As one of my favourite comfort foods, chicken rice can be classified as a necessity in my diet and I am always looking for new places to decide the best chicken rice in Singapore. It is such a simple-looking dish but the blend of sauces, the juiciness in the chicken, and fragrance in the rice have earned chicken rice a top spot in my favourite food collection.
I will be spotlighting the popular Nam Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant in Upper Thomson Road and will tell you why it is one of the longest-existing chicken rice brands in Singapore.
Read also: 15 Best Chicken Rice Spots in Singapore 2023
Table of Contents
About Nam Kee
Nam Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant has a long history spanning over three generations of owners and has been around in Singapore since the early days of Singapore’s independence. What was unique about Nam Kee back then was its menu comprising of both chicken rice and zichar dishes. Nam Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant has led a humble growth – as the only store despite expansion opportunities to maintain quality, and stayed consistent in pricing even amidst inflation.
Thoughts on the vibe
The inside is long and air-conditioned with old-school designs of blue and pink tiles, booth tables, and old chairs that have stayed amidst the passing of time. Having a seat in this restaurant brought me back to the times my parents would bring us out for meals when I was a kid, and we’d get the classic lime juice while waiting for the dishes to be served.
Thoughts on the food
An overview of what we got for two:
- Half a Hainanese Roasted Chicken ($15)
- Chilli Kang Kong ($10)
- Chicken rice ($1/pax)
- Iced Chestnut water ($2)
- Iced Milo ($2)
I got to say, the prices are really so good in this economy. One may think how does Nam Kee survive? I say its due to their quality in dishes and loyal customer base across generations.
Personally, I prefer roasted over steamed chicken – I’m a sucker for crispy skin hence we got this. The portion of meat was good for two and we had a selection of chicken drumsticks, wings, and breast. The meat soaked up the light soy sauce well and the skin was indeed crispy. For the most part, the meat was tender but some parts were a little dry for me. Perhaps the steamed chicken will taste more moist and juicier?
We also ordered the chilli kang kong to add a bit of fibre and balance to our meal. This was such a great decision as it had all the flavours I had been anticipating – garlicky, very spicy and slightly sweet due to the onions! The vegetable soaked up the spices well and was such a rice stealer we had to order another plate of rice!
I have to make mention of the rice as it checked off all the boxes required in a good plate of chicken rice. The rice was moist, glistened with a sheen of chicken oils and was super fragrant. It is not difficult to add on an extra plate here at Nam Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant.
This combination of dishes paired with the cooling beverages you can find in a kopitiam like water chestnut and iced milo was the ultimate best for a dinner to close off the night.
Nam Kee Final Thoughts
There is definitely huge competition among chicken rice brands in Singapore, with locals having claimed it as a national dish. Despite existing in a modernising landscape swarmed by automated processes and rising costs over the years, Nam Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant managed to maintain its popularity and humble characteristics, making it a place to visit for anyone in Singapore looking for good local food.
- 201 Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574343
- 10:45am-8:30pm daily