Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice @ Maxwell Food Centre

I have been working at Singapore for almost three months now, and yet there’s not any blog posts on Singapore’s Chicken Rice. The reason is really simple, because most of the Chicken Rice I had here, whether Hainanese or not, were above average tasting at best – not really blog worthy. That was until I tried Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre.


For those who know Tian Tian, most probably you also know that it was visited by Anthony Bourdain before. Who’s Anthony Bourdain? Well he’s a well-respected chef from America who once tried Tian Tian’s Hainanese Chicken Rice and was very impressed with it. “Chicken Rice is so fragrant and delicious that it can be eaten on its own” – those were the words used by Anthony Bourdain to describe Tian Tian’s Chicken Rice.


Thanks to his praise, Tian Tian is now one of the most patronized Chicken Rice in Singapore. And check out the other awards won by Tian Tian too.


Knowing there’d be a long queue if I went during lunch hours, I chose to go at a rather odd time at 3:30pm. Still, I had to queue for 10 minutes before I got served. I had a large portion of Chicken Rice with drumstick and a wing added @ $5. I felt the price was reasonable and glad that they didn’t take opportunity on the fame they enjoy to charge more expensively.

First thing I noticed was each rice grain was cooked so separately. This is something you can hardly find in Malaysia, but very common in Singapore because of the higher grade of rice grains they use. Ours tend to be lumpy, sticky and sometimes mushy.
And true to Anthony Bourdain’s words, Tian Tian’s Chicken Rice is indeed very delicious and flavorful that it can be enjoyed even on its own. The rice’s firm texture played an important role too, giving it a nice biting sensation. Seriously, I did not expect rice could taste so good.


Tian Tian’s steamed chicken, on the other hand was great as well. Smooth, tender and succulent and drenched in some secret sauce that complemented the rice really well. By the way this was also the first chicken rice stall in Singapore I went that did not need any dark soy sauce, man was I glad.


The chili sauce was impressive as well, a bit sourish from the lime juice they used. But I preferred to have my chicken rice without any chili sauce, well maybe just a little to try. I wouldn’t want the chili sauce’s empowering taste to ‘spoil’ the already-awesome chicken rice.


Generally, I have to admit Singapore’s Chicken Rice’s rice is better than Malaysia’s because the main ingredient itself – rice is already of high quality. And I feel they do put a lot of effort in producing tasty, fluffy rice with separate grains.
But when it comes to the chicken, either steamed or roasted, I feel ours is better because of the ingredient too – free range chicken (kampung chicken) that has more tender meat.
And that brings me to think, how do you guys judge a good chicken rice? Do you judge it based on the chicken, or the rice itself? If only we can combine the best of both worlds, then it’d be the best chicken rice ever.



Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice is by far the only chicken rice in Singapore that I feel is worth recommending to my Malaysian friends because it’s seriously good. The rest just pale in comparison. I just hope there are many more to come in my future search.
To go to Tian Tian, alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT and take the B exit to Maxwell Road. After you exit, walk towards your left direction pass the big red building. After the red building is a church, and Tian Tian is in a food court called Maxwell Food Centre on your right (opposite the church).

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice (Stall No 10)
Maxwell Food Centre
1 Kadayanallur Street

(Closed on Mondays. Come before 7pm to avoid disappointments)

(Visited 61 times, 1 visits today)

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Comments 21

  1. JD

    For me, I think both the Chicken and the rice plays an equally important role. If the rice is good but the chicken is tasteless, then it defeat the purpose of calling it chicken rice. Vice versa. The other part of chicken rice which I think is equally important is the sauce, coz without the sauce, it will be a tad dry for the chicken. That’s my thought lar.

  2. Konghulang

    I like chicken rice with steamed chicken (白斬雞)with high grade rice (read Thai AAA Fragrant Rice) but we are not able to find such good chicken rice in Penang easily.
    What we have here are those roast chicken (actually are oil fried) with low grade beras nasional.
    I have not taken any chicken rice in Penang for ages, you make me miss the Singapore chicken rice.

  3. Danny Lim

    I remember there,s one shop called Swee Kee which served the best chicken rice I have tasted in S,pore, but heard they ve closed shop.

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      Ya, a pity I didn’t get to try it before it closed. But now there are a few “NEW” Swee Kee popping up saying they are related to the original one, haha

  4. J2Kfm

    Personally, I like good rice, with good chicken. Really.
    and good chili sauce.
    I can’t stand those smooth, poached chicken that is still ozzing blood, nor overcooked ones.

  5. Apple Foodees

    Is this the best Chicken Rice in Singapore?

    It looks quite plain from what I see from the picture. But looking at their awards, the crowds and a very good review from an American chef, this must be reaaaaly gooood. :)

    I will definitely try it when I have the chance.

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  9. fiona

    You can’t get this kind of rice (flagrant type) in most Malaysia’s chicken rice stalls.
    That’s why i love Singapore’s chicken rice very much.



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  11. Mann

    Before I going to Singapore, I do a lots of research. I saw many people had good comments on this Chicken Rice,so I decided to have a tried. Personally think, this is really nothing special loh… just a normal chicken rice !!!!!!

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