A good chicken rice has three major components:
(1) the chicken must be smooth and skin a gelatinous texture;
(2) the rice grains are first fried in garlic, sesame, and chicken fat, and then boiled in chicken stock, and pandan leaves. The rice must be aromatic and mustn’t be overly greasy;
(3) and the chilli-garlic sauce must have a balance, it must have a kick but doesn’t numb the tongue.
Dark soya sauce and minced ginger are usually provided. If the soup is good, it’s a bonus, but nobody really cares for it.
I ordered, “A plate of chicken rice, please,” and let the hawker decide whether I got thigh or breast. (Mostly they gave breast because thigh usually costs extra.)
We didn’t include restaurants such as the famous Chatterbox, selling $32 for a plate, because we shouldn’t compare apples to oranges. And as usual, this list is not definitive. We shortlisted and visited 53 well-known stalls but 5 stalls were closed for good.** There may be new stalls waiting to be discovered. Comment and let us know.
In ascending order…
#47. Yet Con Chicken Rice 逸群
25 Purvis St Singapore 188602
T: 6337 6819
Chicken:No taste one. 5/10
Rice: Still no taste. 5.5/10
Chilli: watery, no spice. 5.5/10
Pros: Old school. Run by old folks. Nostalgic.
Cost: We had chicken for two and steamboat for two. $35
#46. Heng Lee Hainanese Chicken Rice 兴利
Block 127 Toa Payoh Lorong 1, #02-16 Singapore 310127
11am-7.30pm, closed Mon
Chicken: Overcooked and powdery. 5.75/10
Rice: Like normal rice. 5/10
Chilli: Rather unique, having a seafood flavor. 6.5/10
Pros: Pure minced ginger. Friendly hawker.
#45. Tong Fong Fatt Chicken Rice 东风发鸡饭
Blk 209 Hougang St 21, Kovan Market and Food Centre #01-49 Singapore 530209
Other outlets: ABC Brickworks Food Centre, Golden Shoe Food Centre, Ghim Moh Food Centre, Blk 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, Amoy Street Food Centre, Zion Food Centre, Bedok South Food Centre, Marine Parade Central, Whampoa Drive Makan Place Block 90, Bedok Interchange Food Centre, Circuit Road Food Centre, Maxwell Food Centre.
Chicken (breast): My companion said it was overly salty. I thought it was OK. 6/10
Rice: Normal. Very mild fragrance. 5.75/10
Chilli: Watery but potent. 5.5/10
Pros: Many seats. Ample parking. Affordable.
Cons: N. A.
#44. Jin Zhan Ji Chicken Rice 金斩鸡
Blk 209 Hougang St 21, Kovan Market and Food Centre #01-19 Singapore 530209
T: 6791 7141
Chicken (breast): Tasty with an almost sweet ginger aftertaste. 6/10
Rice: Lumpy and sweet. Strange. 5.75/10
Chilli: Sweet. Everything was sweet here. 5.75/10
Pros: Many seats. Ample parking. Affordable.
#43. Zi Jing Cheng 紫金城
Blk 120, Bukit Merah Lane 1, Alexandra Village Food Centre #01-15, Singapore 150120
Chicken: Hard and tasteless. 5.75/10
Rice: Bland. 5.75/10
Chilli: Strangely sweet and rather spicy. 6/10
Pros: Carpark but limited lots. Plenty of seats.
#42. Zhen Zhen Hainanese Chicken Rice 珍珍海南鸡饭
100 Eu Tong Sen St, K1011 Eating House #01-01, Pearl’s Centre, Singapore 059812
11am-8pm. Closed Tue.
Chicken (breast): Although cut along the grain, still rather tender. 6/10
Rice: Only a mild fragrance. 6/10
Chilli: So spicy that the touch of lime couldn’t lift it. 6/10
Pros: Plenty of seats. Central.
Cons: Not a long queue but slow.
#41. Hainan Chicken Rice Ball 海南鸡饭粒
43 Jalan Besar, Shin Boon Hwa Coffeeshop, Singapore 208804
T: 9160 4964
8.30am-9.30pm, closed every other Wed
Chicken: Didn’t like it that dark soya sauce was drizzled on the chicken. 6/10
Rice: Not bad. With a garlic aroma. 6.5/10
Chilli: Chokingly spicy. 6/10
Pros: Special herbal soup, like duck rice soup. Plenty of seats.
