hainanese chicken rice at Chatterbox, Singapore
Chicken rice at Chatterbox, Singapore

Hainanese Chicken Rice is a popular dish which has been adapted by the Hainan Chinese migrants in the Nanyang area. The Nanyang area literally means “Southern Ocean” and covers Singapore, the Phillippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. It is pretty much considered the national dish of Singapore and is served in hawker stalls, food courts and franchised outlets all over.

A serving of chicken rice generally consists of an oily but fragrant rice, some beautiful pieces of chicken which has been boiled in a garlic, ginger and pork bone stock, a garnish of fresh slices of cucumber, tomato and lettuce leaves and a bowl of clear chicken broth with a sprinkle of chopped coriander (sometimes also with shallots and fried onion). The secret to this dish is generally the accompanying sauces which are closely guarded recipes.

I love the chilli and pounded ginger vinaigrette, but the there’s also the dark soy sauce which is equally as popular with locals. And I of course adore the sweetness and simplicity of the chicken broth which has the flavour of the whole chickens.

If you only have one meal to taste test Singapore’s Hainanese Chicken Rice, then I’d suggest going for the very best and slightly pricey… at Chatterbox, at the Meritus Mandarin Hotel on 333 Orchard Road (+65.6831.6291), as pictured above.

On the cheaper end and minus the view, there are also these favourites:

Fook Seng Goldenhill Chicken Rice
Block 37, Jalan Rumah Tinggi #01-429
For more information: http://www.singaporechickenrice.com

The Chicken Rice Shop
VivoCity B2-37
For more information: http://www.thechickenriceshop.com/index.html

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Maxwell Food Centre, 12 Murray Street, #01 – 10, 11am – 8pm (closed Mondays)
How to get there by MRT : Tanjong Pagar (EW15) and Chinatown (NE4)
How to get there by Bus : 2, 12, 61, 80, 143, 145, 166, 197, 608, 851, 961
For more information, check out these food blog reviews: http://lovesingaporefood.blogspot.com/2 … -rice.html, http://masak-masak.blogspot.com/2007/05 … -tian.html

Have I missed your favourite Chicken Rice stall in Singapore? Let me know by replying with a comment below 🙂


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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
  • Jen

    I’ve just been reminded about Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice.
    275 Thomson Road, #01-05 Novena Ville, Singapore
    Phone: +65-62556396

  • Great post! I might create a Singapore duffel for this.
    I went to a Hainanese chicken place in Taipei this winter holiday, and the owner said that they’re originally from Singapore. Not sure if you have them listed, but their chinese name is 文慶雞. You can also check out other good eats I went in Taipei: http://duffelup.com/trips/awesome-taipei-food-tour
    By the way, let me know if you want to create a couple of good-eats duffels and post your content on our site. I’ll give you some pointers.

  • Will

    I found the HQ in Singapore:
    Boon Ken Chicken
    401 Balestier Road,Singapore 329803
    Phone: +65-62543937
    You can tell me whether it’s good or not 🙂

  • Jen

    It’s in the header. Link to subscribe is http://feeds.feedburner.com/iatemywaythrough

  • tian tian rocks….the best, ever!