Hai Kee – A Delightfully Saucy Twist on the Classic Chicken Rice
Soy sauce chicken is not a new dish, but over the last two years, it has been widely glorified in Singapore because one of our hawker stalls, which specialises in soy sauce chicken, walked away with one Michelin star. Many have since flocked to chicken rice stalls for soy sauce chicken instead of the usual white poached chicken.
I am not sure which particular stall started soy sauce chicken but Hai Kee is definitely one of the first few to do so. Started in 1950s along Upper Cross Street, Hai Kee or 海记, is an established 60-year-old eatery that puts a saucy twist on the classic chicken rice. The brand is now managed by the third-generation owners, Joseph and James.
We met James and his father at their new outlet in Bedok. James shared with us that his grandfather came from Hainan, China, hence the stall name to commemorate his grandfather’s sea travels. They relocated to Katong in 2000 and back then, they were running a few branches islandwide. Sadly, they had to close all their outlets when the bird flu broke out. It was only in 2010 did Hai Kee reopen its doors at Eunos Crescent and James’ brother, Joseph, decided to learn the ropes and help his father full time.
From the homemade chopped ginger and chilli paste, to its unique one-of-a-kind soy sauce chicken, nothing has changed one bit. The soy sauce chicken is well marinated and has a pleasant fragrance. The tender chicken chunks are accompanied by firm and oily rice. The ginger dip is not watery and packs lots of punch, and their chilli sauce is tangy and spicy.
Besides their signature soy sauce chicken, char siew and roast pork are also available. Both dishes, in my opinion, need a little more work. The char siew marination was a tad too sweet for our liking and we wish that the sio bak skin can be crispier. Nevertheless, we enjoyed their soy sauce chicken very much.
They are usually sold out before their official closing time, so be there early if you want to get a plate of soy sauce chicken rice from Hai Kee!
Address: Blk 217 Bedok North St 1, Food Loft Coffeeshop, Singapore 460217
Phone: 9835 0099
Opening Hours: 9am — 8pm, closed on alternate Tuesday
MissTamChiak.com paid for their meals at Hai Kee.