A groupon offer for Hainanese chicken recently arrived in my inbox and the restaurant was named Taishi Hainan Chicken. LA’s South Bay isn’t known for having good Chinese food and I thought it was odd that someone would open up a Hainanese restaurant in Redondo Beach.
Hainanese cuisine originated in Southeast China and one of the most popular items of the cuisine is Hainanese Chicken. I later discovered that Taishi is a small village in the Guangdong Province which happens to be in Southeast China.
Taishi Hainan Chicken is located on the corner of Aviation & Torrance in Redondo Beach. It took over the space previously occupied by Bento Asian Kitchen. Someone with interior design skills obviously didn’t design this place. The walls were tan walls with no pictures on the walls.
Ordering is done at the counter. I was greeted with a smile and I was surprised that her smile remained after I displayed my groupon. The menu is posted on the wall and was rather limited: traditional Hainanese chicken ($12), fried chicken ($12), veggie rolls ($4) and dumplings ($4). Milk tea with or without boba and Thai ice tea are available as beverages.
After I got home, I opened up the bag to view everything. I was happy that they did not use styrofoam containers. Everything was neatly packed in brown paper food containers. The portion sizes were substantial. Hainanese chicken was nicely arranged in the box. Items that were hot like the fried chicken weren’t closed at the top so that the chicken would remain crispy.
My wife and I were delighted with the taste and the quality of both the Hainanese chicken and the fried chicken. In each box were two sauce containers, the Hainanese chicken had a white sauce and a chili garlic sauce. The fried chicken came with a light sauce, almost like a broth. My favorite sauce out of all of them was the thick dark brown sauce with ginger and garlic.
Both chicken dishes were deboned and served in strips which eliminated the need for a bunch of napkins. The Hainanese rice tasted like it was made with chicken broth, sesame oil and salt. The chicken was served on a bed of shredded cabbage and I mixed some of the chicken with the cabbage and the sauces.
The vegetarian egg rolls were much better than you would find at most Chinese restaurants. The dumplings, however, were a bit on the dry side.
I’ll definitely return because the chicken is delicious. I wish they had some vegetable sides like stir-fried Chinese broccoli or bok choy. But then again, that may not be Hainanese.
Taichi Hainan Chicken, 1000 Torrance Blvd Ste B, Redondo Beach, CA 90277