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Home / Chinese Cuisine / Hai Kee Roasted Specialist – $2 Fantastic Food!
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Hai Kee Roasted Specialist – $2 Fantastic Food!
By Alfred July 8, 2009
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Hai Kee Roasted Specialist – $2 Fantastic Food!
Fast Facts
Food:
Char Siew Rice (叉烧饭) Roasted Duck (烧鸭) Wanton Mee (云吞面)
Type:
Chinese Cuisine
Setting:
Coffee Shop
Price Range:
S$1 - S$5
Rating Range:
7 to 7.9
Location:
Tampines
Food Centre:
N/A
Recommended For:
Dinner Lunch
Reviewed by:
Alfred

A lot of eating places are popular because they provide food that are value for money – cheap. While other places are popular because they are in a strategic location especially if their kopitiam is situated just beside a big carpark, that will almost give them an upperhand, at least in attracting customer who drives. Then there are those that are in a really terrible location and not cheap to eat but yet still can pull the crowd because they are providing very good quality food.

One of such food I can think of is this Hainanese Scissor-Cut Curry Rice along a street at Jalan Besar. That place is so hard to find parking because all the roads surrounding that kopitiam practically had unbroken double yellow lines which mean that no stopping, parking or even waiting throughout the day for 24 hours. I really can’t see myself walking 30 mins from a parking lot to anywhere just for a meal but yet that place is a die die must go for me whenever I need my Hainanese curry rice fix so what do I do? No choice, I have to perfect the art of tactical parking around that area and so there you go with that example, hard to find parking, not cheap to eat but yet I still must eat!

During those times when cost of food was rising in Singapore, I wasn’t here. I went away at the time when $2 meal is the norm and a can of coke at kopitiam was still only 80cent or 90cent. I came back after that and whenever I ate out, my comment was always “wah now $3 already ah??!?!” and nowadays can drinks in coffeeshop cost like $1.30 to $1.50 already. At that time I remember if you were to walk into NTUC with $10, you can actually get quite a bit of things but nowadays, one tub of ice cream and a few pack of biscuits, you’ll be lucky if there are something left out of the $10.

So though many said that the rise of food cost is a global thing due to the rise of fuel price, but one surprising fact is that Singapore seemed to take the hardest knock out of that global blow. Maybe because Singapore’s food prices were quite low by any global standard and so food sellers or rather food manufacturers here took advantage of it to up it to the max possible. What do you guys think? But I must say that a meal that cost you $2.50 – $3 in Singapore is still one of the lowest if I were to compare it to meals in cities like London, Sydney or Tokyo. So in that sense our food prices are still comparatively cheaper.

How many of you have actually thought of setting up a food stall? To some it may sound like an exciting thing or a cool thing, but yet when I think of it, the logistic side of it can be a nightmare. I mean first, you have to rent a place, then you have to buy equipments or custom build the kitchen, then you have to get the right people to help you to run the business, so before everything even started, you’ll be looking at spending something like 5 to 6 digit figures already, all preparing yourself to run a food business which most likely be more than 12 hours kind of supervision job if you’re the boss, at least 6 days a week with possibly no holidays for a long time to come as you’d want to try to reach that break even point quickly. I don’t know about you but that is quite a daunting prospect for me and the fact is even if you can get the whole thing setup nicely, you still have to think about where to get the customers. I mean customers don’t come to your shop just because it suddenly exist right? You have to advertise, promote and maybe even sell at below cost at the beginning to attract.

Hai Kee Roasted Specialist is a newly opened shop just down the road from where I stay and they sell roasted meat food by day and cze char food by night. Now it’s quite a big gamble the way I see it as they are trying to do food business on a stretch where many food businesses in the past had failed.

I vividly remembered several Cze Char stalls setting up business there and even a Fish Head Steamboat came sometime back. For some reasons that stretch just doesn’t seem to have the luck or rather the Feng Shui to actually make any food business sustainable.

But Hai Kee came about a month ago and seemed to be riding on some luck. For one, looking at the way they set themselves up, it gives me the feeling that these people does know what they’re doing. Afterall if you see something like 7 to 8 staffs getting busy in the kitchen, you’ll also be saying WOW right? The good thing is they recognised the fact that they need to promote themselves aggressively and so common meals like rice or noodle dishes in the store are going at promo price of $2.

Now usually for any food that cost you $2, you can’t expect a lot right? But yet I can swear that Hai Kee has one of the best Char Siew and Roasted Duck around this area. Hai Kee’s roasted meat tasted somewhat like the Hong Kong style if you know what I mean. Even the sauce on the Wanton Mee here is the sweet kind which is very Hong Kongness. So far I’ve tried their Roasted Duck Rice, Wanton Mee and Roasted Duck Mee and they all tasted well above par, definitely quite outstanding. So if for $2 you can have roasted meat with a whiff of that Hong Kongness, you really should ‘Mai Tu Liao’. Morever this is the promo price and I really can’t see it going on for long so if you’re staying nearby, ‘Lu Tan Si Mi’?

Price: $2 onwards (promo price)

Recommendation: Roasted Duck Rice

Conclusion: Possibly the best $2 meal to be found in the east side of Singapore. Fantastic Hong Kong style roasted meat that is almost comparable to Crystal Jade’s standard.

Likes: Roasted Duck.

Dislikes: Sauce a little too sweet.

Address Overall Rating

hai1
Hai Kee Roasted Specialist
Coffeeshop at
Tampines Street 44 Blk 475


Food:
8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Value:
9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 

Service:
8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Ambience:
7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Cleanliness:
7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 

Overall:
7.75/10 ★★★★★★★¾☆☆ 

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