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Well-known dish with inaccurate identify

To not be confused with Boon Tong Kee, the rooster rice chain that I personally consider has diluted its model, Tong Kee Hen Rice at Margaret Drive Hawker Centre is the one and solely of its sort.

tongkee- hawker centre

Based in 1969, it was situated on the authentic Margaret Drive Hawker Centre that opened in that very same yr. When the hawker centre closed in 2011, Tong Kee Hen Rice moved to Tanglin Halt and 2022 marks the stall’s return to its authentic website. Nicely, shut by, at the very least.

tongkee - storefront

Now within the arms of a second technology of rooster rice specialists, it continues to construct on a wealthy legacy and entice a brand new legion of followers. Positioned in a single nook on the primary ground of the double storeyed constructing, it at all times has one of many longest queues at this hawker centre.

I used to be keen to seek out out whether or not it deserved the 4.1-star ranking that it holds on Google. And the one technique to settle that debate is to EAT!

What I attempted at Tong Kee Hen Rice

tongkee - plates of chicken rice

Tong Kee Hen Rice serves plates of Roast Hen Rice (S$4/S$5/S$6) in addition to Char Siew Rice (S$4/S$5/S$6).

Maybe a bit of rationalization is warranted right here. What is called “Roast Hen Rice’ shouldn’t be fairly roasted rooster— it’s really deep-fried rooster. Yeah, that’s the identical face I made once I first heard about this. After all, with no thick layer of KFC-style batter, the ‘roast’ rooster comes out with skinny darkish brown pores and skin as a substitute of KFC’s thicker crispy pores and skin.

There was no getting previous ordering the Roast Hen Rice (fortunate me!) as it’s undoubtedly the explanation behind the stall’s success and identify. I additionally determined to attempt the Char Siew Rice for a change and requested for a combined char siew-roast rooster plate (S$5).

My 2 plates had been served in about 3 or 4 minutes however I used to be fourth within the queue and the wait was about 10 minutes.

tongkee - chicken rice plate

The very first thing I observed was that the serving dimension of the meat is true for the value (I bought the small for S$4), which earns the stall an automated level. They’re a bit stingy with the cucumber, although.

Persevering with with my visible inspection, I noticed that tell-tale seasoning marks everywhere in the rooster flesh, an indication that the preparation was very rigorously executed. It made my mouth water in anticipation.

tongkee - close up of chicken

My very first chew gave away that the rooster had been ‘roasted’ because the meat was noticeably firmer than what you get at different rooster rice specialists the place it’s poached as a substitute. That’s not a criticism— I favored the refreshing change from the same old because the meat was nonetheless splendidly dense with flavour.

My eating companion complained that the meat was dry. I consider poached rooster does have extra ‘juice’ however it’s a matter of desire and I used to be fully high-quality with the extent of ‘juiciness’ of my rooster.

tongkee - char siew rice plate

The char siew was not very completely different from what I’ve had elsewhere. It didn’t have the distinctive texture and flavour, nor did I discover that the seasoning was something particular or completely different. That doesn’t imply I didn’t end it and luxuriate in each bit!

tongkee - close up of char siew

Wow, do the meals right here actually include a spicy kick or what?! The chilli was hotter than the same old fare at most stalls. Even the soup had a ravishing peppery warmth that blazed a path down my throat once I swallowed. It was particularly welcome as a result of I had visited on a wet day and the wind was having a discipline day with the open-plan structure of the seating space.

A lot has been stated in regards to the rice at Tong Kee Hen Rice as a result of they’re one of many few remaining stalls that also prepare dinner it manually as a substitute of in a rice cooker. Whereas the method is clearly longer and extra tedious, the top result’s extra aromatic and has a extra ‘springy’ really feel.

There may be additionally a extra substantial flavour and aroma as a result of the herbs and spices are absorbed extra totally within the cooking course of. It’s these little issues that may separate good rooster rice from the very best.

Ultimate ideas

After over half a century of recreating just about precisely the identical recipe, Tong Kee Hen Rice has a successful method that pulls crowds from close to and much. Their fashion of preparation infuses the meat, rice and soup with an extra dose of flavour lacking from most of their rivals.

tongkee - chickens hanging at stall

I’ve so as to add that the service is barely on the terse facet. I put it right down to how busy they’re however it’s one of many issues that takes away from the entire expertise. Nonetheless, I used to be there to eat and eat very enjoyably I did. Margaret Drive is kind of a distance from the place I reside but when I’m ever within the space, Tong Kee Hen Rice is among the high candidates to earn my lunch cash.

Anticipated harm: S$4 – S$6 per pax

Different articles you would possibly like:

Xing Yun Hainanese Boneless Hen Rice: Michelin Plate hawker specialising in steamed rooster in Jurong East

10 stalls you will need to attempt on the new double-storey Margaret Drive Hawker Centre

Value: $

Our Score: 3.5 / 5

Tong Kee Hen Rice

38A Margaret Drive, #01-36, , Singapore 142038


Our Score 3.5/5

Tong Kee Hen Rice

38A Margaret Drive, #01-36, , Singapore 142038

Working Hours: 10.30am – 3pm (Tue to Solar), Closed on Mon



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