Hello fellow broke students, Chad here. Today’s Good or Not? post features Clementi 44B Market and Food Centre, merely a 5 minute walk away from Clementi MRT station situated in the mature estate of Clementi. For you NUS students, you can get here via bus 96, which terminates at Clementi Bus Interchange at B1 of Clementi Mall. mai gong bo jio hor!
Clementi is a special place to me, because I’ve been to this hawker centre in particular on-and-off for the past 20-odd years of my life. I never really tried many of the dishes, because most of the time I just go for the famous wonton mee, which I think many of you have already tried. But this hawker centre has recently been renovated (within the past few years) and sports a cleaner look now, although I knid of miss the dark dingy hot hawker centre that it is no longer.
The fortunate thing is that most, if not all of the famous stalls are still here! The hainanese curry rice (which I may do a review on sometime soon), cheap satay, rojak, chicken rice and many more are right here at Block 44 Hawker Centre.
I made my way to the hawker centre in the early afternoon, reaching at roughly 12.30. Crap, it’s gonna be damn crowded I thought to myself, and sure as heck it was. Finding a seat for even 1 person (I came here solo) was challenging to say the least. If you come here in groups, be prepared to wait for seats, even though this hawker centre is pretty large. Its’ like the Newton Circus of the West (I think). Office workers, people from all walks of life young and old patronise this place due to its’ rich history of being a icon of Clementi Hub.
On to the actual review: Lau Phua Chay roasted rice, how do you fare? Good or not?
The stall itself looks pretty clean and straightforward, they sell basically roasted meats, so vegetarians this post ain’t for you (sorry man). The queue itself wasn’t very long but what drew me to this place was the reflective shiny skin of the duck. I ordered Duck drumstick rice with char siew and when she told me the price I was slightly shocked – $7.50. Well, it better be good, somemore here no air-con. So did it deliver?
Well firstly, the first was normal, slightly dry on its’ own but with the sweet sauce it is much better tasting.
The star of the dish was most defintely the crispy duck. The interior of the drumstick, the meat itself was juicy and succulent, which contrasted with the crispy exterior of the duck. Some roasted duck stalls has very tough duck meat, but this was another level of tenderness. The skin was much like Peking duck, crispy and oily, having a thin layer of fat and a life of its’ own. There is a clear oily sheen to the duck skin! Shiok! The plum sauce they drizzled over the duck compliments it very well due to the tart taste hitting the savoury and oily goodness of the duck. One of the better ducks that I’ve eaten.
The char siew though, was slightly disappointing. It was slightly sweet, maybe due to the dark sweet sauce poured over the char siew itself but I would have preferred slightly less sauce and if the char siew had a slight char to it, it would be much better.
As you can see that I have finished the entire plate, partially because I paid a good $7.50 for it and partially because did I mention the chilli is divine! The chilli is slightly spicy and yet sour-ish, they must have added either lime or calamansi. Not too bad when you eat it with the rice and meats!
Overall the above-average duck rice made a great dish but it was slightly pricey and for the portion size being very average, its’ just fine. Worth or not? Would eat again if I was swimming in money, but it honestly was not as filling so if you do eat make sure you jia fan (add rice).
Rating: 3/5 Can eat lah but ex siol
Damage: From $4 onwards
Address: Blk 448 Clementi Food Centre – Lau Phua Chay Roasted Rice, 5 minutes walk from Clementi MRT, beside Clementi Mall.