Ming Kee Chicken Rice (明记鸡饭粥 ), formerly relocated from Bugis Street, is no doubt one of the best chicken rice in Singapore. Located in Kim San Leng Food Centre near Bishan bus interchange, the queue here is absurd during lunch time, having to wait 30 minutes or more! I usually come post lunch, 2pm-5pm to avoid the queue.
Ming Kee only serves ‘white’ chopped chicken (白斬雞), with accompanying dishes like bean sprouts, oyster vegetables, gizzard and ‘crystal’ chicken feet. A simple, standard chicken rice stall menu.
One standard plate of white chicken rice is only $3.50, which in my opinion is considered fairly cheap for this quality. Request for premium cuts like drumstick meat will set it up to $5, because in case you thought a chicken has five legs, one chicken only has two drum sticks. Gizzards (part of the chicken’s stomach) cost $2/$3. Salted vegetable soup is serve with the chicken rice rather than the usual hair-dropping chicken MSG soup, but is a bit bland at times.
The chicken here is absolutely tender and juicy, as the flesh falls off the bone beautifully. The bouncy jelly-like fats and chicken skin is also very unique and adds dimension to the meat.
I find it quite intriguing the green, plastic toyish fork and spoon they serve as well, as if meant for babies to use so you don’t accidentally impale yourself while eating chicken rice.
The secret technique (not so secret any more, as many chicken rice stalls started using this), is to soak the chicken in ice cold water after cooking/poaching in stock. This produces the soft jelly-like, gelatine layer of skin and fat. Ming Kee however, soaks the chicken all the way right up before serving to customers for maximum Q-ness. You can see they don’t hang any chickens at all, which are all submerged in ice water.
I know a lot of people have issues with the condiments, like no ginger served and the chilli lacking spiciness. I’m quite sure Ming Kee intentionally made their chilli more clear and sweeter so when paired with the dark sauce and cold chicken, you get a very refreshing, clean sweet taste not masked by the intense chilli. I enjoy it as much as typical chicken rice chilli.
Ginger is still a very traditional condiment in Chicken rice, so its rather subjective whether you prefer this take on chicken rice chilli or not. Personally I find it quite interesting and makes a good pairing with their technique.
I would definitely recommend Ming Kee Chicken Rice for excellent value and give 18 stars for quality, but I advice you to come during off-peak hours to avoid queuing.
Damage: $3.50 -$6/pax
(Closed alt. Tues)