There are many components to a good plate of Chicken Rice, one of Singapore’s most iconic dishes: fragrant rice, succulent meat and a punchy dressing over it…
It’s no surprise that everyone has their favourite rendition of Chicken Rice. These food writers share theirs.
“The stall was named a Singapore Hawker Master in 2011, is also listed in the Bib Gourmand section of the inaugural Singapore Michelin Guide 2016. And it’s for good reason: Tian Tian’s rice is discernably harder and more fragrant than many other stalls. Its chicken is flavourful and tasty, and is served with a delicious sauce. Prices start at about $4 a serving.”
#01-10/11 Maxwell Food Center, 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184 and other locations
“At this old-school corner shop space, the rice is fragrant and chewy; both the roast and steamed chicken options are tender, supple and plump, and laden with a generous amount of soya sauce dressing. (The sauce is salty and there’s a tad too much of it, but that’s a small matter, given the chicken’s smooth texture.) Bonus: the sharp ginger and chili sauces which give added dimension to the dish.”
#02-110 Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238863
“Roast chicken is my usual option when eating chicken rice – mainly because I like to eat the roasted skin. But I am more than happy to make the exception at Xing Yun Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice. After all, white chicken rice is no less flavourful when cooked properly.
The tender chicken meat is juicy and well-cooked (sometimes just slightly pink). The fragrant rice is not too oily and goes perfectly with the spicy chilli sauce. I also liberally drizzle ginger sauce and dark soya sauce over my rice and chicken.”
Yuhua Village Market & Food Centre, 347 Jurong East Ave 1, Singapore 600347
“Chicken Rice looks plain but when properly made, this is the best kind of soul food.
Everything about the dish is done right here. The rice is full of flavour and each glistening grain is delicious. The chicken does not need soya sauce and sesame oil to make it taste good. Even the soup is not a throwaway component!”
#01-145 Blk 37, Jalan Rumah Tinggi, Singapore 150037
“Hainanese Delicacy has been operating since 1986 and serves a home-style version of chicken rice.
The rice is not the most aromatic or flavoursome. But it is significantly less oily than other stalls, which also makes it less cloying too. The chicken is always supple and pleasantly juicy, and the chilli, garlicky and piquant. The highlight, for me, is the shop’s salted vegetable duck soup, which is a must-order every time I eat there. Familiar, comforting salty goodness, which goes well with the rice.”
#05-116 Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228213
“Despite the surly service, I keep coming back just because I enjoy the chicken so much. Although the bird is lean, the meat is tender and better yet, flavourful. The aromatic rice is not too greasy. What seals the deal is the kicky chilli sauce, which is properly thick and spicy. They do offal well too. The chicken liver, for example, is luscious.”
247 Outram Rd, Singapore 169047
“This chicken rice shop has a loyal following. A queue forms before the stall opens at 10.30am.
What I love most about the version here, is its thick and delicious char siew sauce, which I slather over my rice. The chicken – I prefer roast chicken – is always perfectly succulent. It comes with half a calamasi – squeeze it over the meat for a little bitof extra zip. I like that the chicken doesn’t come drenched in soya sauce – just a splash of seasoning before it is served.”
#02-39 Holland Drive Market and Food Centre, Blk 44 Holland Dr, Singapore 270044
“The degree of oiliness of the rice is perfect. The rice is fragrant and smooth but it does not feel greasy. It also has a complex flavour and you can tell they used a lot of condiments to cook it.The chicken is sliced generously and the amount is more than what you get at most stalls. The meat is firm, but it lacks smoothness. The chilli sauce is fragrant and well-balanced in flavour.
At $27 a serving, as compared to no more than $5 at regular hawker centres, it is expensive, but the ambience, service and serving size justify the price.”
Level 5, Mandarin Orchard Singapore, 333 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238867
“The corner chicken rice restaurant is an institution. It’s been around since 1953 and is frequented by many, including multi-generation families.
The star of the show here is the rice. It’s served piping hot, not warm like at most other restaurants. Perhaps the reason why the rice retains its heat so well is because it is served in a heated bowl. And what’s not to love about hot, steamy and fragrant chicken rice?”
342 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329774
“I prefer the roasted chicken over its white sibling here. The skin is a beautiful, appetising brown and its marinade permeates the meat. Aromatic rice complements the meat beautifully. My only gripe is that the chilli sauce could be punchier.”
Shi Mei Restaurant, Blk 146 Potong Pasir Ave 1, Singapore 350146
“The one thing that keeps me coming back time and time again, is the chicken – the meat is so much more flavourful than many other stalls. The shop uses kampung chickens, which are leaner and less meaty, but oh so tasty. They have a deeper and more distinct flavour than factory-reared chickens. The chicken skin, which is bright yellow, is slippery and slick.”
255 Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574382
“The idea of eating pink chicken might send shivers down the spine, but Prive ACM’s version of Chicken Rice is such (rest assured they’re perfectly cooked and safe to eat).
The chickens are raised without growth hormones or antibiotics, given a special feed that includes herbs, allowed to run free in a closed pen and are bred for at least 75 days, almost twice the industry average. All this care results in flavour, a startling – and delightful – discovery for those of us used to bland-tasting birds.”
Prive ACM, #01-02 Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Pl, Singapore 179555
From The Straits Times, January 2017
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