Commonwealth Avenue Cooked Food Centre contains many "pioneers" in the trade when they were constructed in 1969 and itinerant hawking was banned in 1973. Many residents in Queenstown remained used to the street food that they did not accustomed to the environment of a food centre until increased patrolling was enforced by the environment officers. One of these pioneers was Tong Kee Roasted Chicken Rice, who had shifted to Tanglin Halt on the last week of April.
This photo was the last memory of Mr Chen and his family in Commonwealth Avenue Cooked Food Centre
Tong Kee Chicken Rice was opened in 1969. The Chen family did not start out as chicken rice stall but they venture into making rojak until Old Mr Chen have decided to change his specialty into making roasted Chicken. Mr and Mrs Chen would wake up early in the morning at 4am and prepared marinating the chicken. He was critical of his own food and would constantly change his recipe in order to improve the texture and the quality of the meat. He strongly believed that mindset was crucial for him and his father in retaining businesses from familiar faces.
When we asked about his impending departure, he revealed a tinge of sadness because many of his customers are regulars and friends who live around the estate. He commented that he was fortunate to get a stall within the estate so that he can carry on serving the residents. However, many of the stallholders were not that lucky. Those "heavyweights" such as Queenstown Poh Pia and Venus Braised Duck have intentions on retiring altogether because Commonwealth Avenue Cooked Food Centre would be demolished in February next year. Yeah, so if you want to taste these nice food, you got to be quick!!
A plate of Chicken Rice
Die Die must come and try!!