Hammee’s is back at Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre — but this time round with a twist; its familiar burgers are no longer on the menu. Instead Hammee’s has converted themselves into a Nasi Ayam Goreng stall at its Commonwealth Crescent Market & Food Centre space temporarily — they have announced plans to expand their operations on social media where a comeback of their burgers are likely to happen at a coffeeshop location later this year. Hammee’s is best known for their affordable Cheeseburgers with patties that are made painstakingly from scratch previously — a constant process of R&D and sourcing of the right suppliers to achieve that perfect burger that they are looking for; their dedication to that goal so strong that they often announce unexpected closures due to the inconsistent quality of the beef that they had obtained from their suppliers.

Only offering one item on the menu during this period, they are now fully dedicated in serving in serving Nasi Ayam Goreng (otherwise also known as Fried Chicken Rice); patrons do however have the option of going for either their Chicken Rice (made with chicken bone broth, chicken fat, butter, Pandan leaves, garlic, ginger and spices), or a Coconut Rice that is almost akin to that of Nasi Lemak which I ended up opting for. One could tell that they had placed much emphasis to the quality of the food that they serve, be it their Cheeseburgers or the Nasi Ayam Goreng — as opposed to the more common Basmati rice used for coconut rice these days, they have insisted on using the standard grains that we usually see in our white rice; the rice does come perfuming lightly of coconut-y fragrance, but does not come across as too jelak, yet being light and fluffy. The fried chicken leg really takes the cake here; marinated with turmeric, the flavours of the spices comes lingering at the back of the tongue with that juicy chicken leg that is fried to golden-brown perfection — the exterior so crisp, yet the flesh so tender as the juices eagerly burst out as one chews on it, not to mention how it is seemingly free from grease. The accompanying achar provides a slight tang that keeps the entire dish refreshing amidst the heavier-tasting elements such as the chicken leg and coconut rice, but it is the homemade sambal that really caught me — a rather savoury rendition with a slightly piquant hint of flavour of raw chilies; surprisingly bright and goes well even on its own, let alone the chicken leg or the rice.

I like how Hammee’s has always seem to go by the same philosophy of taking something simple, and pushing the dish to its limits by obtaining their produce from the right suppliers with constant R&D to ensure that they give their patrons the very best of what they have to offer. Simple as the Fried Chicken Rice or Cheeseburgers it may be, but its a display of not just skill, but careful attention to detail and passion that goes into the making of whatever that they serve — and this is what makes Hammee’s and other similar establishments so worth supporting when it comes to the hawkerpreneur scene in Singapore.