Cheok Kee Duck Rice: How good can Braised Duck get?



Did you know that a duck is called a duck because of the way it ducks underwater to feed? I just thought that that was an interesting piece of trivia.

Talking about ducks, it seems to be the poor (or should I say fortunate) cousin of the chicken. I mean, you eat chicken at least a few times per week and its cooked in so many different ways. When it comes to duck, you basically have the roast version or the braised version and a sprinkling of dishes here and there. I remember as a kid, mom only ever cooked braised duck and it is eaten only during festive occasions.

Since braised duck is a supposed to be a Teochew dish, I should really love it since I am 100% unadulterated Teochew. Then again, I have already confessed to my lack of Teochewness as is apparent in my lack of appreciation of the Peh Toh Her. So braised duck does not evoke as much saliva as say Char Siew for me. In fact, I think that braised duck can only attain a certain level of shiokness which will never surpass the shiokability of something like say, a bowl of laksa. I don't remember eating one that I can really go "Shiokadoooledoooo!".

So when it comes to this 40 year old Duck Rice in Macpherson, I was not too disappointed since I was not expecting too much. The thing about this stretch of stalls along Macpherson Road is that it really is a model of Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest. There are only a few shops there that have been around for more then a couple of years. The rest of the stalls just keep changing hands because the location is just not conducive. So if this stall has been around for so long, it means that the food must be good enough such that it has got a critical mass of regular customers to keep it going.

As I said, I did not expect too much. So it wasn't too bad. The duck was a little dry and the braising sauce was nothing to brag about. But hey, I am sure that there are fans out there who would disagree with me. The other thing I found out is that this is a Cantonese version of braised duck. Interesting since you would not expect people in the past to do cross cultural dishes as much as they do today. I was told that Cantonese Braised Duck has a thick gooey sauce and uses more herbs then Teochew Braised Duck. Perhaps our Braised Duck experts can confirm this to be true? 3.5/5

Conclusion

Has anyone ever eaten a braised duck that can be rated near a five or can braised duck only ever get so good?

Cheok Kee Duck Rice
520 Macpherson Road
9.30am to 7pm
Closed on Tuesdays
67439755

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothing can beat the braised duck (no thickened sauce please) prepared by my mum and my granny but when there's nothing at home I like to go to the duck rice stall at Cambridge Rd hawker centre..it has yummy braised duck served with either white rice or yam rice.

lost said...

i really like the braised duck at 'Long House' along Upp Thomson Road...

Amagada said...

Actually, my favourite duck stall is one of the backstreet hawker stalls in Bangkok, Silom road. Duck Kway Tiao, or in Thai called "Kway Tiao Ped". Used to love to go there during lunch when I was working along Rama IV road, opposite Lumpini Park.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

I strongly believe most braised ducks are factory ready-made and bought by store owners, which is why I seldom have any preferences. Other than that however, I do feel that vendors sometimes prefer to make the sauce, chilli, rice and soup themselves to differenciate their product from the competition.

I personally like the rice to be loose and not stuck together, with little yam, and I love a good sauce though I can't remember the last time I had one.

The best chilli I had so far actually came from a foodcourt at the Toa Payoh Bus Station, where the chilli had crispy ikan bilis inside which added texture to the simple condiment....but that was nearly 7-8 years ago when they had just renovated the Toa Payoh Interchange so I'm not sure if it's still there.

I also think the soup plays a big role and I'm really into the herbal taste.

so personally I think for me, a good duck rice doesn't necessarily involve the quality of the duck, but more so the items that come along with it =)

I'm not really fussy though, sometimes I just grab sth from Yu Kee's Duck Rice, or when I was still working at Black Angus down at One Fullerton, I'd head to Lau Pa Sat for their Duck Rice or Duck Kway Chap...really good too in my opinion =)

Andrew

sumosumo said...

the best braised duck i hv tried is the one along circular road. its next to the Killiney Kopitiam.

it caters to the lunchtime shenton way crowd because of its location. but i reckon it ranks in the 4.5 range.

this is the type served with white rice, and the braising sauce is the dark soya sauce type (not unlike kong bak type of tao you sauce) which will send your BP sky high due to the high sodium levels.

nevertheless, a very tasty sauce. they also serve it with sides of teochew style boiled cabbage with tau kee, as well as braised tau kwa, and also serve pigs head parts (yeah!!), - ears, cheeks, and unidentifiable bits.

Anonymous said...

Hey, the Duck at Serangoon Garden( Ah Seng) was nice. Normally it would be sold out around 8 or 9plus pm. On bad days(That was weekdays) when I went over, everything was gone by 7pm =.=". Worth a try

jerrylsp said...

My Favourite ducky is at Kent Ridge Park, the best!!!

Anonymous said...

yup ah seng duck rice near sernagoon mrt is worth the try! oh ban cheong duck rice at ang mo kio hawker centre is really good too!

smart said...

