Saturday, 10 March 2018

Lian He Ben Ji. Sisters Claypot Chicken Rice. Chinatown Complex Food. Blue Zone

Lian-He-Ben-Ji-Claypot-Chicken-Rice-Chinatown-Complex-Food-Blue-Zone

So, I finally tasted the famous Lian He Ben Ji 联合本记煲饭 claypot chicken rice in Chinatown.

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Lian He Ben Ji Claypot is always busy from opening at 4:30pm to closing at 10:00pm (Thurs off). It has a huge following built up over the decades since 1979.

My advice is to call in, in advance at ☎ 6227 2470. If you arrive on time, you are likely to be served your claypot chicken at the appointed time.

If you just walk in without booking, you are likely to be still waiting even after one hour 😂

Lian-He-Ben-Ji-Claypot-Chicken-Rice-Chinatown-Complex-Food-Blue-Zone

Founded in 1979 by Mdm Lim's father-in-law, she now runs LHBJ with her sisters, hence it is also referred to as "Sisters claypot rice".

Lian He Ben Ji's claypot rice are cooked from scratch, from 米 to 飯 (not pre-cooked), hence it takes a little more time. The claypots of rice are first boiled over gas burners before finishing off on charcoal stoves.

There are three claypot chicken rice stalls in Chinatown Complex but Lian He Ben Ji is the only one that uses charcoal stoves. Lian He Ben Ji was located near the intersection of Sago Lane and Keong Siak Road in Kreta Ayer before moving into Chinatown Complex when it opened in 1983.

Lian-He-Ben-Ji-Claypot-Chicken-Rice-Chinatown-Complex-Food-Blue-Zone

As I booked by phone half a day ahead, I got my claypot chicken rice at the appointed time - piping hot, fresh off the charcoal stove. They will serve the claypot rice at your table. I can smell the aroma of caramelised sauces while waiting, raising my expectations 😄

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I feel the ingredients and serving size are generous for $5.

Lian He Ben Ji uses good quality long grain rice. They were cooked to the right doneness for me. Tender yet it had a subtle nutty firmness. Moist but not wet, each grain felt separate and discrete.

There were several big chunks of chicken with bone. Tender and moist (not juicy), the chicken meat was slightly coarse and had only slight savoury flavour. There was no natural chicken sweetness.

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This small piece of waxed sausage with robust savoury flavour together with the lup cheong and a small piece of salted fish provided most of the savoury flavours in the claypot.

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I like the brown crust 锅巴 at the bottom and sides of the claypot. Eaten together with "normal" rice, it added a bit of crispy crunch which I enjoyed. The crust was crisp and brown but not gritty like sand and charred to black carbon 👍 Next time, I shall order also a small bowl of soup to soak the crust off the claypot and eat every bit of it.

Overall, the claypot rice and chicken tasted slightly on the bland side and needed a little boost.

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If you like more robust flavours, these pots of dark soy sauce and aromatic oil (infused with fried shallot flavour) standing by on every table, will come to your rescue. I saw most customers pour (not drizzle) in liberal amounts of dark soy sauce and oil into their claypot as they stirred and tossed its steamy contents.

Directory of stalls in the Yellow Zone 👈 click
Directory of stalls in the Green Zone 👈 click
Directory of stalls in the Red Zone 👈 click
Directory of stalls in the Blue Zone 👈 click

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Restaurant nameLian He Ben Ji Claypot 联合本记煲饭
Address: Blk 335, Smith Street #02-199, Chinatown Food Complex, Singapore 050335 (Blue Zone)    
GPS: 1°16'57.7"N 103°50'34.4"E | 1.282705, 103.842889 
Waze: Chinatown Complex 
Tel: 6227 2470 (calling ahead is advised)
Hours: 4:30pm to 10:00pm (Thurs off) 

Non Halal  

Date visited: 10 Mar 2018

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I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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