Duck Rice @ Whampoa Hawker Centre

Famous Duck Rice Store @ Whampoa Hawker Centre

This famous hawker duo of Braised Duck and Rojak has been dominating the hawker scene in the Whampoa area for many years. I've found that whenever I mention Whampoa Hawker Centre to a Singaporean, the first question they would ask is if I've eaten the duck and rojak there? There are a few who will also ask if I've eaten the fish steamboat.

The last time I ate here was about 4 years ago, before the renovations. The new hawker centre is alot brighter, cleaner and more well-ventilated than what I recalled of the old hawker centre.

Braised Duck (half a duck).JPG

We were here for Braised Duck Rice. Here's a picture of half a duck (@ about SGD 15). The duck slices were tender and moist but my family members and I hated the thick, gooey and starchy gravy that was poured all over the duck.

A traditional Teochew braised duck should have a thin, yet richly flavoured gravy. Its a pity that they decided to make their gravy so starchy. I guess its partly because some people tend to associate a thick gravy with richness of flavour, whilst it might be partially true (in some cases), the fact is that such thick gravies are essentially thickened with starch. If you're watching your weight, this is a dangerous combo as most gravies contain alot of fat.

Chili Sauce.JPG

The combination of both types of chili (a thin, slightly tart sauce and a thicker, fried chili paste) was an interesting mix. The tartness of the sauce helped to whet the appetite and to cut the starch in the gravy.

Stewed Eggs & Tau Kwa.JPG

We ordered stewed eggs and tau kwa (pressed tofu) as sides. They were also smothered with the same starchy gravy. *sigh*

Gravy-Coated Rice.JPG

Dad & I love Yam Rice, so I asked the stall attendant if they had "Orrh Bng" [Hokkien for "yam rice"]. The guy nodded and said they have "Or Bng" [Hokkien for "black rice"]. The difference in intonation of "Or" [a shorter sound] got me a little worried so I asked him if its really "Orrrh Bng" with a stronger emphasis on the deeper and more guttural sounding Hokkien word for "yam". He said "yes". When we dug into it, we were truly annoyed to discover that the dark-coloured rice above was essentially plain rice mixed with that loathesome starchy gravy. I was repulsed by the taste of the rice and felt that the stall attendant was rather dishonest not to tell me that they do not sell yam rice.

Maybe it was all a misunderstanding and the guy probably thought that my pronunciation was very bad. Whatever the case, I couldn't help but be reminded of a lawyer joke :

What's the difference between a lawyer and a liar?
The pronunciation.

No offence to lawyers, but I'm sure you guys have read/heard many worse jokes, right? :)

Porridge topped with gravy.JPG

Thankfully, I had ordered an extra bowl of porridge. Though the porridge had a dollop of the ubiquitous gravy, it was more bearable as mixing it into the porridge diluted its flavour and thinned the starchy gravy down. We couldn't finish the "black" rice as we were suffering from gravy overload. I think it will be quite sometime before we visit this stall again but when we do, we will ask the stall holder to lay off the gravy.

Liang Zhao Ji Duck Rice
Blk 90 Whampoa Drive
Whampoa Food Centre
S (320090)