Heng Gi Goose and Duck Rice: A Culinary Legacy in the Heart of Singapore

April 21, 2024

Singapore’s hawker culture is not just about food; it's about the stories, the heritage, and the passion that permeate every dish served. In the vast culinary landscape of the city, Heng Gi Goose and Duck Rice stands out as a beacon of tradition and flavor, offering a taste that goes beyond the ordinary. This humble stall, located in the bustling Tekka Centre, serves up a dish that is deeply rooted in Chinese culinary traditions, drawing both locals and tourists to experience its rich flavors.

Photo: Michelle Tan

The Story of Heng Gi

Heng Gi has been a staple in Singapore’s food scene for decades. Founded by a first-generation immigrant from China, the stall has passed through the hands of skilled chefs who have meticulously preserved the original recipes while adding subtle touches of their own. This continuity and respect for tradition are what make Heng Gi not just a food stall, but a heritage brand in its own right.

Photo: Jeremy Tan

The Art of Preparing Goose and Duck Rice

The process of making goose and duck rice at Heng Gi begins early in the morning. The chefs choose only the freshest poultry, which is then marinated with a secret blend of spices that include star anise, cinnamon, and cloves. The meat is slowly braised until it becomes wonderfully tender, absorbing the aromatic flavors of the marinade.

A Visual and Sensory Experience

Photo: Sherman TBH

Visiting Heng Gi is a treat for the senses. The sight of glossy, caramel-colored goose and duck hanging by the window draws diners from across the hawker centre. The aroma of the braising spices fills the air, setting the stage for the culinary experience that awaits.

As you place your order, the chef deftly slices the meat, arranging it over a bed of fluffy jasmine rice that has been cooked with a hint of garlic and ginger. The dish is typically served with a side of pickled vegetables that cut through the richness of the meat, and a robust chili sauce that adds just the right amount of heat.

Tasting the Traditions

Photo: Jeremy Tan

The first bite of Heng Gi’s goose or duck rice is transformative. The meat is succulent and rich, with layers of flavor from the hours of braising. The skin, slightly crispy at the edges, provides a delightful contrast to the tender meat. The rice, subtly flavored and perfectly cooked, supports the star of the dish without overpowering it.

The accompanying chili sauce, made in-house daily, features a blend of chilies, garlic, and other spices. It’s spicy but not overwhelming, with a slight sweetness that complements the savory notes of the duck and goose perfectly.

The Side Dishes

Photo: Justin Tan

No meal at Heng Gi is complete without a taste of the side dishes. The pickled vegetables are crisp and refreshing, providing a palate cleanser between bites of meat. Another popular side is the soup—a clear, flavorful broth that is said to be made from the bones of the ducks and geese, simmered to perfection.

Why Heng Gi Stands Out

In a city filled with duck rice stalls, Heng Gi sets itself apart with its dedication to tradition and quality. The goose, which is less commonly found than duck in Singapore due to its higher cost and scarcity, is a specialty here. This offering not only differentiates Heng Gi from its competitors but also attracts food enthusiasts looking for a unique dining experience.

Cultural Significance

Heng Gi’s goose and duck rice is more than just a meal; it's a cultural artifact. This dish reflects the historical migration patterns and the culinary cross-pollination that have shaped Singapore’s food scene. Eating at Heng Gi is a way to connect with the city’s past, to savor a recipe that has been cherished and preserved through generations.

Final Thoughts

Dining at Heng Gi Goose and Duck Rice is a journey through flavor, history, and passion. It embodies the spirit of Singapore’s hawker culture, where food is served with pride and tradition is the main ingredient. Whether you are a local resident or a traveler exploring the culinary delights of Singapore, Heng Gi offers a memorable and authentic dining experience that resonates with anyone who values heritage and good food.

Photo: raldy dhe vega

For anyone seeking to understand the essence of Singapore’s rich culinary landscape, a visit to Heng Gi is essential. Here, every dish tells a story, and every bite is a link to the past, making it not just a meal, but a feast for the soul.

Heng Gi Goose and Duck Rice
665 Buffalo Rd, #01–335 Tekka Centre, Singapore 210665
Open Hour:
Sunday, Closed
Monday, 8 am–3 pm
Tuesday, 8 am–3 pm
Wednesday, 8 am–3 pm
Thursday, 8 am–3 pm
Friday, 8 am–3 pm
Saturday, 8 am–3 pm

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