Cons: Hard to find parking. Expensive. One man show, so quite slow. Gimmicky.
#40. Lucky Chicken Rice
304 Orchard Rd, Lucky Plaza #02-110, Singapore 238863
T: 6738 4175
Chicken: So salty I couldn’t taste the chicken. 5.75/10
Rice: Just a notch softer than al dente but tasted normal. 6/10
Chilli: Garlicky, slightly salty, and the kind of spice that burned to the stomach. 7/10
Pros: Considered as affordable in city. Swift service. Seats during peak hour. Great cabbage soup. Renowned among tourists, including Japanese. I eavesdropped on the Hong Kong tourist who told the server she heard about the place from her friends. Great presentation.
Cons: Ginger is minced, not as a sauce, which is unique but bland.
#39. Uncle Chicken
Blk 120, Bukit Merah Lane 1, Alexandra Village Food Centre #01-76, Singapore 150120
Son of Sin Kee (see #6).
Chicken: Firm, a little over-salted. 6.25/10
Rice: Salty but one-dimensional. 6.25/10
Chilli: Spicy with a fruity taste. 6.5/10
Pros: Near carpark but limited lots. No queue. Great ginger.
Cons: Uncle forgot to give me soup.
#38. 888 Chicken Rice
163 Bukit Merah Central, Bukit Merah Central Food Centre #02-22, Singapore 150163
Chicken: Stringy but tasty. 6/10
Rice: Mildly flavored but a good bite. 6.5/10
Chilli: Super zesty. 6.5/10
Pros: Peanut soup. Friendly auntie. Above a carpark. Plenty seats.
Cons: No ginger.
#37. Evertop Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
Blk 354 Clementi Ave 2 #01-257 Singapore 120354
T: 6774 1353
11am-8.30pm, Closed wed
Chicken: Smooth but tasted normal. 6.25/10
Rice: Loose, had a nice bite, but only slightly aromatic. 6.75/10
Chilli Monotonously spicy. 6/10
Pros: Halal. Serves many other dishes, like a proper restaurant. Friendly service. Plenty of parking. Plenty of tables. Dishes came quickly. Really awesome ginger, as good as Sergeant Kiang Chicken Rice’s.
Cons: N. A.
Cost: $7 chicken for two persons. $0.70 rice a bowl.
#36. Leong Yeow Famous Waterloo St Hainanese Chicken Rice 亮耀驰名四马路海南鸡饭
261 Waterloo St, Waterloo Centre #01-29 Singapore 180261
T: 6334 3989/ 9029 7495
Chicken: Tasty with sesame oil. 7/10
Rice: Nice bite but tasteless. 5.875/10
Chilli: sweet, slightly bitter. 6.5/10
Pros: Central. Plenty of seats.
Cons: No ginger. Long queue.
#35. Yishun 925 Hainanese Chicken Rice
925 Yishun Central 1 #01-249 Singapore 760925
T: 9760 7008
Chicken: So so, drizzled with a sweet sauce that some may not like. 6/10
Rice: Oily, and flavorful. Slightly softer than al dente. 7.5/10
Chilli: Spicy without variation. 6/10
Pros: Near MRT, near carpark. They deliver to your table.
Cons: Short hours. Ran out of ginger.
Cost: $12 for 3 persons (we ordered half a chicken, but they ran out and we were the last customers, so we took their chicken breast.)
#34. Lee Fun Nam Kee Chicken Rice 李范南记
Blk 94 Toa Payoh Lor 4, #01-04 Singapore 310094
T: 6255 0891
Chicken: Very tender but no taste. 6.75/10
Rice: Nice bite, smells amazing, and tastes so so. 6.25/10
Chilli: Limey, not very spicy, and a sweet aftertaste. 6.5/10
Pros: A proper restaurant that serves that stir-fried dishes. It’s more famous for its soy chicken.
