Wanting to satisfy my chicken rice cravings, I went to the Loy Kee’s main branch at Balestier and was greeted with a warm smile and a nod from this lady behind the cashier.
The shop is plastered with pictures of celebrities like Michelle Yim, Martin Yan and Charmaine Sheh (but somehow I wonder ‘why always those few celebs’ haha). And that’s when I realised that the same bespectacled lady is Mrs Loy (Mdm Jane Tan) herself! Like a little fan, I whipped out my camera for a picture together.
Other than the framed celeb pictures, this coffee shop-like eatery oozes out some nostalgic charm with marble tables, big chairs and swirling fans.
Loy Kee has been one of the names synonymous with the famous local Hainesese dish. Once voted as the Best Chicken Rice in Singapore in the 1990s, it has expanded far and wide to several food branches. With an amazing heritage and reputation since 1953, the common complaint is standards have dropped ever since.
Other than the standard sets which comes with chicken, vegetable, rice and soup, they have varied to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu includes Curry Chicken Rice, House Laksa, Roasted Pork Noodles, Nasi Lemak and House Macaroni.
Despite all the competition, I still enjoy the chicken meat, being thin and tender with a slight touch of oil and succulence (some chicken can be too thick or dry). The rice is slightly on the dry side and I would prefer it to be a tad oilier. But the truth is, chicken rice is very subjective and there are probably different camps on separate side.
The noodles were springy. I like.
I also had the Seafood Mini Steamboat which had a mixture of pork organs, abundant bean sprouts and some seafood served in a claypot bowl constantly heated up with a burning flame. With two slices of fish and prawns, you can literally count the seafood.
Ever since Loy Kee first started out at Whampoa Drive, it still attracts a loyal following. But we shall await for omy voters to decide which is their favourite chicken rice seller.
Loy Kee Best Chicken Rice, 342 Balestier Road (Next to Shaw Plaza) Tel: +65 6252 2318