Good Food West: Chinatown Claypot (Jurong West St 52)

The perennial argument we have with our friends is that in their opinion, there’s no good food in the west. living here (every other day that is) I can’t help but agree. Most of the food places recommended by food blogs, friends, tv tend to fall in the east side, with a few exceptions that go as far as Commonwealth / Margaret Drive but at the rate property prices are going, these places seem more central than west. We live in Jurong so that’s as west as west can get. Sometimes it’s a pain trying to find something to eat in the area without having to hit the expressway.

Luckily, a quick google last night brought me to iron lady chef’s recommendation at a hawker centre in the area. Apparently Jurong West St 52 Hawker Centre was voted the best hawker centre in 2010 on some food variety programme, the very same hawker centre we always bypass for the coffee shop nearby coz most of the stalls are usually closed by the time we head there for dinner (around 9pm). this time we made an effort to visit it a little closer to regular dinner hours so we can check out the few stalls recommended.

Without a doubt, in any list of recommendations, claypot chicken rice always jumps out at me. Here at #01-11 (row facing car park) is Chinatown Claypot, whether it’s related to the one at Smith street hawker centre I don’t know but it didn’t hurt to try. the wait was about 15-20 minutes long, which definitely beats the 1 hour wait at Chinatown itself. when the rice arrived, it came naked (without black sauce) which you can pour yourself according to how salty you want it to be. Bryan commented that the rice didn’t stick to the sides of the claypot, which made us wonder if the rice was really cooked in the claypot or cooked somewhere else and then served in the claypot for show.

However the rice was moist and tasty and the chicken was tender and yummy. They served large chunks of chicken meat, which could also be why there were fewer pieces of chicken than what I’d normally expect. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask them to keep out the dried salted fish, which they usually use for seasoning, but I really hate because it’s no fun getting a mouthful of dried salted fish that sends a shock of saltiness to your hair roots.

Overall a rather pleasant meal and I’m glad I don’t have to drive to China to get my claypot rice fix. Unfortunately it didn’t serve stir fried vegetables nor double boiled soup as most claypot rice stalls do. However there’s a double boiled soup 2 units away with a huge variety of soups to choose from, so popular that most of the soups were sold out at 8pm. dang.

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