Be it the incessant neon lights or simply, the buzzing nightlife, Geylang excites one in every way imaginable. It’s a world of its own here. Same goes for the food. Don’t expect fastfood or coffee chains. Instead, be prepared to indulge in a taste of classic contemporaries ranging from Teochew porridge to beef hor fun to chicken rice to soy base desserts.
Filgrimages (food pilgrimages) are paid to Geylang whenever time permits. The gastronomical experience (on macro or micro scales) is indeed therapeutic, especially after a rough day at work.
Sitting inside the Geylang Claypot Rice restaurant, hordes of passersby provide side-entertainment while waiting for the food to arrive. Are they visitors to the certain even-numbered lorongs? How stereotypical of me. But don’t blame me. I got the same suspicious look from a few taxi drivers when I told them of my mouth-watering destination. That’s part of the fun, perhaps.
Still using charcoal as the source of heat, cooking time takes at least 25 minutes. Therefore, réservez, s’il vous plaît. Opening of the lid revealed a spectrum of brownish hues from the marinated chicken pieces, waxed meat & liver sausages and salted fish. A swirl of dark soy sauce bonded the ensemble with a slightly sweet taste. The fluffy rice added an appetizing factor. What it lacked (personally), was the distinctive charred flavour. However, the fact that the bowl could be scraped clean showed that hygiene was assured. It could have been more flavoursome, definitely.
And the brussels sprouts were fresh, sweet and firm.
The subtly sweet lotus roots made the rather bland braised duck tasted interesting. The soft duck meat contrasted the crispy lotus root slices well. The sweet gravy would have dressed a plate of white rice perfectly while chestnuts and lotus seeds could have added extra sweetness and texture as well.
As interesting as it may sound, the steamed star grouper did not blow the tastebuds out of cosmic proportions. Still delicious, nevertheless. Laced with a seductively red sweet and spicy sauce, the fish was fresh and well-cooked. As with many other fish-steaming styles, the crunchy fried lard bits exhibited a crunchy texture and of course, aroma, as the bits crumble in the mouth.
Accolades for claypot rice are countless and service was efficient on the night of visit.
I’ve once heard of a few famous claypot rice stalls that don’t scrape off the burnt, remaining rice adhered to the lining of the claypot. Apparently, it adds a distinctive flavour to the dish. A fear factor for many, me, on the other hand, don’t mind a little carbon in the body, if it’s delicious. Afterall, how often do we indulge in claypot rice?
A menu for 2:
Claypot Rice – S$14.00
Brussels Sprout – S$6.00
Lotus Duck – S$10.00
Steamed Star Grouper – S$32.00
Geylang Claypot Rice
No. 639, Lorong 33
Tel: (+65) 6744 4574/3619