Do not be confused, Geylang Claypot Rice is located at 361 Beach Road (opposite The Concourse) and not Geylang Lor 33 anymore.
After a wait of several months, the popular Geylang Claypot Rice has moved from a humble coffeeshop, and reopened to a modern swanky shop with 3 shop spaces.
And oh, AIRCON.
Founded by Mr. Ng Kim Hock, Geylang Claypot Rice has been in business for more than 30 years. (They used to have a shop at Maju Ave, but that closed.)
Considered by many as one of the most popular in Singapore, Geylang Claypot Rice is also the last few ones that still uses charcoal to cook the rice. (The other two popular stalls are New Lucky Claypot Rice at Holland Drive and Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice at Chinatown.
The old eatery at the Geylang location was also listed under the Michelin Guide Singapore with a “Michelin Plate”.
The new space is quite classily done up, with 1970s coffeeshop décor, names of dishes on colourful panels by the side (like HK char chaan teng style), all in a comfortable and spacious environment.
This is a zi char restaurant that specialises in sar poh fan.
You can expect other wholesome dishes for sharing such as Cereal Prawns ($18), Ginger & Spring Onion Lala ($16), Tofu with Crabmeat ($16), Sambal Kang Kong ($10), Pork Rib King ($12), Salted Egg Pork Ribs ($12), Prawn Paste Chicken ($12), Salted Egg Chicken ($12), and Lotus Root Duck ($14).
As a typical accompaniment to Claypot Rice, you can find offerings of Double-Boiled Soups such as Duck & Salted Vegetables ($9), Old Cucumber with Pork Ribs ($9), Lotus Root with Pork Ribs ($9), and Watercress with Pork Ribs ($9).
However, as the shop is still at the soft-launch phase, not all dishes are available yet.
I am glad to see that they did not increase price of the Claypot Rice that much, a mere $1 extra compared last year.
The high point is the house specialty Claypot Rice ($15 for 2 pax, $26 for 4 pax, $36 for 6 pax), cooked in a claypot over charcoals.
Each pot is served with toppings of pork belly, bits of salted mackerel fish, well-marinated chicken, two types of lup cheong (Chinese sausages), and fresh vegetables.
Salted fish flavours were not that apparent though.
To save time, you should call and pre-order (Tel: +65 6744 4574) as it takes about 30 minutes to cook the dish from scratch.
The server helped to add dark soy sauce, mixed them all together, to achieve a sweet, savoury and smoky dish.
Do help yourself to some of the cut chilli or two types of chilli available at the accompaniments counter.
I must say that the portion and ingredients were generous, and it is not difficult to find many pieces of tender chicken within – I almost didn’t get any dry pieces. Be careful though, as some chicken chunks come with small pieces of bones.
The rice was fragrant and moderately soft, without that greasy feeling.
One of the highlights is always the guo-ba – those ‘burnt’ rice-parts that sticks to the side of the pot that needs to be scraped out.
They were nicely-crispy, yet not charred and black.
However, my friend and I couldn’t help feel that something was missing. The rice didn’t stay as steaming hot-hot throughout the meal as we could have liked.
This could be been a combination of the air-conditioned environment, and the claypot was a new one. You lose a bit of those rustic flavours.
If you are still hungry, go order some of their side dishes – they have a good selection of zi char such as the French Bean with Shrimps ($10) and Tofu with Prawns ($12).
A little suggestion though, would be to expand on the dessert and drink menus.
There were no desserts available, and drinks were limited to canned options. Priced at $2.80, I was not THAT inclined to order them.
After a heaty meal of Claypot Rice, it would be befitting to have some cooling desserts to make the throat and body feel more at ease. (Didn’t help that they ran out of soups as well.)
Reservation is highly recommended, and do call to order your Claypot Rice in advance to save time.
Geylang Claypot Rice 芽笼瓦煲饭
361, 363, 365 Beach Road Singapore 199576
Tel: +65 6744 4574
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 5pm – 10pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun