Kin Men Seng Heng: Halal braised duck rice and noodles at Amoy Street Food Centre

·4-min read

Getting to Kin Men Seng Heng should be a hassle-free affair. It’s located at Amoy Street Food Centre, which is a short walk-away from Tanjong Pagar MRT Station. It is a near foolproof route, but if you’re like me and struggle with Google Maps (I climbed Ann Siang Hill twice), it’s located at the second floor of the only hawker centre within the Amoy Street area.

Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck Interior
Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck Interior

The story of Kin Men Seng Hengis about adversity. Its original owner, Grandpa Koh, came to Singapore from Taiwan during World War Two when he was only nine years old. After 31 years of hardship, he finally achieved his dream of creating and running his own braised duck business. Currently, his grandson is in charge of the store.

Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck worker
Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck worker

Opening hours are from 9am to 2pm, so queues are unlikely if you choose to come in the morning. However, I suspect it’s a different story during lunch. The ducks are freshly braised and are sold in limited quantities, to the point where they have to close down early as they had run out of ducks. 

Frankly, I’m someone who’s always believed that duck tastes similar to chicken. In a bid to have a fair review, I brought along an eating partner who has tasted authentic braised duck rice that is tak halal (not halal).

What I tried at Kin Men Seng Heng 

There was no queue when I placed my order, which nearly made up for waking up at 6.30am. There were also only two items on the menu— talk about quality control!

Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck with soup
Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck with soup

For starters, I had the Braised Duck Rice (S$4). You can add braised egg, braised beancurd or braised tofu puff for S$1 each, but since it was my first time having duck rice, I had it as it was. It came with soup and was garnished with coriander leaves, chives and fried shallots. 

I was actually surprised by how much it looked like an ordinary plate of chicken rice, mainly because it wasn’t doused in that characteristic thick brown sauce that I often recall seeing on other plates of duck rice. The duck meat was also missing that dark brown glint and looked rather bland. This observation was shared with my eating partner, and she also noted that the rice used wasn’t the same as the ones she has had before.

Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck duck
Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck duck

After multiple bites, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was eating slices of chicken meat, just with a herbal twang and a slightly gamey taste towards the end. The rice was well-cooked and was lightly doused with the same herbal soup that came with the set. 

After terrible experiences with duck meat in the past, I really appreciate how well the duck was cooked. The duck meat was soft and moist, even without any help from the soup.

Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck soup
Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck soup

I found the soup really satisfying to slurp in-between bites, as the bits of coriander and chives refreshed my palette. Thankfully, the comparison to chicken rice ends here, as the soup had a unique herbal and peppery taste to it, which complimented the slightly bland tasting duck meat.

Untitled Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck duck noodles
Untitled Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck duck noodles

Next, I had the Braised Duck Noodle (Soup, S$4) and asked for the yellow noodles instead of kway teow noodles. 

Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck duck noodle
Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck duck noodle

The soup tasted like the one that came with the Braised Duck Rice, which I had zero problems with. This time, as the duck meat came with soup, all the awesome flavours from the soup had been infused into the duck meat, allowing it to taste ten times better. 

Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck soup
Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck soup

This was also the perfect time to introduce the chilli paste to the soup. The heat and garlic flavours from the chilli paste added another satisfying depth to the already robust flavours of the soup, making every sip a treat. This is definitely certified rainy weather food.

In hindsight, I would have opted for kway teow noodles, as it has a more neutral taste as compared to the yellow noodles, which tasted slightly saltier. I would have also consumed the noodles as soon as possible as some parts of it had absorbed the soup and expanded quickly, and didn’t have that same satisfying chew.

Final thoughts

Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck outro
Kin Men Seng Heng Braised Duck outro

Kin Men Seng Heng is definitely not for purists. It doesn’t look like what it’s supposed to, and it doesn’t taste like what you’d expect. What it has, however, is really good food at a really good price. 

I would definitely drop by again this place if I were in the area, but I wouldn’t travel all the way here just for this. As someone who’s always thought that duck meat tastes similarly to chicken, I’ve got to admit that this visit didn’t change my opinion at all. Oh well, there’s always next time.

Expected damage: S$4 – S$8 per pax

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