Calamansi Lemonade is made with Ribena soft drink, Cassis, vodka, lemon juice, calamansi juice and a pinch of salt. $8.95. The Black Currant Calamansi Lemonade is made with Ribena soft drink, cassis, vodka, lemon juice, calamansi juice and a pinch of salt. $8.95.
 

 
Making the Black Currant Calamansi. Making the Black Currant Calamansi.
 

The space

Local graffiti artist Bacon spray-painted the 40-seat space with classic Maoist propaganda—a cherubic baby straddling a watermelon—on one of the walls. Wong’s sister-in-law, graphic designer Elsie Lam, painted the food-themed illustrations over the bar. One of most expensive parts of opening Jackpot, though, wasn’t decor-related: Wong spent $20,000 on two steam-jacketed kettles, which keep the master stock forever boiling, never burning.

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All of the colanders for the light fixtures were picked up at neighbouring Tap Phong. All of the colanders for the light fixtures were picked up at neighbouring Tap Phong.
 

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