Ah Lim Chicken Rice has chicken rice onigiri in Bedok
You may be familiar with traditional Hainanese chicken rice balls, such as those from Hainan Chicken Rice Ball, but here’s one that we think is worth the journey to the East━Ah Lim Chicken Rice━which has adorable handcrafted chicken rice onigiri, and delicious chicken rice.
Established in May, Ah Lim Chicken Rice is managed by three brothers from the Lim Family who are deeply devoted to creating a delicious plate of chicken rice. This dedication shines in their thoughtfully executed chicken rice, where every step in the cooking process is carefully supervised.
Count yourself lucky if you manage to snag their Chicken Rice Onigiri, which is available only on Saturdays! They come in sets of three for $10, and you can choose from three different flavours: Original, Spicy Steamed Chicken, and Egg Mayo.
If you’re planning a party, consider their box of 12 ($60)━with four of each flavour━which is an ideal choice for a quick, filling, and fuss-free snack. Make sure to place your order in advance for this box.
Each onigiri is meticulously handcrafted using Japanese pearl rice, with the rice being densely packed to a precise 120g using an onigiri mould. In fact, Ah Lim told us that just two of these onigiri are the equivalent of a full plate of chicken rice.
The decor is not a simple task either. Finding the right shape of corn, crafting the eyes made of seaweed, and pre-cutting the carrot used to create the chicken’s “beard” all take time and attention to detail.
Taste-wise, I appreciated that the chicken rice was exceptionally fragrant, thanks to Ah Lim’s choice of ingredients━there are seven ingredients that go into his rice! On top of the usual onion and garlic, he opted for the use of old ginger, which has a stronger and spicier flavour. What’s even more remarkable is that this flavour is achieved without using chicken oil, a common ingredient found in you fan, AKA oily rice. It’s a great option for those who are mindful of their health!
While my favourite was the Original, which was packed full of concentrated chicken rice flavour, their Spicy Steamed Chicken onigiri was also pretty impressive. This was laced with their house-made chilli, which gave an immediate, potent kick. I liked that it was spicy, but not overwhelming to the point of being unbearable, making it irresistibly addictive.
P.S.: The house-made chilli goes even better with their regular chicken rice.
Another option that kids would love is the classic, creamy Egg Mayo which comes with slices of crisp cucumber.
Moving on to Ah Lim’s chicken rice, a must-try is the Triple Prosperity Meal ($8.80), which I believe can satisfy two people. This dish showcases all three types of chicken available at the stall━steamed, soya sauce, and roasted━along with a whole lava egg, tau kwa, vegetables garnished with fried shallots, and a few slices of cucumber. There are also three different dips to pair with your chicken: garlic chilli, ginger, and a viscous premium black soya sauce.
A notable mention is the well-prepared ajitama, which boasts a custard-like texture and a striking amber-hued yolk that’s achieved through the use of carrot-fed chicken eggs.
Image credit: @ahlimchickenrice
For me, the most important component of chicken rice is definitely the rice. At Ah Lim, they cook their rice for three hours using Thai Hom Mali rice that has been aged for over a year. This particular variety has a lower amylose content, which makes it better at absorbing the broth and locking in flavour within every grain. The result is well-separated and fluffy rice that’s packed with flavour. However, I much preferred the Japanese pearl rice used in the onigiri, which was even tastier.
What sets their chicken apart is the unique light soya sauce blend that they make, which comprises premium light soya sauce infused with a combination of young and mature pandan leaves to impart aroma and a subtle sweetness. This sauce not only adds flavour but also moderates the saltiness of soya sauce, and does not leave you feeling thirsty. The steamed chicken is tender with a gelatinous layer under the skin, which we found has a silky-smooth texture and a glossy sheen.
The roasted chicken was succulent and juicy, but it would have been better IMO if the skin had been crispier.
The standout for me was undoubtedly the soya sauce chicken, steeped in a sauce crafted from 13 handpicked herbs including luo han guo, or monk fruit. This sauce added a layer of complexity to the dish’s flavour profile, infusing it with sweet, herbal undertones that paired well with the rice.
Image credit: Wong Song Wei
Special mention has to go to their soup, which is served with all dishes. They offer the usual chicken soup as well as a soup of the day. This rotates among a variety of options including sweet corn soup, lotus root soup, black bean soup, white radish soup and more. I loved the chicken soup, which had a simple, clean flavour that cut through the richness of the chicken rice. Unlike many other soups served in chicken rice shops, I appreciated that their soup was robust and bodied, not tasting like plain peppery broth.
If you find the Triple Prosperity Meal to be too indulgent, go for their Chicken Rice ($4.20) or Chicken Rice Set ($4.50) instead. Otherwise, they offer Chicken Porridge ($3) and Chicken Noodles ($5) too.
Image credit: @ahlimchickenrice
For Halloween this year, they’ve spooked things up with this creepy eyeball that could easily pass as a horror movie prop. Drop by this weekend━on 28 and 29 October 2023━and simply say, “Just treats!” to get a free Halloween treat! Aside from that, they also intend to come up with more exciting flavours for the onigiri, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any updates.
Address: 217 Bedok North Street 1, #01-77, Bedok Town Centre, Singapore 460217
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10:45am to 8:15pm
Tel: 8813 3550
Ah Lim Chicken Rice is not a halal-certified eatery.
Photos taken by Raelynn Ng.
This was a media tasting at Ah Lim Chicken Rice.