Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice Hot
Tian Tian is one the most popular chicken rice stalls in Singapore. Originally a single stand in the Maxwell Food Centre, Tian Tian has now opened a branches in Joo Chiat and Bedok.
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Which Singaporean hasn't heard of Tian Tian Chicken Rice? Yes, it's that famous one which left Gordon Ramsay sheepish because his rendition wasn't as good apparently.
I am not particularly demanding when it comes to chicken rice. I'll be happy if that plate of chicken rice has rice so tasty I could eat it on its own without the chicken. Unfortunately, my one and only visit to Tian Tian's been extremely disappointing. I queued 45 minutes on a scorching hot afternoon, only to find that it's not so good after all.
I'm gonna be brutally honest though supporters of Tian Tian might fly into rage. Yes, the steamed white chicken was tender and the oyster sauce vegetables had a nice crunch to them. BUT the rice itself was way too oily and garlicky for my liking. I may be biased because I don't like garlic, but Tian Tian chicken rice just didn't live up to expectation. It's just so overrated.
Easily the best in town.
The most important part of chicken rice, no matter what detractors may claim, is the chicken. It's not called 'oyster sauce vegetable rice' or 'crispy tofu rice' - the name practically screams in your face that it is the chicken that is the most important part of the dish. For this reason alone, the chicken rice at Tian Tian chicken rice takes the cake for me.
Where do I begin? Their chicken is succulent and firm: every bite you take is flavourful and surprisingly refreshing (it's covered in a cold sauce), on top of being juicy and tender. If I were to keep on going, I'd probably run out of adjectives to describe it. Yes, it's THAT good. I'm not (really) exaggerating here. The chicken and rice alone is enough to make it a good meal. Do note that I'm talking about the white chicken here, not the roasted one - no guarantees on that chicken if you order it.
Chicken aside are the three next most important parts of chicken rice: the dip, the vegetables, and the tofu. The chilli and black sauce and Tian Tian is commendable - perfectly spicy and enjoyable for a spice aficionado like myself; not to mention that they go very well with the chicken. The oyster sauce vegetables were also crispy and rewardingly oily - a fine example of what vegetables should be like.
My only complaint lies with the tofu, which I find to be quite below standards. They seem to opt for quantity instead of quality with the tofu as they serve a lot of pieces of tofu, but none quite crispy or delicate enough to warrant it being good. I would say that Mr Chicken Rice's tofu is superior to theirs, but not enough to warrant being a better chicken rice stall.
What I usually do here when I come with family is to order a half chicken, all the dishes plus rice. The end result is extremely sumptuous and surprisingly affordable given the pleasure I derive from the meal each time: less than $10 per person on average. While you may cry that that's far too expensive for a meal of chicken rice, I can assure you that this $10 cannot be better spent on any other plate of local delicacy. I fail to eat this every day only on account of the fact that it would tear my body apart with a plethora of health problems.
Lastly, a note on consistency - I only ever eat here during lunch and would recommend others to do so as well. Their chicken is often so popular they run out by dinner.
Not used to the way the Chicken is served
This place was rated recently as the best Chicken rice in Singapore.
However, having been to this place, I'd beg to differ. While I'm hainanese, I do not really enjoy the hainanese style of Chicken Rice - the rice from this stall is too oily and I'm not used to the way the chicken is served.
I still remember being excited about the trip here though - only to be sadly let down by chicken rice. I'd prefer my mother's chicken rice any other day, but of course that would be a biased opinion. According to my dad however, he loves the Hainanese chicken rice. He says this stall reminds him of his deceased father who used to make chicken rice in the same way.
I guess it's authentic in the way its served.
There is no doubt Tian Tian sells one of the best chicken rice in Singapore. The chicken tastes exceptionally delicious and immediately stands out from other chicken rice I have eaten so far. It is delicate and subtly sweet. Combine the chicken with the celery given and you'd taste perfection.
Although it has been a really long time since I last ate it, I can still remember the taste of the chicken. Their chickens are that unforgettable...in a really good way.
If you are looking for the best chicken rice in Singapore, look no further. Tian Tian Chicken Rice will definitely not disappoint.
The queue looks extremely daunting, but it actually moves really fast. Just that due to it's popularity, there is almost a perpetual queue. I had the opportunity to check this rave out since I was interning for a short period just opposite the Maxwell Hawker Centre.
Boy, was I glad I tried it out. I ate with 5 other friends, so we ordered half a white chicken, and half a roasted chicken, with rice. It was delicious. I personally prefer the roasted chicken, since I'm pretty turned off by the fatty lumpy skin of the white one. But it really isn't bad if you just leave it aside. The gravy that comes with the chicken is heavenly. Definitely one of the secrets to their success. I'd have to say the rice didn't leave that much of an impression on me though. It wasn't bad, but it was just ok. Or maybe the chicken and chili were both so good the rice didn't matter that much. LOL.
