While the top honours for the “best chicken rice in Singapore” would usually go to Tian Tian Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre (though yes, not everyone would agree with this choice), Hua Kee Chicken Rice at Redhill Food Centre has been a much overlooked stall.
Not that it doesn’t have its supporters – there is ALWAYS a long queue here, but it is perhaps still considered unknown to the rest of Singapore.
A quick 5-minute walk from the Redhill MRT station takes you to Redhill Food Centre, where you’ll find the famous chicken rice stall Hua Kee. It has been around since the 70s when it was still a humble trishaw stall.
The chicken rice stall has just been included in the Singapore Michelin Guide with a ”Michelin Plate”.
Loyal followers would know it is owned and run by a 70 plus year old hawker, an affectionate auntie named Mdm Tan. For more than 40 years, she has served hundreds of diners and now her son, Jay Lim is helping her out.
Take note though: the stall only operates for a couple of hours from 8am to 12:30pm from Wednesdays to Saturdays.
Even so, it may not be opened during the stipulated hours. I have headed down a few times and the shutters are usually down.
Diners would line up for this plump, succulent, fork-tender chicken dish as early as 9am. If you do arrive during peak hours, be prepared to wait for 30 to 45 minutes.
This no-frills hawker shop with a red signboard, a favoured lunch spot among locals, has a two-items menu: Chicken Rice ($4, $5) and Poached Chicken ($15 for half, $28 for whole).
What gives the chicken meat its mild flavour is the blend of light soy sauce and chicken broth that serves as poaching liquid.
The poached chicken was not overly greasy or saucy, in fact still tasted slightly ‘cold’, but had this smoothness which was quite alluring that I enjoyed very much.
It adds that subtle savoury and sweetness that go well with the house made chili sauce.
Complementing the juicy chicken is freshly steamed rice (with hints of sesame oil and onion flavours), ginger relish, and crunchy cucumbers.
The rice while fluffy, was not that oily or greasy as well. While it is refreshing to have a version like this, I can imagine some customers may find this too plain with the need to drizzle more chilli sauce and dark sauce over.
Simple but worth the wait for.
Hua Kee Chicken Rice
85 Redhill Lane, #01-72, Redhill Food Centre, Singapore 150085
Opening Hours: 8am – 12:30pm (Wed – Sat), Closed Mon – Sun
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