Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Happenstance and Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice

Happenstance can be an interesting thing. It can bring you to places that you never expect. Through twists of unexpected events, happenstance brought the rain as I stepped out of my block to make my way to RT. Happenstance made me check my mobile for the time to discover a missed SMS from Chris. I returned the called and we decided to meet for dinner (goodbye RT!). The intention was to check out Colbar after reading about it from a respectable site, however after winding our way into the end of Portsdown, we found that it was closed. Happenstance.

We drove out of Portsmouth and were deciding whether to make a left or right. Happenstance  in chemistry of the brain decided left and we ended up driving through Science Park till we were greeted by the sight below.

Chris had mentioned that this place is quite well known for their duck rice. Both of us were hungry then and there wasn't really much else to contemplate but how to park the car in the limited space available in front of the shop.

Lim Seng Kee Duck Rice Eating House is located at South Buona Vista Road. Situated along a row of shop houses close to Pasir Panjang. This place has apparently been around for quite a long time. The server came and mumbled some arcane acknowledgement of order in Hokkien leaving me confused and expecting me to say yes, courtesy of his more than nimble tongue. Here I was, baffled by the language of my ancestral dialect group.

What they serve here is primarily duck rice. After the confirmation of our orders, the server arrived in short moments and brought us our lime juice.  The plate of kang kong that arrived shortly spoke much better of itself than the juice. The vegetables were rather fresh looking with firm crunchy stems and flavourful from the shredded hay bee (dried shrimps) shreds that are topped over the dish. The kang kong didn't have belachan. Despite that, the lack of the heat did not diminish much of the overall taste.

Subsequently in short order were their signature duck, white rice with gravy and stir fried tofu. The duck was of the braised variety. You can see that they are garnished with the vile coriander leaves. The meat was tender but had enough bite and was drenched with the same brown gravy as the rice. The amount of fat under the skin of their duck was significantly less than what I'm used to seeing. Apart from this, it was just braised duck, albeit a pretty tasty one.  Nothing much to be said about the stir fried tofu except that it came with tau hu and tau pok. The gravy was more starchy than I had expected and some parts of it were so viscous that it was more solid than liquid. I suppose it's just because the flour in it wasn't stirred up as well as it should. It tasted like how it looks. Still, being hungry and all, we dug in rather ravenously and even ordered a second helping of rice.

The bill of $19.60. That wasn't too bad.

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