I'd definitely get this again though. ;) Hawker food hasn't lost all hope afterall!
Good chicken, not so good rice
Hmmm, I've visited the outlet at Bedok a few times, and sadly, their standard seems to be inconsistent. My family was impressed by the chicken on our first visit - it was tender and succulent, drenched in cold water to stop the cooking process. The rice was piping hot and fragrant and their chilli was amazing! Spicy but not numbing, so you could still taste the rice and chicken.
Yet on our second visit, they were facing a shortage of chicken (it was 6pm). I guess that is a sign that their food is on high demand, but because of that we had to wait for a long time. We also tried other dishes (beansprouts, kailan, hainanese pork chop) which were expensive and disappointing for there was nothing special about them. They were really forgettable. The rice was also less tasty and did not have the same aroma. I have had better tasting rice at other hawker centres in Singapore.
While their standard fluctuates, the only constancy is the chicken. Even though we had to wait, the fresh, juicy chicken made it worthwhile. Still, it is rather pricey for a plate of chicken rice that is only slightly above average.
Is it just me?
I read all the reviews below and everyone was just saying how good the chicken rice was. I had tried the chicken rice before reading these reviews and personally I did not think this chicken rice stall was that good.
It may be because I was an impatient man and having to wait for more than ten minutes for my food irritated me. I may have lost my appetite while waiting or may be the day I visited the stall, the main cook was on leave and so the standard was not as good as those mentioned by the other reviewers.
Whatever the case, I still noticed a long queue in front of this stall in Maxwell market so it must be doing something right. Just do not assume a stall with a long queue always serve good food.
Best chicken rice in town!
One of the most popular stall in the whole Maxwell market and yes, they are really tasty! Their chicken is so tender and their rice just tasted so good that you can even eat it on its own! And their spicy chili is another must have to go along with their chicken rice.
My ex colleagues and me loved their chicken rice and was fortunate that our previous office was located opposite Maxwell market, so that makes our ordering easier. The staffs were also friendly and will pass their name cards to patrons will wants to order takeaway half / whole chicken. This really helps to ease the waiting time, especially for the working adults.
I do see many tourists visiting this stall with maps in their hands. This is just how famous and tasty this stall is! And we also do see tour buses dropping off groups of tourists for lunch at Tian Tian. How cool can a chicken rice stall gets?
You will want to come back again...and again..
This is certainly one of S'pore better known Hainanese Chicken Rice brand. And it's certainly one of the great dishes that she can be proud. Diners, from all works of life - locals, office workers, tourists, anyone hungry...throng the food store daily. So be prepare to queue at least 20-30min during peak hours (1130am -130pm) just to taste the stall signature dish. Food Critique - Anthony Bordain raved about it, and so do plenty local and regional food critiques...and good thing the refurbished and recently reopened Maxwell food center can better showcase this wonderful dish.
My overseas friends, from Moscow to Bangkok, whenever they drop by in town, never fail to "reunite" over a meal at this stall. Such is the universal magnetism of the dish.
You can order various dishes like oyster sauce veg, bean sprouts (with or without cuttlefish), chicken intestines, etc to accompany the dish. Your order will be accompany with a bowl of hot chicken soup, chilli sauce and dark soya sauce on the side.
Orders are taken and payment (cash only) are collected when you are near the cashier. Keep the receipt for collection of your order just a few steps down the cashier. Lose that receipt and lose your meal (if you need to order extra rice half way through the meal, just proceed to order with the cashier and DON'T need to queue again - that's thoughtful of the staff).
For 4 persons - 1 whole chicken is recommended, for 2 person (half)...depending on appetite.....
Like the stall name "Tian Tian Lai" implies, you will want to "Everyday comes" (literally).
Ate With A Growing Tinge Of Alarm...
Living near the area of Joo Chiat, I decided to give this packed restaurant a try. Yes, the crowd mentality, I suppose.
The service was relatively fast and pleasant, and I was quickly served my plate of rice and chicken. I could smell a whiff of fragrance oozing from the rice and my hunger pangs mounted inexorably. Hurriedly, I tucked into the rice. It was disappointing. I wouldn't say that it tasted bad because it didn't, but it certainly did not live up to my expectations. Especially after the irresistible aroma of the rice.
The chicken,however,was the real deal. A few minutes after chewing on the chicken, I realised something amiss about its taste. I spat it out and immediately I could see a few streaks of blood on the chicken. It was traumatising. The meal started to turn slightly awful after that discovery because I was cautious about not consuming the parts of the chicken that were bloody and thus couldn't enjoy the meal fully.
If you're looking for the best chicken rice in town, my take is to look elsewhere.