Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Claypot Rice Chinatown Food Complex, Singapore

We were having a wander through the newly renovated Chinatown food complex, it's a massive warren of stalls... we had no idea where to start so we just meandered through stopping to have a peak in random places.. whilst peering in at pots of clay pot rice "give it a go, you won't regret it" was the advice given to us by a local picking up his order, it looked and smelt fantastic. Couldn't say no .. you have a choice of chicken, salted fish, Chinese sausage or a mix of all three. we went for the mix. It takes about 20 min so we filled the time fetching some drinks and talking to our new Singaporean friend who was very impressed with our efforts in Singapore's culinary world so far.
Clay pot rice is so called for the pot it is cooked in. The rice and other ingredients all cooked together in the clay pot over a flame.. as the rice cooks and the stock is absorbed the rice starts to fry. A good crispy crust slightly blackened is that of a good clay pot.
Ours was no exception, a moreish crunchy crust, nice firm plump rice in the center and hidden like treasure through out juicy chunks of chicken, little salty bursts of fish, tasty strips of Chinese sausage and shitake mushroom. Mixed with the plate of spring onion and coriander it was awesome. S$8 gets you a pot that easily feeds two .. S$10 gets you a pot for four. Great value, Great taste!

A recommended follow on from here was a traditional Asian dessert stall. He is the only one in Singapore that still grinds all his flavorings rather than opting for the much more common packet mixes mostly seen these days.
With a dozen or so flavors up for grabs it could be quite hard to make a decision especially as you can mix the flavors to create your own special blend.
We go for the walnut cream and the almond both thick and unctuous, the walnut has so much flavor and disappears in seconds. The almond also delicious but the strong marzipan flavor gets the best of us and we can only manage half.
With such a positive experience we know we'll be back for more of both sooner rather than later.

Chinatown complex
Blk 335 Smith street

Zhao Ji Clay Pot Rice
Stall 053
open 12pm - 2pm, 4pm - 8.30pm closed Wednesday

115 Tang Shui
Stall 206
7.30am - 5.30pm closed Tuesday

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