The New Lucky Claypot Rice at Holland Drive Food Centre is a famous claypot rice stall in this part of Singapore. We had heard about this stall before but had previously not tried it because of the long wait for the food to be prepared. But this time we were in the Buona Vista area and so decided to rough it out to see what it was like.
New Lucky Claypot Rice takes up two large stalls in the Holland Drive Food Centre. We were there around 6 pm and most of the other stalls were closed. Almost all the people that were there were eating or waiting for their claypot rice! One part of the stall houses a large bank of charcoal fired stoves. It looked like it could accommodate 20 pots at any one time. The rice are cooked from scratch for each order.
The claypot rice is priced based on the size of the serving as well as any extras. Side dishes are also available. We noticed that the most people ordered a soup and vegetable to go with the rice. We decided on just a $15 claypot for two persons. We were told that the wait would be about 45 minutes. We paid and received a number tag #30 to be placed where we were seated. We did a quick scan of the other numbers displayed on the tables. The smaller numbers were not far from our number and we thought that the 45 minutes estimate was more or less correct. But in the end it was a long wait of more than an hour before the food was served.
I only realised what may have happened after viewing the New Lucky Claypot Rice Facebook page in the course of writing this post. From the angry comments posted there, it seems that one could also get in the queue by calling to make a telephone booking. If those comments on the FB page are true, then the number of people in the queue could be much higher than what we estimated by looking at the number tags displayed.
Anyway, after more than an hour of waiting, this medium-sized claypot was served. Pots of oil and dark soy sauce were available to season it to the customer’s preference.
The pale white claypot rice looked very plain, but became more enticing after we added the dark sauce.
The key ingredients in the rice were chunks of chicken meat and an assortment of lap cheong (Chinese sausages). We could detect two distinct types – normal Chinese sausage and liver sausage. They were very tasty and that made the whole claypot quite delicious despite its simplicity. The best part of the meal were the chicken – they were cooked just right, remaining moist.
Those who like the crusty bits of rice that sticks to the bottom of the pot can scrap them off and savour them towards the end of the meal. Overall, the claypot rice at New Lucky Claypot Rice, Holland Drive food centre was quite nice. We would try it again but not if we had to wait that long. We will definitely use the telephone booking system the next time if we decide to eat here again.