Mian Ji Fan – Hidden Chicken Rice (Always Sold Out Before Closing Time)!
Mian Ji Fan’s (面鸡饭) is without a doubt the most discreet, low-key hawker stall I’ve encountered. The stall’s name is pretty basic — it literally translates to ‘Noodles Chicken Rice’. Unlike its neighbours, it’s rather inconspicuous. Not only does its signboard not light up, it doesn’t even have a menu!
But Mian Ji Fan’s location, Guan Hock Tiong Eating House, might sound familiar. It is also home to the highly-raved about Xiao Di Fried Prawn Mee! When our team went there for our Hokkien mee fix, we noticed a long queue forming in front of the nondescript Mian Ji Fan. Chef-owner, Mr Seah, who is 49 this year, told me that the stall has been around for about 20 years. His chicken rice is clearly very popular — his chicken rice is always sold out before closing time! Curious to see what the hype was about, we decided to try the chicken rice for ourselves.
Mian Ji Fan’s lack of a menu also means that there’s a lack of proper pricing. Mr Seah says that his chicken rice starts from $2.50. However, he’s flexible when it comes to larger portions. Just tell him how much you want to spend and he’ll portion accordingly.
We decided to order half a chicken ($12), along with some additional pieces of chicken gizzard (鸡珍), to share. I dived straight into the mouth-watering plate of steamed chicken. This is the highlight of Mian Ji Fan’s chicken rice. Honestly, I’ve always had a irrevocable distaste for chicken breast. It’s usually dry, and tough. I’m happy to report that the chicken here has changed my view of chicken breast forever. The slices of chicken breast were surprisingly tender and juicy! The chicken gizzard was also delicious. Springy and meaty, these delectable morsels are a must-order!
Now, I’m no chicken rice aficionado, but to me, a defining feature of a good chicken rice is the rice! In my opinion, a good plate of rice can be eaten on its own. Personally, Mian Ji Fan’s rice was a bit of a letdown for me. The rice wasn’t flavourful, oily, or fragrant enough. My colleague did appreciate this healthier-tasting version though! Even though the rice was lacking in aroma, it had a satisfying bite that complemented the tender and moist pieces of chicken. Thankfully, the chilli sauce saved the day. The chilli sauce added an acidic tang that helped to elevate the flavours of the dish. Along with a light spicy kick, the sauce also tasted strongly of garlic. Its intense flavours were balanced out by the sweet and full-bodied dark soy sauce.
I really appreciate Mr Seah’s ‘no-frills’ approach. Who needs a bright, eye-catching storefront when customers flock to your stall for your food anyway!
Mian Ji Fan
Address: Blk 153, Serangoon North Avenue 1, Guan Hock Tiong Eating House, Singapore 550153
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 2pm, Saturday & Sunday: 8am to 2pm, closed on Mondays.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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