Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Review

There is an old saying that I have kept in my heart for years, ‘It is always worth waiting for the best’… Now, this can be applied to life-altering decisions, relationships (especially long-distance ones) or just, the food we eat everyday. The place that I am talking about today, if you didn’t call ahead to reserve their signature dish, it could possibly be a 2 hour wait… Would you wait?

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Lian He Ben Ji Claypot has always, and will always be an old family favourite, and a ‘not so well kept’ secret between the foodies of Singapore. A family-run joint, they serve what some people consider to be the best Claypot Rice in Singapore!

In case you were wondering, Claypot Rice originated from Southern China, they take rice and a measured amount of water, and they slow cook it over a gas and charcoal flame. There is a whole host of ingredients that is pretty cliché in any Claypot Rice Stall… Lap Cheong (Chinese Meat sausage), Chicken, Chye Sim, Salted Fish… The list goes on and on, and finally you would top it with Black Sauce!

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There are different sizes and pricings, depending on how many people are eating… And also, they serve pretty good slow cooked traditional Chinese-style soups.

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Above is the Old Cucumber and Pork Rib soup ($3.00) and below is the Watercress and Pork Rib Soup ($2.50). Both are rather decent and slightly salty… But I prefer the former with a more pronounced flavour coming from the Old Cucumber. Also, i would suggest leaving about half the soup for the Claypot Rice later (I would explain later)…

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And of course, the Star of the show, the Claypot Rice ($20.00 for the biggest one)! Like I said, it is a Rice dish with classic ingredients on top, like back in China in the 1900s. The rice definitely has a smoky flavour that comes with the Charcoal… Which really makes it a Claypot Rice, the smoky taste!

The best part is of course the crispy, slightly burnt rice at the edges. One trick is after you finish the Claypot Rice and you are left with those crispy edges, take the soup you saved and dump it inside the Claypot (a little will do, just to soak the edges). It would then be a lot easier to scrape it off!

One more tip, take off the ingredients and put them on the plate provided, to allow easy and separate access to the Rice and ingredients. In terms of the ingredients, the Chicken was nice and tender, moist and the Chinese Sausages were slightly chewy, but delicious nonetheless! The Salted Fish is best taken with the Rice… Just a word of warning, don’t eat it on its own, it is VERY STRONG!

In conclusion, Lian He Ben Ji Claypot definitely serves very good Claypot rice, but many other Claypot Rice fans will claim other stalls, like the famous Geylang Claypot Rice is the best… I can’t comment on that since I haven’t tried a lot of well established stalls across Singapore… But, one thing is for sure, Lian He Ben Ji Claypot is worth waiting for…

Overall Rating:8/10

Restaurant Info:
Lian He Ben Ji Claypot
Chinatown Complex Market
335 Smith Street #02-198
S050335

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