Cons: Expensive. The takeaway queue was short, the chicken rice chopper kept chopping non-stop, but the queue moved painfully slow. It was like there was famine, and people were stocking up on chicken rice. The uncle in front of me ordered 2 full chickens, 1 roast duck, and 1 portion of char siew with 4 packets of rice, that means, 4 persons eat so much meh??? Need to so kua zhang or not?
Cost: $4 a packet takeaway.
#33. Heng Ji Chicken Rice 亨记鸡饭
336 Smith St, Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre #02-131 Singapore 050335
3-9pm, Closed Sun
Chicken: Tasty skin. 7/10
Rice: Greasy and tasteless. 6.25/10
Chilli: Not everyone will like this sweet-sour sauce with no spice. 6.5/10
Pros: Fast. Plenty of seats. Lots of other stalls to eat from. Central location. Affordable.
Cons: Not environmentally friendly, and the plastic cutlery feels bad in the mouth.
Cost: $2.50 a plate (+$1 for innards)
#32. Nong Chun Hainanese Chicken Rice 农村海南鸡饭
Blk 408 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, AMK408 Foodhouse #01-805, Singapore 560408
T: 9785 6110
10am – 7pm, Closed Wed
Chicken: Bland and could be tenderer. 5.75/10
Rice: Great texture, not fragrant, but the umami fills the mouth. 8/10
Chilli: Very sweet with a tinge of lime, then the spice kicks in. Not great on its own, but when eaten with chicken and rice, it creates a complexity. 6/10
Pros: Awesome cabbage soup. Inexpensive. Friendly and pleasant young man serving. Car lots plenty but you may have to walk. Sells other stir-fried dishes.
Cons: No ginger.
#31. Nan Xiang Chicken Rice
Block 90 Whampoa Drive, Whampoa Drive Market & Food Centre #01-21 Singapore 320090
12pm-10pm, closed Fri
Chicken: Nice seasoning but tough. 6.25/10
Rice: Garlicky, slightly sweet. 6.75/10
Chilli: Zesty, refreshing. 6.75/10
Pros: Lots of seats. Love the friendly auntie. She can speak Cantonese, English, Mandarin fluently.
Cons: Lots of parking lots, but always packed.
#30. Good Year Local Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball 庆豐年海南鸡饭团
Blk 111 Toa Payoh Lor 1, Chang Cheng Mee Wah Restaurant #01-366 Singapore 310111
T: 6256 5348
11am-7.30pm, Closed Fri
Chicken: The drizzled sesame oil enhanced, not overpowered, the taste of chicken. 6.5/10
Rice: First time here. Thought all rice came in balls, but no. So order clearly. Rice was undercooked, not fragrant, but tasted rich. 6.25/10
Chilli: Spicy, salty, limey. Quite shiok. 7/10
Pros: Great peanut soup, and ginger.
Cons: Not a long queue but slow.
#29. Rex Hainan Chicken Rice and Beef Kway Teow
3 Yung Sheng Road, Taman Jurong Food Centre #03-176 Singapore 618499
M-Sat 10.30am-8.30pm, Sun 10.30am-2pm
Rice: Greasy and not fragrant, but addictive. I’m destined to like oily carbs, fated to be fat. 5/10
Chicken (thigh): So smooth it slid down the throat. Very flavorful. Skin tinged with a saltiness. Umami. 8.5/10
Chilli: Super spicy with an aftertaste of lime. 6.5/10
Pros: No queue. Halal. Hawker guy was nice. He gave a drumstick without extra charge. Tasty bowl of Malay styled soup.
Cons: Hard to find parking. Lots of a**holes drivers cutting queue to carpark.
#28. Nan Heng Hainanese Chicken Rice 南兴海南鸡饭
163 Bukit Merah Central, Bukit Merah Central Food Centre #02-28, Singapore 150163
T: 6273 6993
Chicken: Ok. 6/10
Rice: Fragrant and tasty but greasy. 7/10
Chilli: Zesty and spicy. 7/10
Pros: Above a carpark. Plenty seats.
Cons: No ginger. Long queue, and perhaps the queue doesn’t justify the food.
#27. Fook Seng Goldenhill Chicken Rice 福成金山鸡饭
Blk 37 Jalan Rumah Tinggi, The Coffee Room #01-415/417 Singapore 150037
T: 9777 3318
Chicken (breast): Bad chopping. Shouldn’t have cut along the grain, made the meat tough. But generous portion. 6/10
Rice: with a hint of ginger. Not greasy but could be more fragrant. 6/10
Chilli: Thick and strong. Very shiok. 8.25/10
Pros: Opens early. Ample parking. Cheapest plate at only $2. Not greasy. Feels healthier compared to the rest. Boneless.
Cons: Without GPS, impossible to reach.
#26. Kampong Chicken Rice Chicken House
255 Upper Thomson Road Singapore 574382
Tel: +65 64560698
Chicken: Very tender and tasty. The skin was gelatin and smooth. But I felt like I was paying for bones and skin—little meat. 7.5/10
Rice: Nice bite and tasted of fat. 6.75/10
Chilli: Sour and buttery. Might not suit everyone. 6/10
Pros: Cabbage soup. Very cheerful and friendly people running the shop. They kept laughing.
Cons: Hard to get parking.
#25. Boon Tong Kee 文东记
399/401/403 Balestier Rd Singapore 329803
T: 6254 3937
Other outlets: MacPherson, Whampoa West, River Valley, East Coast, Bukit Timah, Ang Mo Kio
Chicken: Powdery texture but flavorful. 6.5/10
Rice: Well cooked, each grain separated, but not flavorful enough. 6.5/10
Chilli: Garlicky, then spicy. A thick, almost jelly texture. 7.25/10
Pros: Aircon. Good presentation of food. A full-fledged restaurant that serves food other than chicken rice. Parking at Shaw Plaza.
Cons: No soup and ginger. Long queue. GST and service charge. Too commercialized.
Cost: $3.50+ a packet to takeaway. In restaurant, a plate of chicken starts from $5+. Rice at $0.60+. About $7+ per pax.
#24. Nam Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant
201 Upper Thomson Road Singapore 574343
Chicken: Tough, but nicely tinged with sesame oil. 6.5/10
Rice: A slight sweetness. 6.25/10
Chilli: The kind of saltiness I like! Very savory. 7.5/10
Pros: Pungent ginger. Soup seemed to be laced with herbs. Great atmosphere, like a Wong Kar Wai movie. Generous portions. Had an “old school” taste–I think old people would like it.
Cons: Hard to get parking.
#23. Hainanese Chicken Rice 美味芽菜鸡饭
30 Seng Poh Road, Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre #02-47
, Singapore 168898
Chicken: Bland, but such amazing, bouncy texture. 8.25/10
Rice: Bland. 5.75/10
Chilli: sweet, spicy, monotonous. 6.5/10
Pros: Plenty of seats. Cheerful service. Affordable. Parking available.
Cons: Long queue.
Cost: $2 onwards
#22. Mr Chicken Rice
1 Pasir Ris Close, Downtown East #02-120, Singapore 519599
Another retrenched chicken rice chef who worked at Chatterbox for 31 years. How many Chatterbox chefs are roaming around, man? (See Sergeant Kiang #17, and Sheng Kee #7.)
Chicken (breast): Ok. Not outstanding. 6/10
Rice: Really flavorful. Nice bite. Grains didn’t stick together. 8/10
Chilli: Very sour then very spicy. Might be overly so. My lips were on fire. 6.5/10
Pros: Air con. Ample parking. Delicious sweet ginger sauce. Comforting soup.
Cons: Took me 15 minutes to find the shop.
#21. Sing Ho Hainan Chicken Rice 星和海南鸡饭
270 Middle Road Singapore 188993
T: 6336 7579
Chicken: Nicely seasoned with a sweet sesame oil. 7.25/10
Rice: Salty. Rather bland. But if you eat in big mouthfuls, there is a buttery taste. 6.25/10
Chilli: Sweet and spicy. 7/10
Pros: Affordable food in town. Serves other stir-fried dishes. Got seats. Can illegal park along the road and watch out for your vehicle.
Cost: $3.50 a plate. Ours is two persons’ portions ($9).
#20. The Big Bird
271 Bukit Timah Road, #01-07 Balmoral Plaza, Singapore 259708
T: 6734 6022 / 9101 0143
Chicken: Very tasty and tender, but so little. The bird is not big. 7.25/10
Rice: No aroma, cold, but very tasty. 7/10
Chilli: Very spicy, but had a freshness, and it had a taste of capsicum. 6.75/10
Cons: No ginger. No soup. Expensive. Limited parking.
Cost: $12 for 2 persons.
#19. Xiang Ji Chicken Rice 香记鸡饭
Blk 630, Bedok Reservoir Road, Pasar Makan @ Reservoir #01-26 Singapore 470630
11am-5.30pm, Closed Tue
Chicken: Tender but tasteless. 6.25/10
Rice: No wonder they don’t give ginger. The rice has enough garlic to kill vampires. Someone buy this for Edward Cullen. Having so much garlic boils down to personal taste: some like garlic, some don’t. The stall should sell mints too. 7/10
Chilli: Very awesome. Thick, sweet, salty. 8/10
Pros: Near lots of parking. Very patient and friendly lady taking the orders. Great soup, full of chicken fats floating. Very affordable. Lots of seats.
Cons: Stinky breath.
Cost: $2 onwards.
#18. Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice 五星海南鸡饭
191 East Coast Rd Singapore 428897
T: 6344 5911
Other outlets: Cheong Chin Nam Road & River Valley Road
I had lunch at Cheong Chin Nam Rd (because it’s near my office), although the main branch is at East Coast.
Chicken: Very tasty. All pieces came with skin intact. But bony. 8/10
Rice: A bit too soft, and oily, but garkicky. 6.5/10
Chilli: Very limey, very spicy. 6.75/10
Pros: A light, refreshing garlic. Serves other stir-fried dishes. Near parking. Plenty seats. Great homemade barley.
Cons: Air con not working. Soup tasted like maggi mee.
Cost: $4.60 (chicken) + $0.80 (rice)
#17. Sergeant Kiang Chicken Rice 三巡鸡饭
1 Hougang Street 91, Hougang 1 Kopitiam #01-19 Singapore 538692
Sergeant Kiang is the pioneer of Chatterbox‘s chicken rice, Sergeant Chicken at Rasa Singapura, and defunct Jiang Ji Chicken Rice. Now he’s going around Kopitiam, teaching his recipes. (See Mr Chicken Rice #22, and Sheng Kee #7.).
Chicken (breast): Super flavorful and smooth. When eaten with rice, the chicken still stood out. 7.75/10
Rice: Mild with a salty aftertaste. 6/10
Chilli: Got kick with a zesty end. 7.5/10
Pros: Great ginger. Think they used old ginger. Savory lipsmacking soup. Easy parking. Air con. 24 hours. No queue.
Cons: N. A.
#16. Eng Kee Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice & Porridge 英记海南起骨鸡饭
Blk 7 Eunos Crescent, #01-2651 Hong Lee Eating House, Singapore 400007
T: 6743 5520
8am-8pm, closed Th
Chicken: Ok. 6/10
Rice: Nice bite, a little salty. 7.5/10
Chilli: Sweet, limey, spicy. 8/10
Pros: A small but dirty carpark. Rather good soup.
Cons: No ginger.
#15. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice 天天海南鸡饭
1 Kadayanallur Street, Maxwell Food Centre #01-10/11 Singapore 069184
T: 9691 4852
10.30 am to 8.00 pm, Closed Mon
Other outlets: Joo Chiat & Simpang Bedok
(See previous reviews on 19 Jun 2010 and 4 Oct 2010. Also see Ah Tai #4.)
Chicken: Hard. But they drizzled some special sauce. 6.5/10.
Rice: So Anthony Bourdain is right. Tastewise, the best. super tasty with ginger aroma. But clumped together. 9/10
Chilli: Monotonously spicy 6/10
Pros: Central location. A queue but swift.
Cons: No ginger, no soup (sold out). Plastic cutlery kills the environment, cuts the lips.
#14. Pow Sing Restaurant 报喜海南饭店
65 Serangoon Gardens Way Singapore 555961
T: 6282 7972 / 6286 4813
Chicken: Smooth and lightly flavored. 6.75/10
Rice: Nice bite, good quality, but tasteless. 6.25/10
Chilli: Sweet, salty, limey, spicy all at once. 8.5/10
Pros: Many seats. A proper restaurant that serves Peranakan dishes. Prompt service. Awesome ginger, I think made from old ginger.
Cons: Hard to find parking. Aircon not working. Expensive.
Cost: $6+ for a plate.
#13. Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
505 Beach Road, #B1-35 Golden Mile Food Centre, Singapore 199583
T: 6298 6270
Chicken: Seasoned sweetly, but the seasoning didn’t overpower the chicken. Was there seaweed in the seasoning?7.25/10
Rice: Nice bite, salty, with an almost milky aftertaste. 8/10
Chilli: Very spicy, and sweet. 6.5/10
Pros:Cheerful service. You order and they deliver to you. Affordable. Plenty of seats.
Cons:Limited parking. I had to go there 3 times because the stall was closed without prior notice.
Cost: $2.50 onwards
#12. Seng Heng Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice 成兴海南起骨鸡饭
51 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre #02-177, Singapore 588215
T: 9662 4263
10.30am-2pm, Closed Sun
Chicken: Hard, overcooked, powdery, but tasty. 6.25/10
Rice: Great bite, redolent of fat. 7.75/10
Chilli: Limey, gingery, with a kick. 7.75/10
Pros: Near parking but limited lots. Old ginger.
Cons: Long queue even at 11.20am, and it moved slowly because people were buying enough to feed their kampong. When people queue, they tend to overbuy. Be prepared to queue for 30 minutes. They forgot to give me soup. When I remembered, I was already almost finished.
#11. Hainanese Delicacy’s Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice 海南美味佳肴
14 Scotts Road, Far East Plaza #05-116 Singapore 228213
T: 6734 0639
I went twice. There were long queues on both times so I tabao the second time. For the two times I went, I saw the same angmoh buying! Tall, botak, neon pink tee!
Chicken: Seasoned overly salty, but I like salty. 6.25/10
Rice: Very nice bite, and very balanced, not overly heavy and not bland. 8.5/10
Chilli: Dense, and spicy, but too bad it’s monotonous. 7/10
Pros: Affordable in town area. Very considerate. When I tabao, they separated the chicken from the rice.
Cons: Small place, long queue.
#10. (Bugis Street) Ming Kee Chicken Rice & Porridge 明记鸡饭
Blk 511 Bishan St 13, Kim San Leng Food Centre #01-522 Singapore 570511
10am-9.30pm, Closed Tue
Chicken: They dunk it in iced water just before serving, so it is cold, refreshing on a hot day, and has very explosive flavors. The most unique among this list of 52 stalls. 8.5/10
Rice: Great bite, but not aromatic. 6.25/10
Chilli: Not the usual chilli. The dregs and liquid are separated. Not too spicy. 7/10
Pros: Parking nearby. Everyone buys enough to feed an army, but the chopper works fast. Yu Kee is beside it, so if your friend doesn’t want chicken, Yu Kee duck is fantastic.
Cons: No ginger. Sour soup.
#9. Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice 加东美味起骨雞飯
East Coast Road, Stall #3, Basement 1, Katong Shopping Centre Singapore
10.30am-8pm, Closed Mon
Chicken: The light seasoning brings out the natural sweetness of chicken meat. Very smooth texture, with an added crunchiness of the deep-fried garlic bits. 8/10
Rice: Almost bland but tasty with not-too-salty sauce. 6.25/10
Chilli: Viscous and garlicky. 7.75/10
Pros: Ample parking. Great free-flow of appetizing achar and tasty cabbage soup.
Cons: Long queue.
Cost: $11.60 for chicken meat for two.
#8. Chin Chin Eating House 津津
19 Purvis Street Singapore 188598
T: 6337 4640
Chicken: Very smooth, and even the breast is tender. Nicely flavored, but not overly salty. Great skin. 7.75/10
Rice: Mildly sweet. 7.25/10
Chilli: Salty, spicy, zesty 7.25/10
Pros: A proper restaurant, serving other stir-fried dishes. Plenty of seats. Fast service. Affordable.
Cons: Limited parking.
Cost: $13 for half chicken, $0.60 for rice.
#7. Sheng Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice 盛記海南鷄飯
Blk 704 Bedok Reservoir Road, See Beh Ho Eating House, Singapore 470704
T: 9665 4882 / 9116 9506
Another Chatterbox chef! That makes it 3 chefs on the loose, opening their own shops. (See Mr Chicken Rice #22, and Sergeant Kiang #17.)
Chicken: A tad rough but tasty. 6.5/10
Rice: very beautiful texture and nice taste. 7.75/10
Chilli: wahh. Impressive. Limey, spicy, with an aftertaste of saltiness. 8.25/10
Pros: Handsome uncle 老帅. Sells a good siew bak too. Nice cabbage soup.
Cons: No ginger.
#6. Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice (Margaret Drive) 新记驰名鸡饭
Blk 159 Mei Chin Road, Mei Chin Food Centre #02-22
, Singapore 140159
T: 6473 9525
11am-8pm, Closed Mon
The original Sin Kee hawker at Margaret Drive retired, and people rented the same stall space and “borrowed” the name. I’ll not include that stall on this list. A few years later, her son opened this stall, and another son opened Uncle Chicken (see #39).
Chicken: A good clean chicken. 6.75/10
Rice: Super flavorful with a piquant aftertaste. Too bad it was lumpy. 9/10
Chilli: Fruity and sweet. Tasted like dancing chef brand chilli. 6.75/10
Pros: Plenty of seats and there are tables for up to 10 people, great for friends and large families. Near carpark. They deliver to you. Great ginger.
Cons: Super duper long queue. No soup.
#5. Loy Kee Best Chicken Rice 黎记
342 Balestier Road Singapore 329774
T: 6252 2318
(See previous review on 11 Jun 2011)
Chicken (breast) flavorful. 7/10
Rice: Nacreous, al dente, got bite. But the grain didn’t come in a complete grain. 7.5/10
Chilli: Zesty, very strong lime, got kick. 8.5/10
Pros: Minced ginger soaked in oil, not bad. Air con. Parking at Shaw Plaza.
Cons: Slow service.
Cost: $7+ a set including veg and soup.
#4. Ah Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice 阿仔海南鸡饭
1 Kadayanallur Street, Maxwell Food Centre #01-07 Singapore 069184
T: 8137 6559
11am-8pm, closed Tue
Ah Tai is the former cook at Tian Tian (see #15), but fell out with the owner. He set up his own stall now, a few steps from Tian Tian. Talk about vengence!
Chicken (breast): Good chopping skills. Cutting against the grain = tender but still how could breast be this amazingly tender? They should bottle up the gelatinous skin and sell; it was impossible to resist. 9/10
Rice: With a hint of ginger but could be more fragrant. 6.75/10
Chilli: Shiok. Appetizing and burning. Might be too spicy. 7/10
Pros: Longer hours than Tian Tian. Cheerful auntie. Not a long queue. Fast.
Cons: Hard to find parking during peak hours. Hate using plastic spoon and fork: kills the environment, and doesn’t have a good hold.
#3. Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice
101 Thomson Road, United Square Shopping Centre #01-08 Singapore 307591
T: 6255 6396
Other outlets: Novena Ville, Marina Square, 112 Katong, & Makansutra Gluttons Bay
Chicken: A very great bite, chewy and tender, and super flavorful. 8.5/10
Rice: Aromatic of pandan, with a hint of ginger. 7.5/10
Chilli: Spicy, and salty, and the garlic came across strongly. 6.75/10
Pros: Tasty soup, sweetened by radish (I guess). Very thick ginger, one of the better tasting ones. A proper restaurant, serving other cooked dishes. Plenty of parking at United Square or Goldhill. Air con.
Cons: Labor crunch, hard to get servers’ attention. Tables are too near to one another, cannot whisper sweet nothings. No more I love yous.
Cost: $4.80+ a plate of chicken rice. Quarter chicken $8.50, half $16. Rice at $0.80. No service charge, got GST.
