Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Jiang Ji Traditional Hainanese Chicken Rice : next generation of Sergeant Kiang

I heard about the opening of this stall from a friend on Facebook. They opened on 20 June 2020 by Susan, Raymond, and Alvin using a recipe handed down by their 81 years old father, Sergeant Kiang. Sergeant Kiang founded Sergeant Chicken Rice before it was acquired by the Food Republic. He was also one of the pioneer chefs that created the famous Chicken Rice in Chatterbox, a cafe in the former Mandarin Hotel.

I went on a weekday for lunch. I took a picture of the stall before joining the queue. Susan spotted me and when it was my turn to order, she asked, "You are?" I replied, "I am just one of the fans of Sergeant Kiang's chicken rice. I met him before and I met you too at the stall in Havelock." She chuckled and said, "That was very long ago." I decided to order half of the poached chicken with 2 plates of rice to share it with my dining companion. I was asked to take a seat as it will be sent over. Alvin brought over. He asked, "Remember me? I was at the Jiang Ji in Havelock." He also asked, "How is the taste? still the same."

I could actually taste the similarity. I said, "The same. The chicken is still tender. The rice is so fragrance. The chilli and ginger paste are still good." It is still that familiar taste. Their specialty is always the poached chicken. The texture was tender and still retained its juiciness. I still think their rice was amongst the better that I have tasted. The fragrance was quite distinctive and the texture was grainy and not overly greasy. 

Susan came over when we were about done eating. She said, "We set up this stall to force our dad to retire. He is staying at the next block and he always asked our helper to come over and bring back for him to sample. He is still making sure that everything is still up to his standard." She further said, "And, he wanted to hand on but we do not allow him to do so." I said, "I remember Sergeant Kiang ever shared that he decided to throw away the whole tub of chilli after tasting it as it is just not up to his standard." I continued to say, "I asked him then whether he is passing the recipe to his children and he replied that their cooking is not up to his standard yet." I said, "I have been going around eating Chicken Rice but this is still amongst the best, much better than most of those out there." What actually defines good chicken rice? It is everything, from the chicken to the rice and the chilli to the ginger paste. Everything has to be good. And, I think I have found the perfect combination here. 

It is heartwarming to see a family comes together for a common goal. Unity is indeed strength. I will definitely be back for more of their chicken rice. 

780 Yishun Ring Road SINGAPORE 760780
Operating Hours: 10.00 am to 8.00 pm (Closed on Mondays)