Uncle Chicken Rice – Former Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice Owners Open a Stall in The Bedok Marketplace
Once upon a time *clears throat*, Commonwealth Avenue Food Centre at Margaret Drive used to be a favourite makan place for many residents and foodies. There was the famous Queenstown Popiah, Xin Lu Fishball Noodles, Claypot Rice, Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice and many more.
Unfortunately, after 3 decades of operation, the hawker centre was demolished to make space for our MRT stations. Margaret Drive Hawker Centre continues to live in many hearts, and there was even a Facebook page set up to find out where the hawkers have moved to.
Sin Kee is a well-known name among chicken rice stalls. The business started in 1971 by Mr. Leong. He stopped for a couple of years due to health problems and passed on in 2008. The second generation siblings decided to continue the Sin Kee Chicken Rice heritage. Mr. Leong’s son, Niven, opened “Uncle Chicken” in Alexandra Village Food Centre; while Niven’s brother, Benson, opened “Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice” in Mei Ling Food Centre. There is another Sin Kee Chicken Rice along Commonwealth Ave that is run by ex-employees.
Fast forward to today, both Niven and Benson has closed their outlets in Alexandra Village and Mei Ling Food Centre. The brothers have come together to combine their powers and set up Uncle Chicken Rice in The Bedok Marketplace. Both brothers worked at the stall in their secondary school days and know the recipe inside and out.
Before any chicken rice traditionalists come after me, Niven and Benson are both Cantonese and their father has tweaked the recipes along the way. So the way they cooked their chicken is different from a Hainanese. But honestly, as long as the chicken tastes good, who really bothers how it should be done?
One thing never changes is their persistence of using good quality ingredients. Their fresh chicken is simply poached, sits in cold water, chopped and served with the flavourful rice. The chicken is cut chunky with an ultra smooth skin. That’s was the first thing that caught my eyes (maybe because I am a lady). There was some gelatin layer between the skin and meat. The flesh? Tender and sweet!
With such a flavour true to its ingredients, the chicken was served with aromatic rice that was not too greasy and loose. Garlic flavour yes, but subtle. The chicken stock was used to cook the rice, hence you won’t get a soup here to pair with your chicken rice. The chilli has a hint of sweetness which cuts the oiliness of the flavoured rice. Each plate costs $3.50 onwards.
There are many hawkers who just keep to what they are doing or follow what others are doing. For Uncle Chicken Rice, they keep up with the times and come up with interesting dishes to complement their juicy chicken. One of them (which is also my favourite) is the Lo Ding set ($4).
Yes it looks like just a typical Hong Kong style maggi mee with chicken. How special can it be? Let me introduce to you Uncle’s Chicken Rice signature ginger and scallion dip. Trust me, it was heavenly! I don’t recall tasting such good ginger dip before. The dip was made with roughly blended fresh ginger mash mixed with chopped scallions. The ginger dip has none of the watery base found at other chicken rice stalls. It was packed with lots of punch.
So when I was served with a plate of instant noodles cooked till al dente, topped with soy sauce chicken, a lava egg, luncheon meat, fresh greens and their signature ginger and scallion dip, my life is complete. I like to burst the ramen style eggs and allow the yolk to coat the noodles together. Then I pair the noodles with a huge spoonful of the ginger dip and put it into my mouth. It’s a party within!
I wasn’t very impressed with their “normal” chilli sauce honestly, till Niven brought out their special blended spicy chilli sauce which he only serves to his close customers. WAHSEH, it blew my mind away. It was a good body chilli sauce that was spicy enough, tangy enough (because they use Thai lime), even though I started to sweat, the special chilli was so addictive that I pair it with every mouthful of my rice/noodles. Honestly, they should serve this lah! And you may try asking him for it during your next visit.
Uncle Chicken Rice
Address: 348 Simpang Bedok, The Bedok Marketplace, Singapore S469560
Opening Hours: 12pm to 8pm (closed on alternate Mondays)
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