With over 30 years of history serving traditional braised duck rice, I knew I was in for a treat when I walked by Sims Vista Market and Food Center try Tai Dong Teochew Duck Rice.
I had no problem finding the stand. Not only was it located along the front stretch of the hawker stalls facing the main road (Sims Place), but it was also just behind the main bus stop in front of the hawker center.
In fact, the stall was absolutely inevitable. When I passed by on a weekday afternoon, I was shocked by the queue, which was almost 15 people!
Judging from the queue alone, Tai Dong Teochew Duck Rice looked quite promising.
For its massive queue length, the service was incredibly fast. It took me 10 minutes until I reached the front of the queue.
That’s when I started spotting several stickers on his storefront, bragging about the number of awards he’s received. For example, I saw a certificate of contribution to the Singapore Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCOas well as awards for his fine cooking skills by Singapore Food Masters.
OK OK. I understand. This stand is quite impressive. But how good can Teochew Braised Duck Rice be?
What I Tried at Tai Dong Teochew Duck Rice
Tai Dong Teochew Duck Rice’s menu is simple and offers only two meals for one person: Duck rice (per plate) (S$4) and Duck rice (per portion) (S$5). The difference between these two options was its serving size and style of plating, the former being sliced duck over rice, while the latter had the slices of duck served separately.
I decided to order the Duck rice (per portion) (S$5) and I also ordered side dishes, mainly the Cabbage (S$1), Peanuts (S$1) and Tofu (S$0.70).
For those dining in a large group, you may consider ordering a Whole duck (S$42 for medium, S$44 for large).
Each piece of duck meat was braised so well that each slice took on a dark brown color. Flavor wise, it was completely perfect. I loved the rich soy sauce-based braised sauce, which was full-bodied, aromatic, and flavorful, and I could taste notes of five spices and some herbs. What I really liked was the balance of the sauce, as it wasn’t too salty and didn’t make me thirsty after the whole meal – major pluses!
My only complaint would be that there wasn’t enough braising liquid, and I found myself desperately picking up the leftover bits of glorious braising sauce towards the end of the meal.
The duck slices themselves weren’t very tender, and it depended on what part of the duck you got. As for my $5 plate of Duck RiceI had received a variety of pieces – some with the bone intact, some with more fat than meat, and some that were pure meat.
I really enjoyed the ones that had the skin and fat on, as it added a juicy sweetness to every bite. There were some tougher and drier cuts of duck meat than others, but I attributed that to the nature of their cut, which was mostly breast meat.
I wish, however, that I had been given more pieces of duck meat, because it disappeared in a flash!
The Cabbage reminded me chap chye, as it had been braised until deliciously soft. Although it looks simple, it was incredibly sweet and flavorful, and I came across chunks of thin tofu skins, dried shrimp, fish maw, and even what looked like old cucumber! I detected no trace of MSG and easily polished off the entire plate (sauce included) without feeling thirsty.
For only $1, I must say that it is a must. Those looking for larger portions will be pleased to know that Tai Dong Teochew Duck Rice sells them at $2 Where $3.
Tai Dong Teochew Duck Rice Peanuts were not as tender as I would have liked, and I expected them to be as chewy as those served as appetizers in Chinese restaurants. I also wish they had been served in a bowl with sauce, as they were drier. Still, they were enough to whet my appetite and served as adequate snacks between bites of succulent duck.
The Tofu had been served with the duck, allowing him to soak up all the delicious sauce. However, the salty notes of the braised sauce weren’t as prominent as I would have liked, but despite that, I enjoyed the soft, silky bits of Tofuas it made a nice contrast to the rest of the elements of my meal.
Don’t forget to grab a saucer or two of chilli, because Tai Dong Teochew Duck Rice’s homemade chilli sauces hit the spot. There are two types of peppers available— belacan sambal and a more watery and tangy chili sauce, the latter of which is located right next to the utensils. The belacan sambal is hidden, so you will have to request it.
The orange red chili sauce was tangy, sour and appetizing, and helped give that much-needed brightness and tartness to the braised duck and sauce. During this time, the belacan sambal was my favorite, as it was smoky, spicy and rich in flavor.
It was a classic braised duck rice plate, and I felt full and satiated after a visit to Tai Dong Teochew Duck Rice. Actually, my only complaint would be that I didn’t have enough duck meat or sauce, but I guess those could have been so valuable that the stand wouldn’t consider handing out more.
My meal was almost S$8 but I would say for its quality I would definitely come back for another plate of delicious braised Teochew duck rice. Maybe next time I’d consider asking the stand for more sauce (over everything, please!) for that extra indulgent note.
Expected damage: S$4 – S$10 per person
Other articles you might like:
Michelin Bib Gourmand Chey Sua Carrot Cake finally reopens on October 5, 2022
Gong He Guan: Hong Kong dessert place with 17 varieties like gui ling gao and bird’s nest
The post Tai Dong Teochew Duck Rice: Traditional Braised Duck Rice with Over 30 Years of History appeared first on SETHLUI.com.