Lets take a dine-in, exploring the Delights of New Lucky Claypot Rice at Holland Drive Market and Food Center. The claypot rice hawker promises an authentic culinary experience. Nestled in a corner of the NEA-operated hawker center, this establishment occupies two hawker store units, offering a cozy ambiance for diners.
A Glimpse into New Lucky Claypot History
The roots of New Lucky Claypot Rice trace back to 1971 when it initially operated as the “Big Fortune Claypot Rice” in Chinatown. The brainchild of Chef Mr. Choong YH, this eatery garnered popularity in its time. Under the banner of New Lucky, Mr. Choong later established his own stall at now-defunct Margaret Drive Hawker Center.
Furthermore, the journey led them through various locations across Singapore until they found their current abode here in Holland Drive. The hawker store front is adorned with an array of newspaper clippings and accolades, with a noteworthy mention in the Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide in 2017.
3 main types of claypot dishes
In a nutshell, their menu offerings are available in 3 claypot dish variants, each carrying its own distinctive appeal and catering to your specific preferences. Their Chicken Claypot Rice for instance showcases a harmonious blend of rice and succulent chicken. Also, for a more robust flavor profile, the 5-tastes (5 ingredients) Claypot Dish is a top recommendation. This dish boasts a medley of sliced Taiwanese sausages, salted fish, chicken, and mushrooms. The selections wraps up with their La wei claypot rice comprising of mostly Chinese Preserved (Waxed) meat served with rice, this third option is the least popular of the bunch here.
Additionally, among the choices, the Chicken Claypot Rice and the 5-tastes ingredients is the most wholesome and gets my recommendation as the ones to go for here. Between the two, the latter dish delivers a full favoured claypot with all the ingredients in a pot, while the former offers a no-frills full chicken offering for chicken delight patrons.
Traditional charcoal claypot
One of the standout features at New Lucky Claypot Rice is its commitment to traditional cooking methods. This lies in its use of charcoal for cooking. This choice imparts a distinct smoky flavor to the dishes, a trait that modern gas stoves often fail to replicate. The use of charcoal not only elevates the flavor but also offers precise heat control, ensuring optimal cooking temperatures.
Notably, there are not many hawkers offering charcoal dishes, the last time we experienced charcoal fired hawker foods was Penang laksa back at Sungei Road. Also, a noteworthy technique employed by New Lucky Claypot Rice involves a mixture of old and new rice. This combination ensures that the rice maintains its texture without succumbing to charring in the pot. It’s important to note that charcoal-fired dishes are a rarity among hawkers, making New Lucky a standout destination for this unique gastronomic experience.
Reasonable Price Points
For claypot, prices here at New Lucky revolve around portions per pax. Kicking-off at $15 for a 2-pax serving, with options for larger groups. A 3-pax portion is priced at $25, and a 4-pax serving comes in at $30. For those inclined to customize, additional ingredients can be added at a nominal fee of $5 per claypot.
Also, a regular patron of New Lucky Claypot Rice will notice that the portion difference between 2-pax and 3-pax servings isn’t significantly different. This observation provides a helpful tip – opting for a 2-pax claypot for a group of 3, or two 2-pax claypots for a group of 4 (equivalent to larger 6-pax servings) can save diners approximately $5 per claypot dish.
Great juicy chicken
Furthermore, one of the undeniable highlights of a visit to New Lucky Claypot Rice is the generous serving of juicy, flavorful chicken. Prepared by cooking both the rice and chicken together under a charcoal-fired stove. The dish showcases chunky, succulent portions. As you dine, you’ll catch glimpses of the kitchen staff tending to the charcoal fuel, ensuring consistent and even cooking.
While boneless chicken enthusiasts might be left wanting, the overall experience compensates for this drawback. The chicken, although containing traces of bones, is remarkably juicy and well-seasoned. The larger meaty chunks offer a delightful balance of flavor without overwhelming the palate with excessive saltiness.
Accompaniments with your claypot
Given the inherently hearty and dry nature of claypot dishes, pairing options are highly recommended. New Lucky Claypot Rice extends a selection of herbal soup boils to complement your meal. Notably, the Water Crest Soup at $6 stands out as a worthy side dish accompaniment.
A drizzle of black sauce and a thorough mix further enhance the dining experience. The condiments include spring onion oil derived from fragrant chicken fat, adding depth to the flavors. It’s worth mentioning that the absence of vegetables within the claypot might be a missed opportunity, though stir-fried greens can be ordered as a side for $5.
Also, anticipate a waiting time of approximately 30 minutes after placing your order. This delay primarily stems from the meticulous claypot preparation process, which takes around 20 minutes to fire up and cook. The fixed preparation time, combined with queues and the overall cooking process, contributes to the wait.
In conclusion, the claypot dishes at New Lucky Claypot Rice are served in substantial portions, ideal for sharing. The establishment’s commitment to tradition, characterized by charcoal-fired cooking and time-tested techniques, sets it apart. The juicy chicken, rich flavors, and thoughtful accompaniments make for a memorable dining experience. While a wait is to be expected, the rewards are well worth the patience. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, a visit to New Lucky Claypot Rice is a journey into Singapore’s culinary heritage.
This review is not sponsored by the establishment nor did they provide any editorial input or reimbursements into the content and outcome of this review. All meals were paid for in full out of my own pocket as a regular anonymous patron.
Must Go! | Actually pretty Good | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid
New Lucky Claypot Locality Map
Holland Drive Market and Food Centre
44 Holland Drive, Unit #02-19,
Opening Hours: 10:30 am- 12:30 pm, 5- 7:30 pm
Closed on Wednesday