Ho Kee Wo Lai Ye – Wonderful Soya Sauce Chicken Rice
Tucked in a corner of the famous Serangoon Gardens Hawker Centre lies an unassuming soya sauce chicken rice stall by the name of Ho Kee Wo Lai Ye. This humble stall boasts a heartwarming story.
Run by Granny Ho, Ho Kee Wo Lai Ye used to dish out plates of chicken rice to hungry labourers during lunch time, providing them with fuel after hours of arduous toiling in the hot sun. As Granny Ho wanted to ensure that the construction workers had enough fuel to keep them going, she often added extra ingredients and rice for them at no extra charge. Today, a plastic drum filled with warm, delicious soup stands in front of their stall. Patrons are welcomed to take as much soup as they want. Furthermore, rice can be added at no additional charge, should you be feeling ravenous that day.
When we visited Ho Kee Wo Lai Ye on a weekday, the warmth and sincerity of the stall and its owners could be felt from a mile away. Granny Ho mans the cash register, while her son, Albert, prepares the chicken rice. We ordered the Soya Sauce Chicken Drumstick Rice ($3.50), and added innards (chicken liver) for $0.50. An original Soya Sauce Chicken Rice would set you back just $3. Additional side orders such as braised egg ($1) and braised tau kwa ($1) are also available.
The rice was sufficiently flavourful and not very oily. It is also light, airy, and fragrant. This would definitely suit the tastebuds of Singaporeans who, like me, do not like oily chicken rice. The chicken drumstick sitting atop the rice was soft and slippery, and had a nice bite. It, too, had a lighter taste, and was well-marinated in the stall’s signature soya sauce.
As aforementioned, the soup is free of charge. Yet, what surprised me was that it was chock full of ingredients. Generous servings of chicken feet, red dates and soft cabbage could be found when we stirred the soup. This was a pleasant surprise, as most times, soup from chicken rice stalls tend to taste like salt water, in my opinion. Drinking the soup reminded me of my grandma, and the effort and flavour of the boil was clear as day. It truly had a warm and welcoming homey flavour, with a slight tinge of sweetness from the red dates.
While Ho Kee Wo Lai Ye does not sell the most flavoursome nor the most fragrant soya sauce chicken rice, it certainly warrants a visit for Singaporeans with a lighter palate. Their sincere and genuine service also leaves you with not only a filled stomach, but a full heart too.
Ho Kee Wo Lai Ye Soya Sauce Chicken Rice
Address: Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre Stall #1, 49A Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555945
Email Address: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Opens from 10a.m. daily and closes when sold out, sometimes around 1pm or 3pm. Currently closed on Mondays, and planning to close on Tuesdays soon too
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.