Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck – Duck Rice Given A New Look
Chicken rice balls, you probably have eaten it. Now how about duck rice balls? While I am a supporter of downright traditional heritage food, I can’t deny that modernisation has its charm too. Now, how about having duck rice bento in Chinatown Food Centre with golden lava egg? Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap (金记潮洲卤鸭) has always been serving classic teochew braised duck for more than 30 years. It was only recently that the second-generation hawker, Melvin, puts a fresh look on classic by coming up with Duck Rice Bento to attract the younger crowd.
Gimmicky indeed. But you can’t deny that it has help to bring media eyeballs to this shop. That’s the power of product packaging. Nothing changes, the recipe remains the same, yet placing our traditional duck rice into a Japanese bento box does have a different feel. Now before you get too excited at having duck rice balls in a bento set, let’s take a step back and look at what’s in it. For $8 a platter, you get a generous portion of yam rice rolled into balls, tender braised duck, beancurd, offals , pickled vegetables and Japanese-style runny yolk lava eggs.
While innovation is welcoming, what distinguishes it as the quality of the dish. Slices of braised duck meat were still succulent, retaining a bite but adequately tender. The yam rice topped with dried shrimps and fried shallots was little mild in flavours, but it’s softer and sticky enough to form a ball. Look, there are also daikon slices to separate the rice balls! When you combined the rice with other dishes in the set, it forms a perfect formula.
Know what’s the best part about this? That two lava egg yolk with its custard-like consistency. It wasn’t as runny, but hello, you are eating in a hawker centre. Who else would bother to cook their eggs as such?
While the rice balls could be more distinctive, the gravy & soup from Kway Chap were loaded with robust herbal flavours. Their braising sauce is solid pom pi pi. Not extremely thick and sticky, but good enough to coat the meat and offals well. I ordered a one person version which has pork belly, beancurd, pig’s skin, pig’s intestine and more. It went well with the soup kway and vinegar garlic chilli sauce. Melvin’s mother is still the one who does all the chopping, while Melvin helps her out for the cooking.
It’s interesting to see how our local food has evolved overtime. Can’t decide if you should eat the duck rice or kway chap? Get the best of the both worlds from their bento set loh! It is unique on its own, yet still comforting.
Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap (金记潮洲卤鸭)
Address: Blk 335 Smith Street, #02-156 Chinatown Complex, Singapore 050335
Contact: +65 9018 9052 (Melvin Chew)
Opening Hours: Sat-Thu 10.30am to 6pm+ or till sold out. Closed on Fri
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