Long before a certain Michelin star soy sauce chicken came to Singapore, there was Chew Kee which is quite the star amongst their fans at Upper Cross Street. For those familiar with the area you would know that there is another Chiew Kee just about 200 m down the street offering the exact same items. Both of the brands claim to have started the business in the same year of 1949 although Chew Kee’s founder seems to be from Guangzhou whereas Chiew Kee’s recipe claims to be adapted from Hong Kong.
While both restaurants maintain to be pure competition, my mum does recall a juicier side of the story where the 2nd restaurant came about albeit a family fallout. Both restaurants used to be in the same coffeeshop owned by relatives with Chew Kee selling soy sauce chicken noodles at the outer stall and Chiew Kee selling soy sauce chicken rice in the inner stall. My mum used to have lunch there every other day in her youth and added that Chew Kee was owned by her friend’s aunt and the business was quite evenly shared between customers who either want noodles or rice. Somewhere along the way, the 2nd stall decided to shift out and started selling noodles as well.
Back to the modern day, when I crave for good soy sauce chicken I still do visit Chew Kee or Chiew Kee but I hated the travelling to Upper Cross Street so when I found out thet Chiew Kee opened a franchise stall at Henderson which was more convenient for me, I was elated.
Taking the corner stall at a coffeeshop, you can spot the red signboard quite easily from afar. This particular coffeeshop is popular with taxi drivers and other foodies for the Teochew porridge so it is pretty difficult to get a table during meal times.
To cater to a bigger audience, they not only sell soy sauce chicken but also roast pork and char siew as well as dumpling soup. You can opt for rice or noodles with the soy sauce chicken which is priced the same at SGD 4.
I went for the Hor Fun ( thick rice noodles ) option and the serving was pretty standard compared with other stalls. I also ordered a small bowl of dumpling soup priced at SGD 3 for 6.
At first glance, the noodles look smooth and soft and they were very generous with the sauce
The chicken was very flavourful and tender and very well braised as you can taste the sweet and savoury soy flavours from both the skin and the meat. I requested for breast meat so it was slightly drier than I liked.
The Hor Fun was very smooth and soft and tasted fantastic as it absorbed the sauce provided. It was also very light on the stomach so for those with big appetites, do opt for noodles or rice.
The dumpling soup was served with some blanched vegetables and they were also generous on the soup.
The size of the dumpling is acceptable but the fillings itself was quite mediocre. I was expecting a nice crunch of water chestnut but I could not really taste any and the meat was also quite bland in flavour.
Overall, the Chiew Kee store does carry the same flavours for their soy sauce chicken from the Upper Cross street stall and is still a good soy sauce chicken compared to other general stalls. If you are asking for a comparison between the 2 Chew Kee/Chiew Kee, to be fair to both stalls, my last visit to Chew Kee was more than 2 years back so do wait for my review of Chew Kee when I actually find the time to visit them again.
Address: 116 Bukit Merah View, Block 116, Singapore 151116
Operating hours: 8.30 am to 6 pm