Wee Nam Kee was one of the bastions of Hainanese Chicken Rice in Singapore. Their shop opposite Novena Church was the favourite among my generation, including the famous singer Kit Chan.
Poached Chicken is not a Michelin-star dish, but it requires a Michelin-star attitude to produce a proper poached chicken so that the fat between the skin and meat becomes jelly and the chicken cooked at just the right doneness. One minute more, the chicken is overcooked. One minute less, there’s still blood in the chicken.
Here, the chicken was tender and done at the right wellness. Unfortunately they don’t debone the chicken for you. I think it was drenched in too much of its tasty sauce, it would have been perfect if moderation was exercised.
The rice is the essence of a good chicken rice meal. This specimen was not fantastic. I have had worse (where they used really cheap rice that were broken and chipped). A good chicken rice needs to be whole grain Jasmine rice cooked with the chicken broth and not too mushy, with a hint of ginger and garlic and pandan.
Their rice was a bit al dente and dry. But I did not have the “ajinomoto” dryness in the throat feeling after the meal, which indicates that they have used little or just enough of chicken powder. (No chicken rice store can claim they don’t use chicken powder these days.)
As part of the meal, it came with a dumpling soup. The dumpling was quite delicious, each came with an entire shrimp in it. And it used the same stock that was used to poach the chicken, yummy.
Every chicken rice restaurant would also sell some additional dishes, and Wee Nam Kee actually featured a full menu of Hainanese specialities like Fish Head Curry, Pork Chop, etc. Also, char siew and roast pork belly. I order one portion for one person, and it came up to be right portion, but costed $8. And it was a really mediocre roast pork bely. Definitely not their best seller as the skin wasn’t crispy and the meat was dry and salty.
For the record, their other best seller was their roasted chicken. I don’t like roasted chicken so I skipped that.
One of the best dipping sauce for chicken rice: The combination of chilli sauce, ginger paste and dark soy sauce makes up a perfect condiment to go with chicken rice. No doubt, this is the thing that makes the chicken rice meal. And Wee Nam Kee is famous for its outstanding sauce, a mixture of spicy chilli sauce, yellow pasty ginger and silky, thick and less salty dark soy sauce.
Wee Nam Kee has since evolved to become a chain of chicken rice stores across the island. The outlet at United Square was set up to replace the original one at Novena Ville and gave it a brighter new look.
Unfortunately, like all that expanded the same way, they could not keep up with the differing standards of different stores. Also, even in the past it was not the cheapest chicken rice around, now it has become lesser value for money since its new found fame being the poster child for Makansutra and other famous bloggers.
Wee Nam Kee
Hainanese Chicken Rice Restaurant
101 Thomson Road, #01-08 United Square, Singapore 307591
Tel : +65 6255 6396
Date Visited : Jul 2018
That soup looks great.
The novena branch is definitely the best one!
Like the old one opposite the Novena church better. It lost that loving feeling.
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