Not to be confused with Boon Tong Kee, Tong Kee Chicken Rice 東記 at the new Margaret Drive Hawker Centre is one that is drawing a long line.
This is not a new stall though, having been around 1969.
Back in the good-old-days, there are a number of famous Chicken Rice stalls at the old Margaret Drive Hawker Centre, though probably only Sin Kee Famous Cantonese Chicken Rice and Tong Kee remains.
(I remember loving this food centre for its Popiah, You Tiao and Guo Tie – Tong Xin Ju Special Shanghai Tim Sum can now be found at Maxwell.)
Previously also featured in “Our Makan Places Lost & Found”, Tong Kee currently helmed by Mr Tan Kian Meng (the recipe is from his father) moved over from Tanglin Halt Food Centre.
The stall specialises in Roast Chicken Rice ($4, $5, $6), though customers can also find an occasional Poached Chicken, along with Char Siew and Crispy Roast Pork Belly Sio Bak.
However, I would recommend you to come during off-peak hour before lunch time as the wait can get really long. (While I was the 5th in line, it took up to 15 – 20 minutes to get my order.)
Other than the multiple takeaways, this is also possibly due to the narrower and small stall configuration and the hawkers can be observed still trying to get a hang of the new place.
The hawkers start the preparations wee hours in the morning, allowing the poultry to marinated for a number of hours so that it would absorb the flavours of the sauces better.
You would notice that the roast chicken has a glossier skin than the usual.
While the chicken is not the superbly crispy sort, I loved how it could retain the succulence and some juiciness (some Roast Chicken can get really dry.)
My favourite part was the combination of fluffy flavourful chicken rice matched with the tasty chilli sauce with a kick.
The hawkers still use still a traditional method of cooking the rice (rather than in a small rice cooker) in a large pot, and the grains need to be constantly stirred so that they would have a springier texture.
The chilli sauce with an apparent garlic aroma and dark sauce are also house-made.
I also ordered a Roast Pork Rice though the rice used seemed to be different, and the Chicken Rice was probably more flavourful of the two.
Tong Kee Chicken Rice’s appeal is part nostalgia and old-school taste, and partly because it is a Roast Chicken Rice stall that still uses traditional methods and in-house sauces for the cooking.
Tong Kee Chicken Rice From Margaret Drive
Margaret Drive Hawker Centre #01-36, 38A Margaret Drive, Singapore 142038
Opening Hours: 10am – 3pm or sold out (Mon – Sun)
Other Related Entries
10 Margaret Drive Hawker Centre Stalls
Sin Kee Famous Cantonese Chicken Rice (Holland Drive)
Xing Yun Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice (Yuhua Food Centre)
Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice (Tiong Bahru
Ji De Lai Hainanese Chicken Rice (Chong Pang)