Every conversation is now tainted with melamine. Imagine how chaotic it would have been if this issue was discovered during the Olympics! In better times, melamine was nothing more than cheerful-looking plasticwares and perhaps a potential name for Melanie’s younger sister. My heart goes out to the families affected by this man-made pandemic. There are things that we could have avoided. And this is definitely one of them.
Just like “Burn After Reading”, the movie. No, I mean the script circles around avoidable mishaps. Not that one should avoid this movie. In fact, I thought it was smart, well-angled and stylishly edited. From the Coen brothers, I expect nothing less than Fargo and No Country For Old Men. However, with elaborate usage of the infamous WTF phrase plus the special appearance of a d**d*, I doubt it will be rolling its reels across the Causeway in the near future.
The milk, again. A colleague once jokingly told me that back in those simpler days of our lives, they survived on condensed milk. None of those fortified with vitamins and all the nutrients one needs to be the first astronaut to land on Mars. He further suggested that perhaps all these ridiculous ideas are causing a surge in demand, hence the shortcuts. Well, I am not sure of that as condensed milk is afterall, still milk. My cheeky suggestion was to raise a cow. Instead of dogs and cats, get a cow. You can milk all you want. You control its diet. You can feed it with beer for the extra marblings. The power is in your hands, people! And the garden could use some organic nutrients as well.
Perhaps that’s why kampung (free-range) chicken tastes better. Because they are fed with what chicken should be fed with and how you wanted them to taste like. No lipo, no botox and no estrogen injections. Just leftover rice and crawlies. I pondered upon this when I took a bite of Loy Kee’s steamed (poached) chicken. Kampung chicken it may not be but it was fresh. None of those dreadful frozen chicken taste. You could sense the sincerity of the dishes as the portions and details were commendable. S$6.00 for a chicken rice set consisting of a bowl of rice, cabbage soup, chicken and greens is what I call sincerity.
As for the roasted chicken, the skin was lightly salted and aromatic. Not too bad but I believe I’ve tasted better ones. The dippings (chili, dark soy and grated ginger) were rather ordinary as well, hence the inability to enrich the whole tasting experience.
The roasted pork belly was sold out that evening. Well, I guess a good movie and pork belly just don’t get along. So, opted for the barbequed pork (char siew) instead. At S$4.00, the portion was alright but the texture left much to be desired. Lean meat equals chewy meat. And a runny sauce plus its blandness only helped to drag the ratings even lower.
The deep fried tofu at S$6.00 was surprisingly good. Texture-wise, that is. Crispy skin with a soft inner. It would have been excellent if the skin was thinner. The dressing was however, typical. Sweet chili sauce with strands of shredded vegetables, ala Thai.
All is not lost as the long-grained rice was cooked to perfection. Fluffy, aromatic and only slightly oily. Dreamy, isn’t it? Given a better chili sauce, I could have walloped another bowl of just rice. There’s something about eating rice with heavy bowls that makes it somehow more appetizing. This is one myth that I still cannot decipher. And I’m not delving into that matter in this post. Haha!
Founded in 1953, Loy Kee is one of Singapore’s oldest chicken rice establishments. With so many recognitions and accolades pinned to this restaurant, there’s no harm giving it a try. Taste of course, is subjective.
On the milk, again. Just 3 months away from the Lunar New Year. Reinstating trust and confidence is an uphill task, moreover with some parties taking advantage of this chaos. But it’ll be a nightmare to have old Charlie mooing next door, everyday!
May we all eat and live well.
Loy Kee Best Chicken Rice
No. 342, Balestier Road
Tel: (+65) 6252 2318