Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, Singapore

Tian Tian Chicken Rice

This is the first blogpost in our series Singapore & Malaysia food trail 2013.

Mysaucepan
and I are on a 3-week eating spree and will be blogging about our street food adventures with lots of photos and tweets about hawker favourites and local delights that will also cover Chinese New Year 2013 – The Year of the Snake.

We would love your feedback on which are the foods you love and would also welcome any suggestions and recommendations that we should try during our trip in Singapore and Malaysia.

Bon appetite!!

~~~~~~~~0~~~~~~~~

It’s 6.30 am and dawn at this hour  is still dark in Singapore.

Mysaucepan is fast asleep but I find myself on a treadmill set at an inclination slope of 10 as I furiously race towards the finishing line in this hour-long workout. I am totally drenched, sweat streaming down my body and as I watch the news on CNN in front of me.

Dominating the headlines is news about how Barack Obama is trying to steer America out of an impending fiscal cliff. Important as this event may be as it affects the entire world, something else is on my mind.

As I look out the window from the gym where I am working out, I see Maxwell Food Centre, home to what is arguably the best Hainanese chicken rice in the world. And the main reason for my intense workout this morning is to get myself ready for an onslaught on this plate of chicken rice that has been on my mind even before we left Sydney yesterday.

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice is one of many food stalls in Maxwell Food Centre but is also the most popular among locals and tourists alike.

Hainanese chickens

Hainanese chickens

The chickens are said to be specially sourced from selected suppliers and a special cooking technique renders the chicken to be very smooth, succulent and tasty.

Anthony Boudain's endorsement of Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice

Anthony Boudain's endorsement of Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice

Anthony Bourdain has raved about this place when he visited and I am certainly raving about it.

Indeed, I have never failed to make a visit to Maxwell every time I am in Singapore because it is a hawker centre that has such a wide selection of local street food and favourites.

Ladling the special sauce onto the chicken

Ladling the special sauce onto the chicken

I have read the owner also ensures fresh red chillies and ginger that are used to make the delectable chilli dipping sauce are also specially procured from selected suppliers to guarantee a very high and consistent quality.

Garnishing the chicken with fresh coriander

Garnishing the chicken with fresh coriander

This chicken rice stall runs like a well-oiled factory churning out a singular product that really hits the mark with chicken rice connoisseurs and aficionados.

There is a queuing system because when peak hour for lunch arrives, the queue for this chicken rice is legendary – a giant human snake that meanders the corner of this stall to the outside of Maxwell Food Centre.

Therefore, it is best that you go before the crowd arrives. If you think you might be lucky to avoid the queue by going after lunch, you may end up with nothing because the chicken rice sells out every single day they are open for business.

My usual order: Half a chicken S$12 or A$10 and rice S$0.70 cents or A$0.30 cent

My usual order: Half a chicken S$12 or A$10 and rice S$0.70 cents or A$0.30 cent

Orders are taken and paid at one booth and you proceed to the next area to collect your food.

Today, I am here at 11 am to avoid the mad rush during lunch hour and I am among the first in line.

World class: Smooth, velvety and tasty Hainanese chicken

World class: Smooth, velvety and tasty Hainanese chicken

My usual order is half a chicken and one bowl of chicken rice. This order comes with a large bowl of soup as well.

The chicken looks magnificently succulent with a thin layer of gelatin between the skin and the meat, rendering it soft and velvety.

Hainanese chicken rice $S0.70 cents or $A0.30 cents per bowl

Hainanese chicken rice $S0.70 cents or $A0.30 cents per bowl

I am not a big rice eater but who can resist after reading Bourdain’s verdict on this chicken rice?

The rice is fragrant with the aromas of chicken broth and each grain is fluffy yet firm to the bite.

My plate today: A succulent piece of chicken thigh with bone on

My plate today: A succulent piece of chicken thigh with bone on

The chicken is chopped and prepared with the bone on and part of the fun is to navigate each piece of chicken meat around the bones with your teeth.

Each piece of chicken is tasty with the chilli sauce that is flavoured with fresh ginger and garlic. The sauce that is drizzled over the chicken is savoury redolent of oyster sauce, soy sauce and the nutty flavour of sesame oil.

