Hillman Restaurant specialises in Cantonese claypot dishes and was invited to participate in the first Asian Salon Culinaire (analogous to today’s World Gourmet Challenge) back in 1978, winning gold for their Paper Wrapped Chicken dish.
Their signature dish offers a sensation of flavors and aromas. Additionally, this signature item can also be found at their sister restaurant on Kitchener Road.
Paper Wrapped Chicken
Hillman is well known for their Paper Wrapped Chicken (, also referred to as “chee pow kai”). This delicious and unique dish combines both steamed and deep fried cooking techniques for maximum flavour! Thin slices of boneless chicken are sandwiched between delicious ingredients before being wrapped tightly with parchment paper resulting in an irresistibly fragrant meal that is sure to impress guests at your next dinner party.
To make this recipe, you will only require a few simple ingredients and steps. First, mix up your marinade ingredients and allow the chicken to marinate for approximately 45 minutes. Next, cut squares of parchment paper (or sand paper – similar to what’s used when creating salt baked chicken Yan Ju Ji) that match up with how many pieces of chicken will be created in each tray.
Place some ginger slices, spring onion strips and chicken on a square of paper and carefully fold up your package around them, tucking any loose ends away as you go. Repeat the process with each remaining piece of chicken.
Before deep frying, lightly pound the chicken with a meat tenderiser to help it retain moisture and retain flavor. Deep-frying paper packages may take extra effort but is worth every bit – the crispy outer layers complement perfectly the juicy and flavorful insides, offering an aromatic treat for the senses.
Hillman Restaurant on Kitchener Road is a hidden gem, specialising in claypot cuisine. Queen Elizabeth visited the restaurant during her 1978 visit and sampled their popular local dishes such as chilli crab and paper-wrapped chicken; indeed they still display a picture of her trying them!
Pot Sea Cucumber with Seafood ($14/22/30) is their signature dish; an irresistibly springy combination of springy sliced sea cucumbers and seafood with savoury-sweet gravy that goes perfectly with rice. If seafood isn’t your thing, Happy Beancurd ($16 for small) should definitely be on your dining agenda: homemade beancurd that’s both crispy on the outside yet soft and quivery on the inside, covered in copious amounts of minced pork gravy for an unforgettable dining experience!
Are you in search of an intimate dining experience? Look no further than Hillman City’s small Filipino American restaurant, serving tasting menus that showcase Aaron Verzosa and Amber Manuguid’s creative storytelling ability as husband-and-wife team Aaron and Amber Verzosa make traditional and contemporary culinary styles merge to produce authentic yet innovative dishes such as pandesal, sinigang and banana ketchup – creating unique dishes both authentic and innovative in taste and presentation.
Pot Sea Cucumber with Seafood
Hillman Restaurant in Farrer Park is an undiscovered treasure. Established by Mr Wong Ling Onn, an immigrant from Guangdong, in 1963, it specialises in Cantonese claypot dishes and has won several accolades over time, such as winning gold for their Paper Wrapped Chicken at the first Asian Salon Culinaire held in 1978 (equivalent of today’s World Gourmet Challenge).
Pot Sea Cucumber with Seafood ($14/22/30) was my favourite dish, featuring springy slices of sea cucumber paired with an array of seafood and vegetables in a flavorful gravy that went perfectly with rice. Also sampled Kailan with Fish Slices ($15 for small) which was too steamed/limp for my liking, yet was enhanced by its flavourful gravy; claypot-roasted pork however was too fatty.
Eight Treasures Duck
Hillman Restaurant first opened for business in 1963 and initially served Cantonese claypot dishes from Cantonment Road before moving to its current location on Kitchener Road in Farrer Park. They achieved great fame after being invited to participate in the inaugural Asian Salon Culinaire (a precursor of today’s World Gourmet Challenge) where they won gold for their Paper Wrapped Chicken dish.
One of their standout dishes is Eight Treasures Duck, wherein a whole roasted duck is marinated and filled with mushrooms, chestnuts, lotus seeds, glutinous rice and more before being braised until perfectly tender. The entire experience is both stunning and exquisitely satisfying to your palate!