This is the famous Chicken Rice stall that Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay lost to in the Singtel Hawker Heroes Challenge. It was also featured in “No Reservations” by world renowned Mr Anthony Bourdain in 2008. Still his hot favourite after so many years as proven on his latest wish list. So it’s no surprise that the lunch queues for their flagship stall at Maxwell Food Centre are always ridiculously long. Try going at off peak hours so the wait is more manageable or if you are lucky, none at all.
It’s one of my favourite chicken rice stall. Mainly because their chilli is SOOOO good. And the steamed chicken, my favourite type for chicken rice, is their forte.
For the uninitiated, red meat is generally more sought after than white meat in Singapore. If you are a white meat lover then you don’t have to pay a “premium”, you can just order “a plate of chicken rice”. For myself, I only take red meat thus I usually order drumstick with some innards to go along. Or for more than one person, I would order a quarter chicken, indicating specifically the lower quarter, we call it “har zhong” 下庄 in mandarin/dialect. And to ensure you maximise the amount of chicken meat you get, don’t ask for boneless. Technical much? 🙂
I visited Tian Tian at Maxwell Food Centre after 3pm in the afternoon, no queue! And could quietly find a seat to savour the chicken rice. Fragrant rice with the right amount of sesame oil. Each mouthful of rice is filled with the fragrance of the chicken broth that it’s cooked in. I am not a rice-eater, I hardly ever finish my plate of rice, but for Tian Tian’s chicken rice, it will be criminal not to finish it. And that chicken, that tender steamed chicken drumstick meat with the sinful but super yummy chicken skin, coupled with their spicy zesty chilli. Normal people wouldn’t drizzle the chilli all over the rice like the picture above, but this is the way I take my chicken rice, it just accentuates the flavours of the chicken and rice. Super duper yummy! (And yes I am very into spicy food)
They have a new branch opened at the food court of Hotel Boss, Lavender. Practically a stone’s throw away from where I stay.
Standard wise, it’s definitely not as good as Maxwell’s. Rice and chilli are the same but the chicken – tastes a tad frozen and not as tasty. Though over here at Hotel Boss, there’s no queue to beat even during peak hours.
If you are Singaporean, you will probably know there are better chicken rice out there. For me there’s the Novena’s Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice, Serangoon Garden’s Pow Sing Restaurant , Boon Tong Kee, Five Star, Loy Kee, Chin Chin (Grew up eating that) and the cheap and good Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice opposite Golden Mile. And if you are visiting Singapore, you cannot leave without trying out this local favourite. Do start with small dosages of the chilli if you aren’t into spice, but you gotta have chicken rice with a little bit of chilli, that’s the Singapore way of eating 🙂
Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Maxwell Food Centre
1 Kadayanallur Street
#01-10/11 Singapore 069184
Hotel Boss Food Court
500 Jalan Sultan