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From chicken feet to chicken meat, with rice – Chicken Rice!

@ Amoy Street Food Centre (next to Tanjong Pagar MRT station)

Hainanese Chicken Rice

If you haven’t heard of Chicken Rice before coming to Singapore, it means that you didn’t do any search about Singapore at all!

The Hainanese Chicken Rice (Hainanese: a Chinese dialect group) has its roots from Hainan in China, where a community of the early settlers in Singapore came from. Chicken Rice is so fantastic because of the tender and juicy meat, and the oh-so-flavourful rice.


The Chicken

There are several versions as to how the chicken is prepared. Generally it is prepared with ginger, garlic and spring onion. Most of the stalls offer 2 types of chicken – the white chicken and the roasted chicken, but there are some that specialise just in the white chicken. When served, the chicken is drizzled with a light sauce.

White chicken
White chicken

Some stalls dip the white chicken in icy water once it’s cooked and this makes the texture of the chicken skin more springy – a little like jelly. A very small number of stalls give you the option to have the chicken meat served cold.

*Tip: By default, breast meat is served on your chicken rice. If you prefer the more tender thigh meat, just let the stall holder know and pay just about $1-$2 more.


The Rice

The rice is so flavourful that people like to order more rice (about $0.50-$1 more). It is cooked using the chicken stock from the preparation of the chicken, pandan leaves, garlic and ginger.


The Sides

Some stalls offer braised hard boiled eggs, braised tofu, chicken heart (you’ve got us right), beansprouts, or vegetables as side dishes to go with chicken rice. The prices for these range from $1 to $3 per piece or portion. A portion of chicken rice often comes with a small bowl of soup.

You will definitely find garlic chilli to go along with Chicken Rice. (In fact, chilli in all forms can be found at almost all food stalls/restaurants – no one really asks for ketchup unless they are at a fast food joint.) The garlic chilli definitely gives the extra oomph to the already satisfying meal! Can you just imagine how heavenly this is??! You will also find dark sauce and blended ginger paste to go with Chicken Rice. You can grab a saucer or two of these condiments at the stall counter.

Ah Cha appetizer
Ah Cha appetizer

A handful of stalls offer Ah Cha free of charge, which is a mixture or carrots, cabbage, vinegar and sugar. This acts as an appetizer. You might find Ah Cha served together with other Singaporean food as well, such as Nasi Briyani.


Where to find

Chicken rice is everywhere – in 99% of food courts, coffeeshops and hawker centres. A plate of Chicken Rice costs $3 on average at a coffeeshop or hawker centre. At a food court (air conditioned in shopping malls), it costs about $4 per plate. Some might come in a set meal with a portion of vegetables and this could cost about $5. Probably the most expensive Chicken Rice can be found at Meritus Mandarin Hotel at more than $22 per portion.


You could try:

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice  (a few branches – click for link to website)

Hainanese Delicacy (14 Scotts Road, #05-116 Far East Plaza)

Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice (865 Mountbatten Road, Katong Shopping Centre, food court in the basement)

5 Star Hainanese Chicken Rice

Ming Kee Chicken Rice and Porridge (Blk 511, Bishan Street 13, Kim San Leng Food Centre, #01-522)

White chicken and roasted chicken
White chicken and roasted chicken

*Try eating chicken feet! Watch us!

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