What’s on the menu at Jackpot Chicken Rice, a Hainanese restaurant from the chef of Patois
Name: Jackpot Chicken Rice
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)
“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.
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.
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.