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Monday, January 28, 2013

Mackenzie Rex Restaurant

I must really be going down memory lane.
Recently I've posted about old-time favourites like Epok-Epok Central and Bismillah Sarabat stall.
And now I bring you another makan place from back when I was a kid.

My Mum and Dad brought me to Rex when I was 11 years old.
That's like 19 years ago and even til today I go back to enjoy the Chicken Rice there!!!

Chicken Rice ($4.50)
My Mum and Day say that back then in the 70s and 80s, a plate of chicken rice would cost about $2.00.
This was because Rex was considered as a 'restaurant' and not just a hawker kind of joint. And of course back then it used to be located opposite the old Rex Theatre.

I really love the Chicken Rice at Rex (you'll be hearing that a lot).
You can see that it does not have any special sauce or gravy poured over the chicken which is what you might get at most places nowadays. The chicken comes as is and is sheer perfection.

I don't know how they do it but Rex still does roasted chicken the best way ever.
Pair that with their delicious and tasty rice and you have a winner I tell you.
Well a winner in my books anyways!

Of course the prices have gone up since then...
It was about $3.00 a plate when I was in secondary school and it costs even more now.

That corner in yellow is where the old Rex used to be.
Cameron Restaurant, which was a fierce competitor to Rex back in the day, is still in the same location as it used to be (see the green sign there?) but I reckon it's not the same as it used to be.
The 'old' Rex Theatre is now the 'new' Rex Theatre as you may know... and Rex has moved.

It's now located at Prinsep Street (along Selegie) and I started going there alone (as in without my parents) when I was in secondary school. And as years went by, I would go there with friends and, of course, my family to enjoy the food there. And I'm pretty sure most of you have had a meal there before!
(They also have a restaurant at Upper Changi Road just before Geylang Serai)

I simply love Rex Chicken Rice. In fact, I used to even say that if I could choose my last meal - it would be a plate of Rex Chicken Rice.

So I've told you about the chicken and the rice. And now for the chilli. The chilli is the bomb.

In fact, Rex is rather renown for its special Chilli.
It's got a real kick to it. The garlic is not too overpowering and it's got a nice tang.
And I have to admit that it has definitely gotten a little more spicy over the past few years. You're definitely going to have a real burn when you have it. But a nice burn of course!

In fact the only part of the meal which kinda sucks is the soup that comes along with your chicken rice.
I've always joked that it's just water with some ajinomoto and a piece of cabbage in a bowl. I actually am not far off from saying that but a little drizzle of light soy sauce (at the table) and it's makan-able.

But I really love the chicken rice at Rex  : )

But the Chicken Rice is not the only favourite at Rex.
There are so many to cover but I'm going to start with...

U Char Kway with Sotong (Small $6.80)

This is such a favourite item I can tell you.

As you can see, it's not really like most other places where you get more of the Char Kway dough than the sotong. This is packed with the sotong!

Fried to a nice deep crisp yet still so tender and steamy on the inside.

And trust me. Their specially-made mayonnaise is the perfect accompaniment to this fried tasty morsel. My mouth is watering as I type!

The small size is very worth the price.
You get about 10 pieces with that serving and it's easily shared between 2 people. But I have absolutely no problem having a plate all to myself!

I can't help it. It's too delicious!

And in future, when I put up more reviews of Rex, you will see more and more dishes which are really at must-try standards at Rex.

And by the way. This is also a must have...
Lime Juice!!!

Lime Juice ($1.50)

Now there's an item that hasn't changed in taste or in price.
I always have the Lime Juice. It goes well with ANYTHING I've ever eaten at Rex.
Probably one of the best and most consistent Lime Juices I've ever had anywhere I must say.

Adam's Verdict:
Chicken Rice 5/5 -- U Char Kway with Sotong 5/5 -- Lime Juice 5/5

Some people will agree with me and say that Rex is the bomb.
And some people will disagree with me and say Rex is not as good as people say it is.

All I know is that I've been going there since I was a kid.
My family and I go there to enjoy good food. We know the people there well enough that they recognize us and we have a chat while waiting for our meal.

Do I give a special preference to Rex? Yes, definitely.
But it it because I've been going there for so long? No.
It's because I've been going there for so long and I still enjoy the excellent food there.

Prices may have gone up but the food is still worth it.

And a final tip...
They will automatically give you a wet tissue when you get your cutlery.
It costs $0.30 each so if you don't need it, return it to them before you start your meal :)

And you can be sure to see a few more reviews of Rex because there's so much to have!

Mackenzie Rex Restaurant

66 Prinsep Street
Tel: 63361702

Operating Hours: 10.30am til 10.00pm Daily
(Closed on Chinese New Year & Hari Raya Aidilfitri)


  1. Rex Mckenzie restaurant also holds a place deep in my heart. Friendly atmosphere coupled with good tasty food is a winner in my book anywhere.

    I've been going since i was younger too and i still go back regularly. I agree that the food has not changed. I fell in love with crispy baby squid at Rex as it was the first time i ever had that dish at Rex.

    I hope Rex will not close down too soon. I will miss the food and i hope i can bring my children there one day, as how my parents brought me there as a child.

  2. WHOOAA..tqvm for the review..am going to spore this dec...can't wait to try the chicken rice! my father's been telling us how marvellous the dish was and he said he has yet 2 find any chicken rice in malaysia as good as this!

    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment!

      Indeed this is our favourite Chicken Rice too! My brother and I used to go when my Mum & Dad brought us when we were kids and even now we still go back for more! A lot of people will tell you that standards have dropped since the 'old days' but I guess there will still be loyal fans who will keep going back for more.

      Enjoy your visit this December and post a pic to our Facebook wall of your meal at Rex okay!

      Adam Shah
      The Halal Food Blog