Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My favourite chicken rice: Wee Nam Kee

with office colleagues
Chicken rice is the quintessential dish in Singapore. This is one dish, where I prefer Singapore hawkers to Penang's. The standard of chicken rice in Singapore is so high, almost any hawker will have to produce decent tasting ones. But to find the really excellent ones...a little knowledge is needed.

I prefer the roast chicken mom makes a fantastic traditional Hainanese white chicken rice, with super fragrant rice, and killer chilli. She learnt how to cook the chicken and the rice from a Hainanese neighbour, whose family used to cook for the Malaysian Royal family (interestingly, the Malaysian royalty's cooks are Hainanese), and the chilli is her own concoction based on our peranakan roots.

But roasted chicken rice is another ball game. Calling it roasted is a misnomer, I guess...the chicken is usually shallow fried...a huge cauldron of boiling oil, is used to bathe the chicken until it ends up with a super crispy skin, with the meat still moist, juicy and tender. My absolute reference for this style of chicken is a shop somewhere in PJ, which is no more. My late father in law would bring the entire family there, and we'd wallow in the goodness of the chicken rice.

Wee Nam Kee in Singapore offers, methinks an alternative.

The chicken, especially when it just comes out from the kitchen is marvellous. Chopped into mouth sized bits, it is succulent, with a crisp, tasty skin.

The chilli was the diy type...with chilli, black sauce, ginger in different small vats on the condiments basket. The chilli is excellent...spicy, hot.

They also serve a nice hae cho.

Though this is typical Singaporean style...where there is almost as much filler flour used in the hae cho as there are ingredients. Contrast this with the typical Malaysian haecho, typified by JB Ah Meng's...and one sees the difference. But, Wee Nam Mee's version is still very tasty...the exterior crisp to a fault.

We also had the bean sprouts with salted fish.

This is a usual accompaniment to chicken rice. The taugeh, or bean sprouts are regular...unlike those found in Ipoh which are gigantic. They say its the special water in Ipoh...I don't know...but the ones here are quite good too. We have tried sprouting taugeh at home...and the flavour of the home taugeh are more intense. Wee Nam Kee's version is expertly fried, with good wok hei and the bits of salty fish provide a good, crisp counterpoint.

A bowl of dumpling soup was also presented.

This was regular...chicken broth, prawn and meat dumplings. Nothing spectacular.

Wee Nam Kee
275 Thomson Road
#01-05 Novena Ville
Tel: 6255 6396
Operating Hours:
Daily: 10.30am - 2am
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