“Hello auntie are you still open?” I gestured to the lady in the store, noticing their store front already has their lights switched off signaling they are closed. I glanced at the time- 1:20pm- still lunchtime. The lady is part of a two crew team at the store. They took a stock of chicken and rice in pot, and in a friendly gesture replied they have enough left for only two chicken rice plates. “yes, I will take two.” I replied.
A close-shave, and there you have it, my first meal at Pin Sheng, and the start of many more. Pin Sheng Chicken Rice is a hawker store tucked in a corner of Bukit Merah Central Hawker Center. The store owner subsequently started turning down any subsequent customers coming into the store, despite it being during peak lunchtime. Looks like the store is done for the day.
Let’s see what Pin Sheng chicken rice have to offer. It is a chicken rice store run by the head chef of Boon Tong Kee Chicken Rice serving affordable and quality white chicken rice and curry chicken noodles, but not at Boon Tong Kee prices.
Also, it is not the first time we see a major establishment turned-hawker, we first saw this in the affordable Din Tai Fung pork cutlet fried rice scene with the explosion of fried stores in the heartlands a couple years back.
A white chicken expert for the masses
Notably, Pin Sheng recently opened earlier this year and occupies a previously vacant space in Bukit Merah Central hawker center. It is located next to Seng Kee Fish Soup, another popular lunchtime hawker eatery in the area.
A starting plate of chicken rice costs $4 and comes with large, chunky slices of white chicken on top of a flavorful heap of chicken rice. The chicken breast meat at Pin Sheng is one of the better and larger cuts available. Notably, this store is situated in the same hawker center that serves other hawker favorites such as day-night char kuay teow and ban mian. The homemade chili and ginger sides are the perfect accompaniments to the meal.
For an additional cost of $1, you have the option to add condiments like an egg, chicken gizzard, or beancurd cube. They also offer non-essential sides like Char Siew ($1.50) and Braised Cabbage ($1), with the Char Siew being highly recommended. Notably, Pin Sheng Chicken Rice only serves the white chicken or Bai Ji variant, so if you prefer the Cantonese roasted variant, you won’t find it here.
Generous juicy chicken portions
Moreover, the menu options at Pin Sheng Chicken Rice are simple, with only two choices (Rice or noodles) available. You do not lose out much without roast chicken on the menu, as the white chicken is prepared through to what you expect with a thin skin, though not as crystalline as the thick white chicken skin we had at Hainan Story. Also, their chicken rice itself is not overly salty but still maintains its flavor. Also, your chicken is dressed with sesame oil and soy sauce for flavour.
If desired, you can add more soy sauce to suit your taste. The portions of chicken are large and satisfying for the price, and they are served with a side of clear soup. Also, don’t forget to pair your meal with their chili sauce and a dousing of ginger sauce.
Additionally, they serve curry chicken noodles, a hearty dish consisting of thick bee hoon noodles and white chicken in a creamy laksa gravy. The curry chicken is not too spicy and costs $5, making it suitable for those who can’t handle spicy foods. The curry is creamy and hearty topped with bean sprouts, tao pok and large chunks of chopped potatoes. It makdes for a filling and hearty curry meal.
Since word got out about Pin Sheng Chicken Rice, the queues have been quite crazy. Hence, expect long lines, especially on working weekdays when the queues can stretch over 15 meters outside the hawker center.
All in all, Pin Sheng earns a recommendation for its simple menu and very affordable prices for the quality offered. Also, while they used to operate previously till the last afternoon, the store now closes early or till they are sold out- typically before 2pm lunchtime. Something I wish I knew beforehand on my first visit. Make sure to visit them when you dine out at Bukit Merah Hawker Center.
Must Go! | Actually pretty Good | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid
Pin Sheng Chicken Rice Locality Map
163 Bukit Merah Central Hawker Center,
Unit #02-51 (facing Macdonalds),
Opening Hours: 11:00 am- 3:30 pm
Closed on Sundays.