Mimi Chicken – Heartwarming Story behind Soul-Stirring Food
A little stall with an interesting name sits in the Hungry Bee Coffeeshop, a collaboration between The Fishball Story and Chargrill Bar. Mimi Chicken, a 2-month-old stall, is run by the amiable Jeffrey. Jeffrey emanated sincerity and friendliness, traits which we continue to observe throughout our entire meal.
Mimi Chicken sells a range of hearty dishes such as Hotpot and Woodear Rice Wine Chicken. Jeffrey first tried hotpot chicken when he was in China. It was a dish that his ex-wife loved. Unfortunately, his ex-wife contracted a terminal illness and eventually passed on. Jeffrey decided to set up Mimi Chicken as a tribute to her, for she loved Chinese cuisine immensely.
Open from 330pm to 2am daily, Mimi Chicken is a perfect late-night supper spot. You might think that the opening hours are odd, but this arrangement allows Jeffrey to work through the night, when he can capture the most crowd. As Jeffrey is currently running a one-man show, he has to maximise his working hours to the best of his ability.
We tried the Chicken Hot Pot (small/$16.90) with a normal spice level. A myriad of ingredients were present in the pot, and the generous portion ensured that there was more than enough chicken and vegetables to go around. Nonetheless, a pinch more salt and flavour would have made the dish taste even better. Drizzle the gravy over the rice ($1), relax, and enjoy the food! The chicken hotpot is available in 5 sizes — small, medium, large, large plus, and 1 pax portion ($8.90).
Next, we tried the Woodear Rice Wine Chicken (small/$13.90). According to Jeffrey, this is a great dish for people who have just given birth, due to its nourishing and healing properties. There’s no msg and salt added at all. The intense flavour is derived from the addition of spices. Jeffrey quickly shared that men can eat this dish, too! The taste of Chinese wine was evident in this dish, and it left a pleasant and warm sensation that rolled down my throat, and warmed my belly. Considering that Jeffrey had zero experience in the F&B industry, apart from a 3-month food preparation course, he whips up pretty yummy fare. Contrary to my expectations, this dish was not too heavy. I enjoyed the soup very much. The rice wine chicken is available in 3 sizes.
The Paper Wrapped Fish, the star of the show, then arrived at our table. Jeffrey’s version of paper wrapped fish is an interesting reinterpretation of the common paper wrapped chicken. 3 types of fish are available — seabass, grey mullet and red snapper. We got the red snapper, which at $32.90, was the most expensive fish. Different cooking styles, such as Hong Kong style, are available. We opted for the Chengdu-style paper wrapped red snapper. The red snapper is doused in a copious amount of garlic and chilli, so you can expect a really spicy kick (the level of spice can be customised) that is oh-so-shiok! The fish was extremely fresh and tender, with huge chunks of meat sliding away from the bones with just a gentle pinch of the chopsticks. The paper wrapped fish is definitely meant for sharing, and can feed 2-3 pax.
Jeffrey explained he has tweaked most of his dishes to cater to the Singapore palate. Tweaks include the generous use of garlic. Although business at Mimi Chicken isn’t very brisk as they have only been open for 2 months, most of Jeffrey’s customers are repeat customers. Jeffrey spoke of his future aspirations to grow the humble business, and is even planning to introduce a rather interesting dish — Durian Chicken Hotpot. While this sounds rather weird to me, I guess the novelty of the dish might draw the crowd.
Note: dishes come in small(2-3pax), medium(3-5 pax), large(5-7pax) and extra large(8-9 pax) sizes.
Mimi Chicken serves delicious food that’s not just comforting, but heartwarming too. Jeffrey is a very earnest and sincere stall owner, and I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that his food will receive the support it deserves.
Address: 512 Geylang Road, Lorong 28, Singapore 389468
Opening Hours: 3.30pm to 2am daily. However, once the coffeeshop at Geylang Lor 28 becomes 24 hours, opening hours may change to 4pm-4am