Delta Dawn, what’s that flower you have on? Could it be a faded rose from days gone by? The lines from “Delta Dawn”, the 1972 top ten country hit for Tanya Tucker, somehow kept playing in my head as I ate at Yet Con Restaurant (群逸) in Purvis Street recently. Yet Con has been around for a long time and was very popular during the era when DJs Brian Richmond and Larry Lai were spinning hits by Anne Murray, Barry Manilow and Helen Reddy. Those were the days when bankers and top professionals would be chauffered in their gleaming German marques to Yet Con for lunch. Today Yet Con is like a faded rose from days gone by but is still a must try place for good chicken rice in Singapore
Yet Con Restaurant
Yet Con Restaurant (群逸) occupies an old shophouse in Purvis Street. Its frontage and entrance seemed unchanged since the 1980s or even earlier.
Some hipster cafes tried hard to achieve the old school look. Yet Con does not need to try. It is authentic old school as its exterior, interior decor (or lack thereof) and furniture are almost exactly as how I remembered them to be back in the 1980s. Even the orange coinaphone is still there. The staff also seemed like they had been there for decades.
Yet Con Chicken Rice
Yet Con Restaurant essentially offers steamboat and Hainanese chicken rice and roast pork. Other zhi char dishes are available but it may depend on the time of the day you visit the restaurant and maybe the mood of the chef at that time. When I went to the restaurant recently I was told only chicken rice and steamboat would be available. With my recent solo steamboat experience in mind (see When you are lonely or need attention – try dining at Haidilao), I opted for the chicken rice. I saw roast pork at the counter and asked for some.
The plate of roast pork was $5. The chicken was also $5 and rice was $1 per bowl.
The rice and soup were served first. The clear soup came in a large bowl and was rather nice.
The plate of steamed chicken was then served. Even with all the latest filters, it would be difficult to make the plate of chicken look good on Instagram. The roast pork was only marginally less photogenic than the chicken. Yet Con lets you have an authentic experience the times in Singapore when the taste of the food would be much more important than its look. As they might say with received pronunciation in those days – the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.
Yet Con chicken was not drenched with sauce. It was simple straightforward Hainanese steamed chicken that was tender and flavourful. It had the smell and taste of chicken. For those who don’t like their chicken to taste that way, chilli sauce with ginger and some soya sauce would help. The roast pork was also plain and simple. There were nice crispy bits but were otherwise quite unremarkable. I found the sweetish preserved vegetables that came with the pork most enjoyable.
The best part of Yet Con chicken rice was really the rice. The rice was perfectly cooked with each fluffy grain distinct and not mushy. It was not greasy and had a nice aroma and a blend of flavours. It was good enough to eat it on its own. The chicken of Yet Con Restaurant may not be among my top favourite list of Hainanese chicken but the rice is definitely one of the most enjoyable versions of chicken rice I have tried.
Yet Con Restaurant started in the 1940s. It still looks like I remembered it when I first dined there in the 80s. This old restaurant with rustic charm has done things the traditional way. A $6 chicken rice meal at Yet Con Restaurant is more than just a meal, it is a true heritage dining experience. The bonus is that the chicken rice, especially the rice, is good too.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Yet Con Restaurant
25 Purvis Street
Opening Hours: 11 am – 9.30 pm
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog