My brother Ivan is flying off the evening of his graduation day to London and Mumbai, and then settling in Hong Kong for work – someone is a high flyer. As such, he wanted to eat Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice before he leaves. If you knew my brother growing up, he is a fan of two things – Tze Char style horfun (flat rice noodles) and Hainanese chicken rice!
In Singapore, everyone has their own idea of what the best chicken rice is, and the topic comes up very very often. In my family, our favorite is Tian Tian and Chin Chin. My brother used to like Five Star chicken rice too, but it lost it’s touch a few years ago. Tian Tian also recently beat Gordon Ramsay when he came to challenge Singapore hawkers – yay to our street food, but I hope Gordon comes back and whips up something inspired by our local cuisine!
White chicken: Succulent, flavorful and oh so tender. You can totally tell why this is one of the island’s most famous chicken rice(s). I also really like the sauce they pour over the chicken. It is slightly thicker than those you get outside, and is very fragrant. Complements the already fantastic chicken!
Chicken rice: This is where the money is! The rice is soooo flavorful, yet each grain is perfectly cooked. It is perfection – so beautiful! Without this rice, even the best chicken rice would not be good! This is why Tian Tian is one of the best chicken rice(s) on the island!
House special tofu: This is a weekly special and not on the regular menu. The soft tofu is beautifully fried – when it first came, the outside was crispy! – and drizzled in a minced meat sauce. Very good! Something different from the regular fried tofu with Thai sauce (which is our regular tofu, and is fantastic as well!)
Xiao bai cai in oyster sauce: The regular veggie of any chicken rice meal. This dish is very regular and there’s nothing special about it. I always wish that they cut out the heart of the xiao bai cai because I don’t like to eat that part. The fried shallots could also be a little crispier!
Salted fish and bean sprouts: This is also a prefect complement to chicken rice. The salted fish gives an extra level of umami, and the bean sprouts are cooked just right and are still crunchy. It’s a simple dish, but adds so much to the chicken rice because of the salted fish flavor. I love it!
Overall, Tian Tian is a restaurant (or a stall, if you go to Maxwell Food Center) that we have been returning to year after year. I’ve had Tian Tian every single year when I come back to Singapore to visit. You can’t go wrong here!
T – Su | 10.30am – 9.30pm