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Home / Chinese Cuisine / Cheok Kee Duck Rice – The Fantastic Thick Gravy!
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Cheok Kee Duck Rice – The Fantastic Thick Gravy!
By Alfred June 19, 2009
Readers' Rating
10.00
(2 rated)
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Editor's Rating
7.00
Overall
Cheok Kee Duck Rice – The Fantastic Thick Gravy!
Fast Facts
Food:
Braised Duck Rice (卤鸭饭)
Type:
Chinese Cuisine
Setting:
Hawker Centre
Price Range:
S$1 - S$5
Rating Range:
7 to 7.9
Location:
East Coast
Food Centre:
East Coast Lagoon Food Village
Recommended For:
Dinner
Reviewed by:
Alfred

If there ever is a food that is as popular as Chicken Rice in Singapore but yet never get the same recognition globally, it must be Duck Rice. Duck Rice, whether braised or roasted is really something that is so common that you can find it easily at any eating place. Can you remember a time when you stepped into a foodcourt and couldn’t find any duck to eat? Can you say the same for Beef Noodle? Ban Mian? Laksa? Pig’s Organ Soup? Statistics are telling us Duck Rice is as popular as Chicken Rice or Economy Rice Aka Zhap Cai Peng. We chinese really loved rice and we must have rice very often, so anything that has rice in it must be popular, or so it seems.

Singapore’s version of Roasted Duck Rice will never beat the Hong Kong version. Some of the best Roasted Duck Rice I had were in Australia or UK where they are so many good chefs doing Hong Kong roasted meat business on extremely competitive level. I guess that sort of environment does in some ways help to uplift the standard of the food.

But then again, some may say that in Singapore it is also very competitive and what’s more, here it was going for $2 until few years back and now it’s just $2.50 or $3. In places like Perth or Sydney, you’ll be lucky to get a plate of Duck Rice for under A$9. Well my answer to that is, that comparison is flawed because first, in western places, Chinese food outlets operate from close-knit eating area like the Chinatown or some Asian foodcourt etc. So when they have to operate businesses from close proximity, obviously it is going to be very very competitive. Of course there are Chinese food to be found in some ulu Aussie towns too but usually those places are not where you can find the good ones. Then also not forgetting there are lesser Asians in those countries and so the customer base undoubtedly is quite small to start with. If you want to know how difficult to do business in those places, I have friends telling me that in London, you might need a cash flow of around 1 million pound before you can consider ‘occupying’ a place to sell food in Leicester Square which is the London’s Chinatown.

Like all food, something that is roasted and grilled are always going to be more receptive to people. It goes the same for duck. Roasted Duck is more popular and Braised Duck is something that is probably as rare as Beef Noodle, at least for me. I have very very bad knowledge about Braised Duck Rice because I have only ever eaten at a few stalls. It does seems to me that whenever I’m at a kopitiam looking for food, Braised Duck Rice seldom appears. But interestingly when they do, it always seems like a good stall with plenty of shiny braised duck hanging on the display rack. I’m not sure whether because there are lesser competition so they can usually sell more or because they only sell duck and nothing more. As compared to a Chicken Rice stall, they may sell other things like Char Siew or Siew Yuk. So what do you think?

I vividly remember I ate my first Braised Duck Rice at Cheok Kee Duck Rice operating at a run-down kopitiam in Macpherson when I was little. My dad being a real foodie would really travel half the island just to have a plate of rice and some of my trips with my family there to eat the duck rice was quite memorable because to me, that plate of rice was really quite amazing. I figured after a while that it is something to do with the ‘Lor’(gravy) and it blends so well with the yam rice that I must consider it the same level of shiokness as curry on rice.

Fortunately, they have a stall only a stone’s throw to where I stay and so I can easily have my fix. Cheok Kee Duck Rice has been made into franchise along the years and they have a few branches around from what I heard. The one at Macpherson had shifted down a few yards and is now located somewhere near the Mazda showroom. There is one at the East Coast Lagoon Hawker Centre. Then I have heard about people talking about one at Kallang area and another one in the West near to Buona Vista.

duck2

Cheok Kee Duck Rice is delicious for me only because the combination of the ‘Lor’ and rice together with the duck meat has something that what I would call a ’smooth consistency’. Maybe the texture of the rice has a role to play too as I do remember the yam rice I had there were always soft and puffy. Braised duck unfortunately is just all about that. The duck meat and skin were braised in the ‘Lor’, unlike Roasted Duck where you can talk about how well it is roasted or how much fats there are. But for Braised Duck, it is still the same meat and skin except that it has a coat of that ‘Lor’ so the influence is still going to be the ‘Lor’ more than anything else.

Cheok Kee Duck Rice is undisputedly my favourite Braised Duck Rice. Just like a plate of good fried rice is one that doesn’t make you feel ‘jerlad’ after eating it, this plate of Braised Duck Rice hold the same truth for me. Unlike some other stalls where it’s either too sweet or too salty, this ‘Lor’ on the yam rice is something that can satisfy me because the hits on my umami were always constructed in a very well balanced manner.

Price: $3 onwards

Conclusion: Outstanding duck rice for me because the ‘Lor’ is so delicious, it can almost make the rice melt in your mouth. Never once had I felt ‘jerlad’ aftering eating a plate of it. That is usually the sign of good quality good.

Likes: The Lor aka gravy.

Dislikes: Meat was quite little for $3 portion.

Address Overall Rating

duck1
Cheok Kee Duck Rice – East Coast
Stall 29, East Coast Lagoon Food Village
1220 East Coast Parkway, (S)468960
(+65) 6445 4222
Mon – Sun: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.


Food:
7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Value:
7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Service:
7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Ambience:
7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Cleanliness:
7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Overall:
7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 


Readers' Comment(s) : 3
Boon Tiong says:

this LOR duck meat is really making me hungry now !!!!!!
but i always prefer roasted to braised duck meat… especially the roasted duck meat in Sydney. :)

i always find the duck rice serving always small in singapore. I guess duck meat is generally more expensive than chicken meat.

Posted June 19, 2009
Alfred says:

Yes me too, braised duck is just about the LOR, if the LOR is good, anything, even chicken or frog goes in it would be equally good…

Duck is expensive true..and there are many different grades..

Posted June 20, 2009
Diana Tang says:

Is this duck rice stall which was formally located at Macpherson? its another famous dish was curry fish head.

Posted February 23, 2011
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