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Ming Kee Chicken Rice

  • Restaurants
  • Bishan
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Ming Kee Chicken Rice
    Photograph: Dawson Tan
  2. Ming Kee Chicken Rice
    Photograph: Dawson Tan

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Having been in the business for over 40 years, Ming Kee's got ice in its veins when it comes to serving up a satisfying plate of steamed chicken. Here, you wouldn’t find the typical display of chickens strung up behind a glass panel to attract hungry patrons instead, the birds are kept in an ice bath once they are cooked – which is why the meat is infamously cold when served.

Expect to sink your teeth into consistently juicy meat encased within porcelain-like skin that glistens like none other. There’s a whole lot of science behind the ice bath technique as it shocks the chicken, forming a layer of jelly under the skin and elevating the texture that results in sheer succulence in each bite – even the breast meat. We recommend going for the half-bird ($15) when dining in pairs.

The rice, however, leans towards a healthier version so don’t expect flavour explosions. Sporting a subtle sheen and aroma of chicken oil, each grain is whole and distinct with very clean flavours. We think that it serves well without overshadowing the chicken while a lightly sweet chicken bone broth is provided to help refresh your palate every once in a while. 

The only fault we found is that the chilli runs a little thin and is lacking a certain punch and brightness to it. But since they don’t make their own chilli, perhaps there may be room for some tweaking behind the scenes.

If you’re looking to add variety to your course, there are savoury oyster sauce vegetables ($4), chicken feet ($3), crunchy bean sprouts ($3), and snappy gizzards ($3) to pair – we obviously went with the gizzards to complete our balancing act.

Make no mistake, the stall is well-loved by most. As you can see from the meandering queues that form before the lunch hour crunch, this is definitely a local favourite. Brace yourself for snaking queues for it is clearly worth the wait once you tuck into the chicken rice. It doesn’t hurt to know that they have the tendency to sell out before 8pm so come early if you really want to sort that craving out.

Time Out Singapore reviews anonymously and pays for all meals. Read our restaurant review policy here.

What the stars mean:
★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional 

Dawson Tan
Written by
Dawson Tan


Kim San Leng Coffee Shop
511 Bishan St 13
Opening hours:
Daily 10am-8pm (Closed on Tues)
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