Update June 2020: Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice Eating House has closed.
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long; four years of living close by to what could possibly be the best duck rice in Singapore and it never occurred to me to check out this humble stall. It wasn’t until I heard that Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice Eating House would be serving its final plate of braised duck rice on 22 June 2013 that I found out that this gem of a stall was about a mere five bus stops away from my Hall in NUS.
Can you believe it? All this time I never knew such good food existed (almost) right outside my doorstep, and here I am, about to graduate and move away from this strategic spot!
But as they say, it’s better late than never, and late though it is, I’m definitely not going to miss out on this chance to try the much talked about Teochew Boneless Duck Rice before it disappears for good.
Not wanting to clash with the lunch crowd, Fiona and I hopped on a bus out of school late one afternoon, only to find a spacious, white-tiled stall tucked quietly at the end of a row of old school shops and eateries, with a few other patrons enjoying their respite away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
With founder Lim Ah Too tirelessly chopping up duck and cucumbers at his counter, the place was strangely reminiscent of those cozy neighbourhood eateries from the 90s. But that’s hardly surprising seeing how they’ve been in operation for about 45 years now!
On to the main point of this post, which is of course, the food!
With a limited variety of dishes, there isn’t much to choose from, but then again, you wouldn’t want to stray too far from these tried and tested goodies:
Introducing the ‘star of the show’, braised duck meat! So what if it’s not intricately carved and neatly arranged in the style of hotel banquets? In this case, the messier, the better. Thinly shredded and doused with a thick dollop of gravy, this dish sent us right back to our childhood days when our mothers would feed us simple fare from the kitchen. Needless to say, we cleared the plate within minutes, not bad for a couple of girls!
A plate of tofu is a must-have; soft and not too salty, it melts in your mouth and makes for the ultimate comfort food on a rainy day. Fiona and I had great fun using the serving spoon to scoop spoonfuls of it into our bowls as we chatted! 😀
If you’re looking to balance your meal with some greens, sambal kangkong is all they have; another great side dish that’s not overly spicy, though they could have been a little more generous with their servings.
Be warned, though, the prices are steep, but it’s definitely worth the money (and the wait, if you’re heading there during lunch hour!); Fiona and I were happily stuffed when we walked out of the place! 😀
It’s a real pity that Singapore is slowly losing gems like these since most of the current owners want to retire but can’t find successors, but till then, you can always head over for a truly superb lunch.
Be warned though; ever since word got out that they’re closing, Lim Seng Lee has been swamped with customers during the weekends, so try to hold those hunger pangs in till later if you’d like to enjoy a relaxed meal! C:
Address: 38 South Buona Vista Road
Contact: 6475 9908