Tong Fong Fatt: Chicken Rice for the New Generation

 Half Chicken $9

One of the big differences between the Chicken Rice of old and the modern day Chicken Rice is the sauce that they douse over the chicken.  Some places like Yet Con still persists in traditional Hainanese Style Chicken Rice where the chicken is served without a sauce.  This is the way my mother-in-law still serves her Chicken Rice.  Our modern day chicken rice comes with a soy based sauce partly because our chicken nowadays don't taste as "chickeny" as the free range chickens of the past.  So the sauce is necessary to give it a bit more flavour.  Some say that this is the Cantonese style of chicken rice, but in Singapore, this style is now widely accepted and my kids prefer it this way.



Tong Fong Fatt is actually an old brandname, but quite new as a chicken rice brand.  The old Tong Fong Fatt stall was at Chong Pang village and used to sell sugarcane juice.  When Augustine Koh took over his father's business, he decided to partner with his brother-in-law to start selling chicken rice at ABC Brickworks food centre.  This was back in the mid nineties, so it is quite recent compared to our other well known Chicken Rice stalls.  Augustine tells me that he decided early on that he would make a Chicken Rice which will appeal to the younger generation.  That meant that the chicken has to be really tender and slippery and the sauce needs to be really special.

Rice 50 cents

Much as I would love to say that I love everything traditional, I must admit that I actually find the chicken here delicious.  I thought the texture was very good.  The meat was tender and the skin was slippery and as smooth as Ipoh Hor Fun.  The secret sauce which I feel is the thing that really sets Tong Fong Fatt apart from the rest of the chicken rice places has got that special something.  I was told that 12 ingredients actually go into making the sauce and it was a recipe which Augustine had come up with through trial and error. 4.5/5

Now Augustine is not Hainanese, he is Teochew.  Nowadays, you don't have to be Hainanese to serve Chicken Rice just like you don't have to be Teochew to serve Teochew porridge.  Being Teochew, we like stuff just a little on the sweet side.  When I tasted the rice, there was that nice sweet aftertaste after you swallow the rice.  I found out later that the rice was cooked with a small amount of rock sugar.  I thought the texture of the rice was excellent and I liked the sweet aftertaste which we Teochew say is "Karm Karm". 4.25/5

Tender slippery chicken

I also like the ginger here very much.  It's not raw ginger like what some places serve, but a nicely simmered concoction of ginger with chicken oil.  It could have had a bit more kick but I am not complaining.  The chilli on the other hand lacked character and did not have that fragrant citrus lime zest.

Conclusion

I enjoyed this chicken rice so much that I am beginning to realize that I am indeed the new generation of Singaporean even though I love all thing traditional.

Tong Fong Fatt (Ghim Moh)
Blk 20 Ghim Moh Road
Ghim Moh Food Centre
#01-49
10am to 9pm
Various branches all around Singapore

22 comments:

lj said...

Seems real delicious! The skin is so silky with fats..

SHWong said...

What I really don't like is how some of the popular stalls like to hang their leftover chicken spine and head to show others how many chickens they have sold. This one is one of them. Whassup with that?!?

Teo said...

I feel most of the new generation prefers roasted chicken rice to the steamed chicken rice. Roasted chicken is usually my preference, I only go for the steamed version at the stall in Marine Parade Central hawker centre.

Leslie, your ratings for this stall is very high. Is this stall comparable to the top 3 in your recent polls, Tian Tian, Wee Nam Kee and Boon Tong Kee?

Mandrake said...

Personally I find this much much better than Tian Tian.. I always feel that Tian Tian is overrated.

There is a stall at Maxwell Market further down away from Tian Tian.. same row.. .

I thought the chilli was a killer.. Its quite spicy as compared to the others.

zhouzi said...

Teo, I had tried Tian Tian, Wee Nam Kee and Boon Tong Kee (white chicken). I prefer this stall and like Les said, did not think much of the chilli but the ginger rocks.
But the one to beat, for me, is Xin Ji at Mei Ling FC.
chaozhouzi

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

ahhhh, you finally went to try this chicken rice! it's my all time, anytime fave! WOOHOO!!

i like how they do their chicken liver too, not stone hard and soft enough not to be undercooked. yumalicious!

spots said...

the Tong Fong Fatt @ ABC Brickworks is our family's weekly weekend haunt =) Definitely my kids' favourite!

soundman said...

Hi zhouzi, while I like the chicken and chili from Xin Ji (Sin Kee) at Mei Ling FC, I feel they could do with better quality rice. Not sure what type of rice they are using but I don't see the full bowl of full grain rice like those from Tian TIan and Tong Fong Fatt. Or they could have been mixed with less quality rice, see here: http://ieatishootipost.sg/2009/09/sin-kee-chicken-rice-original-one-from.html

Bugger said...

Hey Les...you got to go try the chicken at Fei Lou now that they are finally back. This is the same shop that does the fried boneless wings I talked about last time.

Anyway their chicken is one of the best around in my books. Unit #01-116 Telok Blangah Crescent HC. :)

ieat said...

Are they open for lunch or only dinner?

Holy Drummer said...

Yup, Tong Fong Fatt does it for me. My chicken rice of choice in Marine Parade FC...

Time to visit Telok Blangah Crescent FC...

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

Soundman, went back to re-read ieat's post. Ieat said rice is non-descript but for me, tastewise, it was good enough for another plate just for the rice alone.
You are right about the mixing of poorer quality rice; Ieat's photo of the rice shows mixture of full grain and "broken" grain.(blown up).
chaozhouzi

Anonymous said...

Maybe a review on the best murtabaks around?

ieat said...

Well, you could start by giving us a few murtabaks you think are worth blogging.

Alisa said...

I have to admit I haven't tried this one before, being used to fried or roasted chicken, but it sure looks delicious!

Daniel said...

Try it at Ghim Moh stall. Chicken very smooth and tasty. Rice grainy and dry, but taste good. Ginger sauce good.

BTW, there is a fried Hor Fun stall in the same row that has a long queue. Have a great "wok hei" taste. Recommending to try.

ieat said...

Yes the blog post is coming up next!

Mandrake said...

Is Fei Lou back at Telok Blangah Crescent? He moved away when the place was up for renovation.

While you are at Telok Blangah, try the chicken rice opposite from the hawker center. That is nice too.

Anonymous said...

Actually the 88 chicken rice stall is better. Their rice is not oily and it is value for money too.

Anonymous said...

Tried it. The chicken was not as tender and the rice is quite plain, compared to my favourite chicken rice stall in Yishun.

Anonymous said...

Love this chicken rice after I first tried it at Marine Parade Hawker centre. I do not go for famous brand names, in fact that was the first time I've seen the name of this chicken rice stall.

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