Zeng Ji Chicken Rice – Now, You’ll Never Feel Peckish Again
Perhaps, a dish that encompasses our Singaporean identity and culture is everyone’s beloved chicken rice. Proudly labelled as our National dish, Chicken rice is probably the first thing you’d introduce to your friends who come to visit from abroad. There are a decent number of chicken rice restaurants around but I’ve always enjoyed my chicken rice from hawkers because it’s cheaper! (Yes I’m a cheapskate)
Launched 13 months back, Zeng Ji Hainanese Chicken Rice is helmed by Wei Liang. Born in Malaysia, Wei Liang has nurtured a passion for food after working in Boon Tong Kee, in Singapore, for 10 years. With years of experience under his belt, Wei Liang decided to start out on his own. He hopes to push on to develop his own brand of chicken rice here in Singapore. He also told me that he named his stall after his surname.
Wei Liang told me that he uses fresh Malaysian chicken, which he receives daily. Wei Liang poaches the chicken and dumps it in a huge pail of cold water to tighten its skin, and to stop the chicken from being cooked any further. If you’re lucky enough to sneak a peek, you’ll be able to see him pulling the entire chicken out of a pail of water before he starts to chop it.
Some like their chicken roasted and some like theirs steamed. When in doubt, I get both. You can opt to add ingredients like braised egg (50 cents), viscera (50 cents) and even a chicken wing ($1.50)! If you’re looking for a feast, you can go for the half chicken ($11) or the whole chicken ($22)! I requested for chicken breast and topped up 50 cents for an egg.
For $5, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of food that was served. As expected, the chicken was fresh and not flaky. I liked that it was chunky so it had a firmer bite to it. The sauce is done well, not too salty and not too sweet. One of my chicken rice deal-breakers is the flavored rice that comes together with the chicken. I find that many tend to overlook the importance of the texture of the rice. I especially love the aromatic pandan fragrance from the rice. One of my pet peeves is rice that is undercooked or overcooked but I’m happy to report that the flavored rice served here was perfect!
Most will tell you that you have to add chilli when eating chicken rice. I don’t always do it since I don’t really fancy spice in my food. However, I highly recommend adding the chilli this time round. Although it exudes a very ordinary color and smell, this handmade chilli really packs a punch. The heat follows through and I like that the acidity helps to add contrast to the chili. Wei Liang told me that all of the condiments (Chili and Ginger) are prepared by him. He gets to his store about 2 hours earlier to prepare everything before he starts serving.
Food is subjective but I sincerely think that this is a good plate of chicken rice. There’s little to dislike but so much to like, especially the chili. Given the economical prices and the superior quality, you’d be missing out on life if you missed out on this.
Zeng Ji Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
Address: 511 Bedok North Street 3, Kaki Bukit 511 Market and Food Centre, #01-03, Singapore 460511
Opening Hours: 1030am to 730pm daily. Closed on Mondays.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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