Remnants of my onslaught: Chicken fat, skin and bones left and three empty chilli dipping sauces

Remnants of my onslaught: Chicken fat, skin and bones left and three empty chilli dipping sauces

This is our first day in Singapore and I’m not about to blow my calorie count with chicken fat. Unless it is roast chicken, I prefer not to eat the skin and fat.

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore

With so much food around, it’s best to pace ourselves over the next few weeks as we take you on our food trail all over Singapore and Malaysia.

The queue beginning to form at 12 pm on a Thursday

The queue beginning to form at 12 pm on a Thursday lunch hour

So dear readers, do you have a favourite Hainanese chicken rice stall in Singapore to recommend and share with our readers?

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Stall 10/11, Maxwell Food Centre
Singapore

Tel: + 65 9691 4852

Business hours: Every day, closed on Mondays

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14 Responses to Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, Singapore

  1. What great eating destinations! Good idea getting on the treadmill in preparation for the food fest. I adore Hainanese chicken rice. I can’t visit Singapore without trying it :D

  2. celia says:

    You were the first in line because no-one in Singapore is awake at that time! It used to drive me crazy that the shops would open after 10! :) That looks very delicious, thanks for sharing!

  3. Ok that looks pretty dang amazing. I am really excited to read more of your Singapore food adventures as I’m visiting Sing for the first time this year in just under two months from now yaay! Definitely need to check this place out!!!

  4. The first time I went here it was closed (I came too early and had somewhere to be). Second time lucky and oh my. There are no words to describe how utterly DELCIOUS it was. Though the portion may be small it’s ridiculously cheap and I totally understand why it is reknowned as being the best hainan chicken and rice there is.

  5. Raymund says:

    I tried making this one at home before and was suprised it wasnt that hard to do. This post just remind me that I need to make some of those again

  6. tigerfish says:

    Your remnants can be my treasure :) I would eat the skin without second thoughts but sometimes just remove the fat from the skin if it does not require too much skill (and time).

  7. Hainanese chicken rice is my husband’s favorite dish. I haven’t had really good one (according to my husband) so he’s been waiting to take me to this famous place in Los Angeles. He’s going to Singapore next month. Now I wish I could tag along so I can get super authentic version… looks so good!!

  8. Oh!!! So delicious looking! Pinned and here I come ;)

  9. mr. C says:

    I was just there the other day! Besides chilli crab at Jumbo’s, Tian Tians has to be one of my favourite memories by far. That day I just said screw it, skin and all. I’m going to eat. I packed on 2 kilos the very next day.

  10. Ming says:

    Very jealous of your Singapore eating fest! My annual trip is never enough haha. The chicken rice looks superb – ashamed to say I have never made it t Tian Tian! There is such a wide variety of chicken rice over Singapore that I always end up trying another place haha. Wonderful photographs that only make me dream that I am back in those wonderful hawker stalls!!

  11. Mr. Rowland E. Onwuikwe says:

    Dear Sir/M,

    Good day, as we appreciate to introduce our company F.M.C.I shortly to you as one of the importer and agent located in our economic capital city which is Abuja Rep of Nigeria in central Africa, which will appreciate to get into business relation with your company.

    We are interested in your product and to do business with your company let us know if you can handle the contract supply of (25,000 Metric Tons of 5% Broken white long Rice) to this organization Federal Ministry Of commerce and industry Nigeria.

    If you are interested in this contract write me back immediately to enable me give you more details of the contract and my commission if you win the contract with my assistance.

    I am waiting to hear from you soon

    Best Regards

    Mr. Rowland E. Onwuikwe

    Contact person : Mr. Rowland E. Onwuikwe
    Acting Head – Public Private Partnership Department

    Federal Ministry Of commerce and industry Nigeria

    Phone:+2348036638861
    mrrowland_e@hotmail.com

  12. Row says:

    The chicken looks so delicious, very soft and flavourful. This is an excellent start to your eating adventures! :)

  13. Planning a trip to Singapore and it looks like this place has to be on my hit list!

  14. You photos have taken me right back to Singapore in a heart beat …….oh my and they do have the best chicken rice…..so good!

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