Same old braised duck goodness at Yu Kee
By Samantha Francis
To many Singaporeans, including myself, Yu Kee is synonymous with braised duck. The Yu Kee brand has been around since 1961 and has since grown to become one of the largest braised duck chains in Singapore.
As a food brand expands the number of its outlets, the concern — especially of loyal customers — is that the original flavours may become less authentic or even watered down. I decided to check for myself if that was the case.
The Speciality Duck Rice came with yam rice, duck meat, a halved duck egg, peanuts, dried bean curd and a side of soup.
Have the Portions Shrunk?
I headed back to my favourite Yu Kee outlet at North Bridge Road for the first time in five years and found that little had changed. The menu board looked swankier with professionally-styled food shots but the signature offerings remained.
You’ll find items such as its Speciality Duck Rice, Duck Porridge and Kway Chap Set at prices from $4 onwards.
For old times’ sake, I ordered my usual Speciality Duck Rice ($4), which came with yam rice, duck meat, a halved duck egg, peanuts, dried bean curd and a side of soup. The first thing I noticed were the thin slices of duck — the portion appeared to have shrunk, from what I recall.
Same Old Braised Flavours
That aside, the speciality braised sauce was as delicious as it used to be, with a pleasant aroma of herbs that wasn’t overpowering. Made with more than ten different types of ingredients including herbs and spices, the braised sauce coated the entire dish with a glistening sheen.
The yam rice retained a nice bite to it despite having been soaked in the rich sauce, while the dried bean curd added texture to the dish.
I left Yu Kee Duck Rice feeling satisfied, though I wish they’d been a little more generous with the meat.
Yu Kee Duck Rice outlets including 516 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 188740
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of Weekender, Issue 150, April 15 – April 28, 2016, with the headline ‘Same old braised duck goodness’.