Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rochor Duck Rice

When one is on the bus, there are a few things that may be of interest. TVMobile, conversations among aunties about their children’s irresponsible spouses, the incessant, rapid flow of foreign languages/dialects and couples engaging in some major smooching fest. Talk about entertainment, eh? Unless the window is plastered with nauseating, translucent advertisements that restrict my view, the attention has always been on the rows of shophouses I see along the way, in hope of finding an interesting eatery.

I was not aware of this strip as my regular bus route is way off the central district limits but it was she who made the discovery while traveling along Beach Road. The shop's bold name might have piqued her interest, I guess. The best duck rice in Rochor?

To get there, the wiser choice would've been taking the bus from town but feeling adventurous as always, I decided to walk all the way from Bugis MRT station to Beach Road, via Ophir Road . The row of shophouses along Bali Lane sang to me of bohemian rhapsody and I’ve always wanted to check it out ever since. A posher Dunlop Street comes to mind.

We arrived in front of the restaurant, with me perspiring profusely after the walk. There was only 1 occupied table. Sort of doubtful with our choice, we circled the area in search of alternatives. Steamboats, bak kut teh, nasi padang, rice, and we ended up in front of the same shop again. At this point, I was famished and yes, soaked in my own sodium bath. Die-die lah. Let's go in!

A dish I aimed for that night, the herbal mutton soup, was sold out. Thank goodness for the other signature dishes that were still available; braised duck and herbal duck soup. As we waited for the dishes, we saw a healthy flow of customers, mostly opting for take-outs. That explained the rather empty restaurant, I guess.

Duck Rice

Ten Herbs Duck Soup

Kway Chap

Duck Meat Noodles

What I found interesting on the plate of duck rice was the inclusion of cooked vegetables and wood ear fungus, which gave some sweetness (the vege) and crunch. The rice cooked in herbal stock was flavourful and fluffy. Rochor's braised duck was one of the better ones I've tasted in recent times. The generous splash of savoury reduction came only slightly sweet, which was nice. I've tasted another famous duck rice in Bugis where the braising reduction was so sweet, I cringe each time I recall the saccharine nightmare.

Bak Kut Teh aside, I'm not much of a herbal soup fan. Especially when it's considered a tonic for women. But it's a signature and it must be tried. Definitely potent and heaty. I liked the prevailing aroma of Chinese angelica and cinnamon in the warm concoction. Quite appetizing, I must say. The pot came with pieces of duck that were flaky and infused with flavours from the gamut of Chinese herbs. We've tried other dishes as well like the kway chap, which despite the usage of good pork belly, was not melting soft.

If I were to choose a favourite dish that night, it would have been the combination of duck rice and chopped, preserved vegetable. Simple, tasty and just honestly hearty. Like my nasi padang experience of just white rice and some sambal belacan and asam pedas gravy.

Rochor Duck Rice
327 Beach Road
Singapore 199560


Selba said...

Rochor is a place name in Spore? Beach road? Ophir road? Ah... I'm so out of Spore... don't recognize any of the name of the roads in Spore anymore except... uhmmmm... Orchard road! I miss Spore!

Hardly ever drink herbal soup, it's not something usual in my family kitchen but then I would love to try it for the benefits.

Love duck! :)

J2Kfm said...

i've tasted the braised duck (or was it roasted? been 3 yrs now) at Bugis, oppo the Junction there.
and the koay chiap. rmbr my Spore fren told me that the braised items there are famous.

minchow said...

I agree! Eavesdropping on public transport is in an entertainment league on its own! :-D The duck rice looks absolutely worth the buckets of sodium lost to the heat!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

funnily enough everytime i got to take away when mom is not cooking, i end up tapauin from this braised duck rice place nearby..looks like singaporeans do the same?

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

The herbal duck soup looks really yummy. I love my herbal soups. Great pics.

ck lam said...

Indeed nice to have a bowl of this comfort herbal duck soup. It makes a perfect meal with a bowl of rice for me.

Ciki said...

Did u really count TEN herbs? Yes..? what were they?


choi yen said...

Why the rice in brown clr? Didn't served with white rice just like what v normally have?

Unknown said...

Aiyo...the last shot with the kiam chai *drools*

Kenny Mah said...

Ooh, I wanna get me some herbal duck soup tonite... at the Food Republic, Pavilion (see the S'pore connection? Well, till next I remember the lil red book anyway...)


Paranoid Android said...

Oh... The Duck and the Kiam Chye looks absolutely fantastic. Not a big fan of Herbal Soups though. One whiff, and I feel pening already. Hate to pass the shops that offer that herbal eggs thingy for sale at the mall. I feel nauseous after smelling it for 5 minutes.

backStreetGluttons said...

Great ! Dark , sensuous , & heavy , a promise of fullsome consumption and satisfaction- one which we will certainly take home...
...before dinner , and tomorrow too

Rebecca Saw said...

wahhh..i totally cravin for duck rice now! Esp i spy tat the rice comes with the brown braised kind..flavourful on its own no doubt??

HairyBerry said...

selba, yupe, rochor is a famous street in singapore.. :) lotsa good stuff there. come come! oh, here, herbs are pre-packed, so it's quite convenient to prepare. i prefer homemade cos less msg..hehe

j2kfm, OMGGG!!! i hope that's not the one i tried..hehe...there are a few good eateries in bugis. fine dine oso got...

550ml jar of faith, hi5! but sometimes, when the conversation revolves business, it can get rather boring..haha! i hope i did not "add" sodium to my rice...haha!

joe, i think it's the Teochew heritage lah. since i came here, i've been entertained by lotsa Teochew food that are not so widely available in kl. like my favourite minced pork noodle..i likez...

lyrical lemongrass, i like herbal soups ala bkt...the more meat, the better...hehe...awwww, thanks so much for the compliment, babe! :)

ck lam, agree! especially now when it's cool, thanks to the heavy rain. it doesnt get more warming than this. :)

cumi & ciki, yupe, really ten herbs one! of course i know the ten herbs la. will give u the list when i see you! some scientific names one. but u will know la. :) great fun yday night! :)

HairyBerry said...

mimi, the rice was cooked with a herbal stock, hence the brown colour. i think some braised duck stalls do that. sorta like yam rice that we eat with fish soup.

kheng leong, yeah, i thought that was really satisfying. hey, yr next trip, we go ducking with giam chai ya! hehe

kenny, a bit heaty la, dude. u should have cooling stuff to speed up yr recovery. drink barley! save herbal soup til u come to sg! we go makan! :)

paranoid android, oooohhh, i happen to like the aroma of the herbs! but yeah, definitely agree that it gets a bit overwhelming at times. not as bad as durian to me though..haha!

backstreetglutton, dark is beauty and sensuous taste. an aphrodisiac too, especially with the heat and meat. the mutton, definitely. sodium bath guaranteed.

thenomadgourmand, u r right! Chinese herbs rocks! give it the right combo and it turn flavaful to the max. next trip, go makan duck rice!!! :)

Simon Seow said...

OMG, nice nice. Sigh, not sure when only I'll be coming to Singapore again.

HairyBerry said...

simon, come after the F1 race la...hehehe.. :)

Anonymous said...

It has moved from Beach Road. Where's Rochor Duck Rice now?