The pic u seen is at Alkaff Ave, Serangoon 3ms where Jackson's was (sadly all gone!). When the place was demolished the owner had 3 diciples. They now operated at 1. MacPherson Road, 2. At Lor 35 Geylang n 3. at The Lagoon at East Coast Park. My favourite is Lor 35.
To me the Best is still at Teka mkt but they close on Mon & Tues. By 1pm this stall will be sold out!The Q is always long.

Mr. Anonymous said...

What is the store name of the Teka market one? Currently I consider Lor.35 the best but its also very expensive.

Mr. Anonymous said...

So Leslie when are you going to try the Tekka store? You said last year on Jun. 25 that you would try it.

Damien said...

Tekka closing soon for renovations.

Have to track it fast.

ieat & itreat said...

Anyone else want to go?

Doubt that by the time I get there that any duck would be left!

sumosumo said...

lets go! send out an invite!

lor 35 i tried.. dont really like it as they drown the duck in the gravy, and i find the gravy too sweet..

matt said...

best duck rice - die die die must try geylang lor 35 same coffeeshop as Sin Huat food nazi. CLoses before 7 everyday i think. 3 brothers. My last meal on earth

Damien said...

The duck rice stall at Tekka closes pretty early nowadays. It used to open till early evenings.

However, can try the duck rice at Circular Road and further down the road, there's a very good prawn noodles too.

Duck rice at Sin Huat's coffeeshop is excellent, albeit you can't order than when you .order the dishes from Danny

chaozhouzi said...

Damien, is the prawn noodle whitley rd big prawn noodle? Hope to track down the duck rice stall. Am drooling from the description.

smart said...

The Teka mkt duck stall is at the last row facing Bt Timah Rd(Kg Java Rd).The Lor 35 is good but completely diff flavour. This Teka stall is the 'oldies' The 'lor' n chilli is what u use to get in the 70'. Beside duck he sell pig head, skin n ear! His duck is larger size than other stall. This Teochew Ah Hia sometime close his stall even on other day, so best is call: 63960969.

Damien said...

chaozhouzi - think that's the one :)

There's another Whitley Road Big Prawn Mee at Adam Road FC and Zion Road FC but I personally prefer the one at Circular Road, albeit do not know if they're related.

The Tekka duck rice stall's duck is so huge that some people mistake it for goose :)

Love to add on the pig ears and wings. Long queues during peak hours but worth the wait :)

chaozhouzi said...

Thanks Damien, BTW the Zion road FC is an offshoot of Adam road FC but is not related to Whitley Road. Known the Adam road operator since he was a young 'un. Back then his father's prawn noodle and laksa were sedap, too bad he dropped the laksa dish.

Smart, the duck rice stall faces the former rex theatre across the canal, kg java is too far away. When he was at Hill St he had braised goose. Wonder why he stopped. The sauce is the real McCoy, whereas Lor 35's had tweaked his sauce till it is unrecognisable as Teochew style. I asked him, he said singaporeans preferred the sauce sweet and starchy.
I think Ah Seng at S'goon Gdns is better than both. Meat is moist and tender. Seasoning is not too heavy.

Damien said...

Thanks for the update. Funny thing is that Whitley Prawn Mee at Zion Rd is a tad better than Adam Road FC. Maybe lack of QC. hehhehehe...

pyjamaszzz said...

The braised duck rice at Hollywood coffee shop (Haig Road, next to the old City Harvest building) is the best! Close before 7pm everyday and super long queue during lunch hour. Without a doubt, a 5/5! =)

p/s: Never eat it w/o the chilli! You don't know what you are missing out on!

smart said...

Had that Haig Rd braised Duck years back n never bother to go again. Now it is time to revisit them.
Found another gem at Geylang East FC. Bought some home n my wife commended that it is like home made type.I am only back again to eat there to reconfirm my taste.

Anonymous said...

nobody likes lim seng lee braised duck? i grew up eating that. not cheap but u get to hear the funny uncle shout "spare parts!" haha.

Anonymous said...

i like yukee duck rice the most! really like those kind of chilli alot

Anonymous said...

Definitely the duck rice at Thomson's Long House. It use to be at the old Long House@Jalan Besar and they used to have a stall in Lavander Food Court as well. Now its just the one at Thomson, but its worth going there cos it ROCKS!!

Anonymous said...

could try the loh duck rice at kallang bahru food centre, taste is gd as duck is tender and nice sauce too

ysL said...

personally i prefer the curry fish head and the double boiled soups at cheok kee. you should return and review those on another posting maybe?

Cindy. Lo. said...

I LOVE duck!
And you just made me craving for it!

Mr. Anonymous said...

I went to search for the Duck rice at circular road to day and I couldn't find it. There was no Killiney Kopitiam as well. Can some kind soul please point out to me where it is. Best if you can post a link on google maps as well.

destin said...

hi, i THINK YOU missed the next main dish here, it is the assam curry fish head! not only the duck rice.
The curry is nice and the fish meat is fresh and tender and sweet!

Do give it a try. i m a regular there.

Anonymous said...

Hello All

Does anyone know where has Cheok kee shifted to? It is no longer along Macpherson Road.

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