Runyuan Coconut Chicken, “Go there, and you will never feel regret!”

January 01, 2021


By Cindy Peng ’21

As a city that is located in southern China, Shenzhen is surrounded by the sea and has a tropical climate almost the entire year. Combining hot weather and the ocean, I can easily think about a fruit that is always sold along the beach during summer, coconut. What happens when we connect coconut with chicken? Believe me: it will create one of the best local foods in Shenzhen.

The name of this restaurant is Runyuan Siji coconut chicken. There are 13 Runyuan Siji restaurants and all of them are located in Shenzhen. It is a brand that has already been established for 9 years.

When it comes to food, Tank Zhao ’20 is an expert. Every time he travels to Shenzhen, he always goes to the Runyuan Siji coconut chicken restaurant. “I love that,” he says, “The coconut chicken there is really delicious! It is basically putting a chicken in the pot and using coconut water to boil it, so when you eat it, you will taste the saltiness of the chicken, but at the same time, the sweetness of the coconut… I cannot think about any food in this restaurant that is able to be criticized,” he further says.

If you are a fan of rice, you will like the clay pot, known as Baozai rice, in the restaurant as well. It is also the favorite food in the Runyuan Siji coconut chicken restaurant for Tank. “They cook the rice with the sweet sausage, preserved meat, and taro,” Tank says, “The rice is overcooked, so it is hard to eat, but when you eat it with all the vegetables and meat, ‘Oh my God!’ that is amazing!”

The restaurant is also a good place to hang out with family and friends. “All ages will be welcome to the restaurant,” Tank mentions, “Because the food is not spicy, the children and the elderly people can eat it. When I recall the restaurant, I remember there were three-year-old children and up to ninety-year-old elders eating in the restaurant”.

Tank also shares a story about this restaurant. He says, “Coconut chicken was invented in the Song Dynasty. It was invented by a spinner called Huang Daopo. At that time, Huang Daopo was in Hainan, China, and helped people with textiles. To give thanks to Huang Daopo, people sent her the best chicken, now known as Wenchang chicken. One day, when Huang Daopo was cooking chicken, she decided to put some coconut water into the port. Because of its fantastic taste, it became a popular food for people in southern China.”

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