Timothy Tye
Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap 金記潮州滷鴨



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Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck and Kway ChapJin Ji Teochew Braised Duck and Kway Chap (2 August, 2017)



Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap 金記潮州滷鴨 (GPS: 1.2824, 103.84344) is a hawker stall at Chinatown Complex in Singapore. It is operated by a young man named Melvin Chew and his mother Madam Chew. Over the years, it has attracted the entire gamut of Singapore bloggers, and even TV personalities such as KF Seetoh and Anthony Bourdain.

The stall was started by Melvin's father way back in 1983. At that time, Chinatown Complex was newly built, and the kway chap stall was one of the first to occupy the complex. A few years ago, tragedy struck when Melvin's father passed away suddenly. To help his mother continue the family business, Melvin had to leave his job and took over the running of the stall.

I got to know Melvin when we both were in Manila for the World Street Food Congress. Then, when I visited KF Seetoh in Singapore, I made visiting Melvin's stall as an item in my Singapore bucket list. I love kway chap (or as we spell it in Penang, koay chiap), and was pleased to learn that they have such a dish in Singapore too, and was very keen to try the kway chap at Melvin's place. On arrival in Singapore, I was quickly booked by my Singapore friends who took me to various places for meals, that the opportunity to visit Melvin seemed to be pushed way, despite my being in Singapore for 8 days. So, on the penultimate day in Singapore, I decided to have some me time, so that I can explore the city state on my own, and finally pay a visit to Melvin's place.

It was walking the whole morning, and this being Singapore, it rained heavily, forcing me to take shelter - and also grab a bite. Then eventually I found my way to Chinatown Complex. It was mammoth! I learned afterwards that this is the largest food centre in Singapore. Anyway, I went through aisle after aisle searching for Melvin's stall. Where oh where is stall 02-156? I continued to upon other rows, other numbers, but not that. And after a long search, I finally got there. It is on the second floor of the complex.

But by then, I was more thirsty and exhausted than hungry. Melvin served me his kway chap bento. I learned that this presentation - a radical move from how kway chap was traditionally served - was inspired by KF Seetoh, to usher Singapore hawker food to go with the times.

Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck and Kway ChapKway Chap Bento Combo Jumbo (1 August, 2017)


In the Kway Chap Bento, the kway chap soup comes in a separate bowl from the rest of the ingredients, which include duck meat, yam rice, boiled egg, pig intestine, pick skin, beancurd and pickled vegetable. The boiled egg is so nicely done, with the yolk neither too dry nor watery, just the way I like it. The kway chap - piece rice noodles - has a smooth texture as they swim in the soup, which has the same taste that I am accustomed to back in Penang (if ever Melvin comes to Penang, I'll take him to my favourite market koay chap stall). I learned that the stall has toned down on the saltiness of the soup, to move with present-day palate. I am fine with the taste that day.

It is not usual up in Penang to find rice formed into rice balls. I remember seeing it for chicken rice over in Malacca, but here, it's yam rice in the form of rice balls. To me, it doesn't matter how it looks like, as long as it is tasty, and I am happy to say that it is.

It has always surprised me at how inexpensive hawker food in Singapore is. The braised duck rice is selling for just S$3 to S$4 (Aug 2017 prices). Of course, if you opt for the house special, the Bento Combo Jumbo Set, this will set you back S$8. Considering how much things cost in Singapore, I still find that it is good value for money, and the same goes for the kway chap at Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap stall.

I wish I have more of an appetite than I had on that day. The hot and wet weather has killed my appetite, making me thirst for drinks more than for food. So, I couldn't finish that feast of food that Melvin has arrayed before me. But it was a memorable kway chap feast, which makes me want to come back in future, with my wife in tow, so that I can proudly let her try this kway chap.

Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck and Kway ChapTwo perfectly formed yam rice balls on the bento tray. (1 August, 2017)


Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck and Kway ChapSmooth pieces of kway chap it its soup. (1 August, 2017)


Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck and Kway ChapJin Ji Teochew Braised Duck and Kway Chap stall. (1 August, 2017)


Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck and Kway ChapHere I am (right), with Melvin (left) and his mother (centre), at Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck and Kway Chap (1 August, 2017)

Address

Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap 金記潮州滷鴨
Blk 335, Smith Street #02-156,
Chinatown Complex,
Singapore 050335
Phone: +65 9018 9052
Facebook Page: click here
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