#2. Yeo Keng Nam Traditional Hainanese Chicken Rice 杨庆南传统海南鸡饭
8 Braddell Road, Singapore 359898
T: 6285 4261 / 62854153
Chicken: Strong sesame oil taste, covering the taste of chicken. But what beautiful, pristine chicken. 6.375/10
Rice: Fragrant, great bite, flavorful. 8.5/10
Chilli: Limey, spicy with a tinge of bitterness. 8.5/10
Pros: Free but limited parking in a small compound outside restaurant. Air con. Swift and friendly service. Serves other stir-fried dishes. The salad prawns looked awesome. The best soup of all 52 stalls, full of collagen, great for beautifying. Free delivery from $30 onwards. Free-flow of coffee from 3-5pm daily.
Cons: Hard to find the restaurant. Expensive. At first, we thought there was no ginger because we weren’t served and there were no empty ginger bottles. When we finished eating, we saw them refilling ginger in bottles. They must be kept the empty bottles before we came in. They should have told us there was ginger.
Cost: $5.50 (chicken) + $1 (rice)
#1. Hua Kee Chicken Rice 华记鸡饭
85 Redhill Lane, Redhill Food Centre #01-72, Singapore 150085
10am-2pm, Closed M & Tue
Chicken: Nice clean bite, but nothing extraordinary. 6.5/10
Rice: Lumpy but so rich. So garlicky. 9/10
Chilli: Zesty, invigorating. 8.25
Pros: Near carpark (but many cars). Plenty of seats. Generous portion.
Cons: No ginger. Slow, about 30-min queue. Open less than 20 hours a week! They must be making lots of money to work so little.
(i) Singaporeans love chicken rice and are willing to queue for a very, very long time for chicken rice.
(ii) Standards for chicken rice in Singapore are very, very high. Any stall that scores a 6 and above serves delicious chicken rice.
(iii) Big names do not mean they are the best. Boon Tong Kee didn’t even make it to top #20, and Tian Tian not in #10.
(iv) Chicken rice is one of the few hawker food that you can start from scratch, and then open a restaurant eventually.
(v) Although restaurants fare well generally, great chicken rice can still be found at hawker centres. Yay!
Best Rice: Tian Tian (Maxwell), Hua Kee (Redhill), and Sin Kee (Mei Chin Rd)
Best Chicken: Ah Tai (Maxwell), and Ming Kee (Bishan)
Best Chilli: Loy Kee (Balestier), Pow Sing (Serangoon Gardens), and Yeo Keng Nam (Braddell)
Top 10 Chicken Rice in Singapore
#1. Hua Kee (Redhill)
#2. Yeo Keng Nam (Braddell)
#3. Wee Nam Kee (Thomson)
#4. Ah Tai (Maxwell)
#5. Loy Kee (Balestier)
#6. Sin Kee (Mei Chin Rd)
#7. Sheng Kee (Bedok)
#8. Chin Chin (Purvis St)
#9. Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice (Katong Shopping Centre)
#10. Ming Kee (Bishan)
** The five permanently closed stalls are Johnson Hainan Boneless Chicken Rice (North Bridge Rd Market), 7th Storey Hainan Cafe 七层楼 (IMM), Zhan Fa Chicken Rice (Serangoon Ave 3), Rui Kee 睿记 (Owen Rd) and Old Market Shenton Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice 老巴刹珊顿海南起骨鸡饭 (Amoy St Market). I also visited Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice twice, but it was closed for both times. I gave up.
PS: I didn’t differentiate between Hainanese- and Cantonese-styled chicken rice because tasting good is more important to me (who cares about the style? Can be Harry Styles for all I care); because the differences aren’t insurmountable; and because the styles are pretty hard to tell apart these days. Such sacrilege!
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
Categories: $0-$20, Ang Mo Kio, Balestier, Bedok, Bib Gourmand Singapore, Bishan, Boon Lay, Braddell, Bugis, Bukit Timah, Buona Vista, Chinatown, City Hall, Clementi, Commonwealth, Dhoby Ghaut, East Coast, Eunos, Hawker/ Food Court/ Kopitiam, Hougang, Joo Chiat, Jurong, Kovan, Late Night, Lavender, Little India, Marina Bay, Marine Parade, Novena, Orchard, Pasir Ris, Queenstown, Raffles Place, Redhill, Serangoon, Singaporean, Tanjong Katong, Tanjong Pagar, Thomson, Tiong Bahru, Toa Payoh, Yishun