Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Best Hainanese Chicken Rice in Singapore?

A lot of people are crazy over ‘Hainanese Chicken Rice’ in Singapore so I did a search online where to try this and found a number of foodie write ups about this hawker stall at Maxwell Food Centre, just beside Ann Siang Hill where we dropped by.

TV Chef personalities, Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay have been in this stall, on different occasions with the latter just a few weeks before I visited during a Hawker vs Ramsay Challenge. Anthony Bourdain on the other hand said that the chicken rice here alone was good enough to eat.

So as you can see, there is much hype about this hawker and this is what we saw when we arrived:

Queues at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice 
Website: Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice

Are you kidding me? Long queues?! Is this for real? So I quickly took my point-and-click camera out to document this hawker phenomenon. I mean, who are these people? Where do they come from? I can see that there is a good mixture of tourists and locals vying for this sought after Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. Some locals order them take away.

We did not waste time and quickly fell in line.

Do take note that there are 2 queues here. A queue to order and pay and another queue to collect the food. At this point I am really hungry as it is way past the lunch hour. I could lick anything that comes near me.

Tian Tian’s accolades for everyone to see. The internet is powerful, I would not be here if Google did not help me. Id say long live Bloggers and Tripadvisor =).

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice has a very straightforward menu. They only serve ONE specialty dish and that is Hainanese Chicken Rice. They serve side dishes as well but only THREE side dishes. That is all. I guess this is where the strength lies with this hawker. From a business stand point, they have a focus and they know what they are doing.

SisterJ (left queue) above queueing to collect our food. The right queue is to order and pay.

Hainanese Steamed Chicken Rice

Finally, our the food is here! Two Hainanese Chicken Rice (it comes with a soup) for SisterJ and moi and a plate of Beansprouts with Cuttlefish as our side dish. We initially ordered the Vegetable with Oyster Sauce as our side dish but they ran out of this.

Now if youll excuse me for a minute please I am going to devour this plate of steamed Hainanese Chicken Rice. Let us see if this will live up to the hype. 

SisterJ bought some drinks (soya jelly) at another hawker stall for us and they have this cool plastic sling holder. On the other picture you can see the prices of the menu at Tian Tian.

My verdict: The Hainanese Chicken Rice was quite good but I can’t say it’s the best because then I must have compared it to several others right, which I have not because I do not eat a lot of this dish. Well, I mean there was no earth shattering explosion of the senses here to be honest. So I asked SisterJ her opinion. She may not be an expert of Hainanese Chicken Rice because she prefers the Roasted Chicken Rice but she can better gauge this than moi. She said it is quite good. She will not say it is the best as well, after all I know my sister, she is not into unnecessary superlatives.

I guess everyone has their own favourite Hainanese Chicken Rice hawker in Singapore, but the most important question would be: Will I want to come back here or go to another Tian Tian Chicken Rice hawker stall? I think YES. So I am giving this hawker stall a 4.2 stars out of 5.

This I can honestly say though that this is the only hawker stall at Maxwell that has queues. Long queues. Never ending queues. The owners must be cashing in a lot of money from this business! I would have thought that the queues will stop at some point but for the 45 minutes we were there the queues just kept going strong. Can you imagine during peak lunch and dinner hours? Hint: Franchise.

This is the picture I took just before we left. People still lining up to collect their order. This is way past the lunch hour (3PM+). It is always peak hours at this hawker stall. Unbelievable!

Below are a few more pictures of Maxwell Food Centre:

Travel Period: July 2013
Destination: Singapore Central, Singapore

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