[Chiayi, Taiwan] Chiayi, though a lesser known area in Taiwan, is the access point of the scenic mountain area of Alishan. For those unfamiliar and wish to venture there, the popular street foods at Chiayi include Water-spray Chicken Rice, Guo’s Rice Cakes in Soup, Shrimp Egg with Preserved Mustard Green and Thick Duck Soup.
Taiwan remains a special place in my heart because it is where my home-stay families are. From Day One, my hosts insisted that I try this eatery called “Spraying of Water Chicken Food” 嘉义喷水鸡肉饭. No kidding as this is what the signboard says exactly. Ignore the bad English please. This Taiwanese fast-food outlet with at least 5 branches is what I call the Chinese version of KFC.
Singapore is also famous for its chicken rice. So what is the difference?
Firstly, the chicken does not spray water, in case you are wondering if Taiwanese chickens are any different. It originates from a place with a fountain called 喷水. Created in 1949, founder Lin who used to be a braised rice seller attempted adding chicken strips on its rice. This dish turned out to be an instant hit.
Another revelation: The meat was not ‘chicken’ but turkey instead. (If you literally translate Turkey in Mandarin, it says ‘fire chicken’.)
The bowls of rice with topped with cut turkey pieces or shredded turkey, accompanied by yellow pickled daikon radish, drizzled with a sweet salty gravy made from turkey oil and soy sauce. You should also order a mayonaised-filled seafood salad.
The turkey meat was more tender than usual (very similar to a chicken texture yet with more bite). The most unforgettable part was really the gravy absorbed by the big bowl of rice. I couldn’t imagine but I finished the entire bowl of turkey rice. Prices start from 20NT (SGD$0.84) – cheap cheap and cheep cheep.
Spraying of Water Chicken Rice 喷水鸡肉饭
No.325, Zhongshan Rd., West Dist., Chiayi City 600, Taiwan (R.O.C.) Tel:+886 05 2222433
No.499, Zhongxiao Rd., East Dist., Chiayi City 600, Taiwan (R.O.C.) Tel:+886 05 2719200