Lee Fun Nam Kee: Super flavourful soy sauce chicken sells out in unassuming Toa Payoh coffee shop

I arrived at Lee Fun Nam Kee in Toa Payoh at 7pm and got a hold of the last chicken they had left. This was the first time I have come across an entire coffeeshop being run by an independent business.

lee fun nam kee - store seating

Known for their signature soy sauce chicken, the brand has built up considerable fame over the years. During the day, long queues span the length of the coffeeshop. I could immediately tell how popular the stall was when I saw the empty racks on the shelves. 

That evening, the coffee shop had no other customers. While I felt lucky to have been one of the last few customers, I requested a takeaway order as the coffee shop looked deserted by then. For someone residing within the vicinity, I think myself rather foolish for not noticing them sooner!

What I tried at Lee Fun Nam Kee

lee fun nam kee - slicing chicken

As soon as I placed my order for their Soy Sauce Chicken (S$19 for half), the kitchen crew swung into action. I watched with satisfaction as the large chicken was skillfully deboned and cut into chunks. 

I also could not help but watch as the juices in the chicken meat oozed out and dampened the chopping board. I knew instantly that the chicken meat would be succulent. 

lee fun nam kee - sauce poured over

When I placed the plate of cut-up chicken pieces on my dining table, my family wow-ed in amazement at the beautiful, symmetrical slabs of meat. From the pictures in their online menu, I figured that the dark-coloured sauce must be poured over the meat.

I took a spoonful to taste the sauce and nodded my head in satisfaction. Due to the dark colour of the sauce, I expected a strong full-bodied taste. In reality, it was that and more. 

lee fun nam kee - spoonful of rice

The incorporation of over 10 different spices within it resulted in an almost earthy yet savoury herbal flavour. I also enjoyed its consistency — it was perfect for coating the meat pieces but not gloopy at all.

Leng Heng Chicken Rice: Affordable large portions of tasty chicken rice available as lemon chicken & Thai-style chicken twists from $4

Plus point, it was not too salty and made the perfect gravy to pour over the Fragrant Rice (S$1).

lee fun nam kee - chopsticks holding chicken

Now, onto the chicken itself. The perfectly browned skin was crispy and bursting with flavour. It had the perfect texture – not overly gelatinous yet not too crunchy. Underneath that, the white chicken meat oozed with juices as I bit into it effortlessly. I am still unable to comprehend how the kitchen team was able to retain the meat juices within the meat so well!

The chicken meat held the desired firmness that prevented it from breaking apart easily in the container. I particularly loved the size that each piece was chopped into — large enough to get a good bite out of that juicy meat.

lee fun nam kee - chicken dipped in chilli

I cannot emphasise the importance of having perfect side dishes that make a chicken rice dish whole. The fresh cucumbers lying at the bottom were crunchy and refreshing. Their rendition of the Fragrant Rice was moist and oiled just enough to bring out a fragrant aroma with each mouthful. 

Lastly, the garlic chilli mixture packed a punch and a light dip into the fiery sauce was sufficient. Although I usually prefer an additional garlic-ginger condiment, a good amount of garlic was already incorporated into the chilli paste. Hence, I only needed to rely on that. 

Final thoughts

lee fun nam kee - chicken platter

I am thankful that despite being served the last chicken left on the stand, the quality and taste surpassed all my expectations. Having tried Lee Fun Nam Kee’s rendition of Soy Sauce Chicken, I have found my new favourite type of chicken marinade and stall to patronise. 

With that, it comes as no surprise that their famed dish does indeed justify the long queue. I for one will be visiting them again when my cravings for the local delight hit soon!

Expected damage: S$6— S$20 per pax

Order delivery: foodpanda Deliveroo

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Our Rating: 5 / 5

Lee Fun Nam Kee

94 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, #01-04, Singapore 310094

Our Rating 5/5

Lee Fun Nam Kee

94 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, #01-04, Singapore 310094

Telephone: 6255 0891
Operating Hours: 11am - 3pm & 5pm - 9pm (Fri to Wed), Closed on Thu
Telephone: 6255 0891

Operating Hours: 11am - 3pm & 5pm - 9pm (Fri to Wed), Closed on Thu