When it comes to food in the East, Pasir Ris is rarely mentioned; if this was a personal blog entry, I can give 101 reasons as to why that’s the case. Biasness of location aside, enter Johnson Duck, a humble stall with over 40 years of history.
Previously located at Elias Mall, I used to always see long queues flock the shop at any time of the day, and after their recent move to Pasir Ris Bus Interchange, the queues haven’t stopped. It’s also beneficial to point out that they’ve a couple more stalls around the island.
Known for their affordable duck dishes, they also sell chicken, char siew, and roast pork.
What I tried
Starting off with the obvious, I got a plate of Roasted Duck Rice Set (S$4.80). The set will come with braised tofu, half a slice of braised hard-boiled egg, braised peanuts, a hefty serving of duck meat drizzled with braised sauce, and a generous portion of rice. I also noticed there was a good mixture of thicker and thinner slices of duck meat—all with skin glistening under the fluorescent light.
The braised sauce, unlike other duck rice sauces I’d tried before, has a thick and gooey consistency with a melt-in-your-mouth texture, paired with a sweet aftertaste. This helped to marry the rice and other ingredients wonderfully. The tofu was springy yet soft, but the egg and braised peanuts tasted pretty regular.
The duck, however, was tender, moist, and flavourful, with a good amount of fat. Ultimately, at S$4.80, I can see why they’re a hit with regulars.
At Johnson Duck, they also have a selection of soup to choose from. Granted that it was a pretty cold day, I opted for a bowl of Water Cress Duck Soup (S$4). The first thing I noticed was it came with a generous serving of watercress and duck bits. Each spoonful was a splendid blend of saltiness from the duck and slight bitterness from the vegetable.
Of course, I wasn’t just here for their duck dishes and had to order myself a plate of Roasted Pork Rice (S$4). There was a line-up of beautifully roasted char siew and crispy pork belly, topped on a bed of yet another generous serving of rice.
I picked up a piece of char siew and instantly noticed that they used a leaner cut of meat. Like the roasted duck, its skin also gave off a nice sheen. The meat was tender, juicy, and was incredibly easy to chew. I was also glad that the skin came with charred ends which exuded a strong smoky flavour in comparison to most I’ve tried.
Here comes my favourite part—the pork belly. Meaty and lean, with each bite the pork belly melted on my tongue. I especially love that the skin was absolutely crispy too. You can tell a lot of hard work goes into their preparation of meat because they’re all roasted to perfection.
The stall is open at 6am from Tuesday to Monday, so it only makes sense for them to offer a selection of breakfast options, right? This is what compelled me to have a piping hot bowl of their signature Century Egg Congee (S$2.80).
As soon as the simple-looking congee arrived, I was hit with a strong whiff of sesame oil—which is brilliant in every sense because you know you’re going to be rewarded with a tasty treat.
The dish came with one springy century egg, which exploded with a burst of creaminess as soon as I took a bite, and a touch of fried shallots and coriander. Over here, they use the same rice used for their chicken rice dish in their porridge, and taste-wise, it was superb! Every spoonful of the thick porridge came with a subtle taste of chicken, making it extremely flavourful.
As someone not traditionally raving about congee, this bowl ended up being my favourite. Each bite felt like I was getting a warm hug from my late grandmother, and I wasn’t ready to let go. A comforting bowl with simple ingredients—perfect for the monsoon season.
Additionally, I also saw that they sold noodle soup, and if I wasn’t already cosying up to my bowl of congee, I would’ve gone for it as well.
This quaint temporary takeaway stall managed to warm my heart with their bowl of exceptional congee and perfectly roasted meat hence, they deserve nothing less than songs of praise. Admittedly, I was a bit apprehensive to have a go at certain dishes but I’m glad I did as it opened my eyes to a new world of flavours.
If Pasir Ris isn’t close to your neck of the woods, they also have two other outlets at Upper Serangoon and Simei, and are available on various delivery platforms. Location aside, I know I will be back for Johnson Duck’s comforting homely dishes.
Expected damage: S$2.80 – S$4.80 per pax
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Johnson Duck.
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