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Tong Kee Chicken Rice

By my queenstown on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 with 7 comments

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!!



Category: Makan Shiok

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7 comments:

Jimmy W A NG said...
June 4, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Any idea when this food centre will be closed ? I am gonna missed this place that I have been visiting since I was in school. Nowadays, it will be a plate of char kway teow with lots of chilli, a bowl of fish ball soup (if I am that hungry) plus a bowl of chendol.

karen said...
June 4, 2010 at 3:45 PM

The food centre will shut next february i think.. yeah i've been eating the cha kua teow with lots of hum since i was young and a bowl of cheng ting that is neither sweet or artificial!

Wee Kiat said...
June 4, 2010 at 3:57 PM

I heard the famous Queenstown Poh Pia uncle is retiring and not continuing to sell Poh Pia. Any idea what will happen to the food centre? Will it be rebuilt?

eeming said...
June 12, 2010 at 2:12 AM

hard to say, hope with build a mini shopping mall, then all rents n prices increase for sure hv been waiting for yrs to happen. once they re-develop the area, don't know the stalls will continue to sell. As they need to cater for the church members on weekends. I will for sure open a stall n find some niche food to sell.. haha, my guess is take phases to re-construct the area, esp the block opp the library & the block 27A, oldest block in the whole of Quesstown will also be teardown next yr. The NTUC bound to shift for sure. The question is what they plan to do the area from NTUC to 27A?? Build a another mall like Dawson pl...

SeanK.J said...
June 12, 2010 at 2:40 AM

That depends on whether theres a developer available to take the bid and handle the construction, otherwise they might move it somewhere futher. But its likely that they wont leave that area without an NTUC.

Haha, all the integration of services is dizzying.. leave singapore for a few years and you wont recognise it when you come back.

Anonymous said...
July 13, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Hi....Where is this delicious TONG KEE ROASTED CHICKEN RICE now? Do U have their new address and operating hours? Thanks... Pls post here.

Anonymous said...
October 26, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Blk 3A Commonwealth Drive
#01-25
I think they are closed on Fridays.

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