BFF Recommendation of Chinatown’s Best: Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice

Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice

Would you wait an hour or more for claypot rice on a weekend, in a (possibly hot and humid) Chinatown hawker centre? Well, this is exactly what customers do to get a taste of Lian He Ben Ji’s famous Claypot Rice. So this claypot rice should be even more awesome than Sylvia Lim’s “taste of Fengshan” orh luak, right? And yes, this was what we had for dinner tonight – BFF’s recommendation. šŸ™‚

A group of us had planned a belated birthday surprise for BFF Steven. The cat (or rather, cake) would have been let out of the bag if we’d suggested Tung Lok Private Dining, for instance. So when Steven said he’d like to have claypot rice for dinner at Chinatown, heh heh, we went ahead with that. Awfully Chocolate’s banana chocolate cake in a Chinatown hawker centre. How’s that for memorable, eh?

Steven Lek

One of the best things that have happened to me since I embarked on my blogging journey is the number of amazing friendships forged. Steven is one of my students-turned-friends. He used to be a ‘big potato’ (an endearing term we use to refer to high-flyers, or ‘big shots’) in Singapore Airlines before he retired (check out his blogpost here and spot his pictures with the late President Wee, and even Princess Diana). There’s so much I admire and appreciate about this guy, but there are two main qualities I’d like to share with you: his Loyalty and his Humility (this one might seem strange if you are familiar with his jokes).

Steven’s a truly loyal friend – one I can count on always. And I don’t use this term “BFF” loosely, like many other people do. I do also think it is pretty amazing that a big potato would be a good friend of mine. Most big potatoes I’ve met are snotty, while Steven’s probably the friendliest big potato ever. While people of a certain social standing tend to “flock together” with others of the same kind, Steven loves making new friends and doesn’t conform to the norm. That’s as odd as having Awfully Chocolate cake in a hawker centre where there’s no air-conditioning. šŸ˜€

And if you’re still curious about the Claypot Rice stall, its unit number is 02-199:

Chinatown Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice

I’d take frog leg porridge over claypot rice any day, but if claypot rice with salted fish is what will make the BFF’s day, then so be it. Ha! If you’re a fan of claypot rice, you should definitely pop by on a weekday when there are fewer diners and the wait is not too long.

The highlight of the meal (for me) was the steamed fish head. This one is super yummy. I believe it’s a fermented bean sauce (don’t quote me on this) and it is really delicious. And cheap – just S$13! You won’t find such great value in restaurants, for sure.

Steamed Fish Head in Hot Sauce

This stall was actually recommended by the drinks seller, when we went to get some sugar cane juice (the two stalls are next to each other). I’ll definitely be back again for this steamed fish head in hot sauce.

Since there were 6 of us, BFF also ordered another fish head from another stall. This second fish seems to be patin, but I’m not sure. It has that peculiar taste that the Chinese describe as being “muddy” that resembles that of the patin fish we’ve eaten in the past. I’m not a fan of this dish, and don’t know which stall it is from, which is just as well.

Chinatown Fish Head

It might be the BFF’s doing – I am now more fussy when it comes to food and am not easily impressed anymore. LOL. Steven’s the one who introduced me to Dancing Crab, Blue Lotus, and many more eating places.

Come back again soon to read about more of my BFF’s foodie recommendations. šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€


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