First Impressions of Maxwell’s Tian Tian Chicken Rice

by Jul 31, 2017

Imagine you just landed in Singapore and are on the hunt for something to satiate your post travel hunger pains. You’ve Googled what to eat around here and discovered a bevy of national dishes. There’s all kinds of choices, ranging from noodles to soups to roti’s and everything in between.

But don’t let the familiar names fool you though, Singapore has put their own signature mark on these iconic South East Asian dishes that you may not be familiar with. One vendor though, Tian Tian Chicken Rice found at Maxwell Food Centre has a tendency to stand out in a sea of culinary options.

Tian Tian Chicken Rice has helped put the Hainanese dish on the map through sheer tenacity of being a stalwart fixture in Singapore’s ever changing food industry. TTHCR is in the news. They are eaten by a lot of people. They are eaten by a lot of celebrities. They are eaten by a lot of chefs and celebrity chefs alike. So to say that they have been around would be an understatement.

tian tian chicken rice maxwell original plate

What is Tian Tian Chicken Rice?

But wait…

You may or may not be wondering what is all the hub bub about this dish…

This chicken dish…. This Chicken rice dish. It’s only Chicken and Rice, right?!

Well, you are both right and wrong. YES, it is chicken and rice. And NO, it is not. It is much more than simply just chicken and rice, at least it is when it’s properly put together on a plate in perfect harmony with each other slathered in tangy chili garlic sauce.

tian tian chicken rice maxwell plate placed on tray

Why Tian Tian Chicken Rice?

Tian Tian chicken is very tender with the right juicy texture achieved through an ice cold bath after boiling. The rice has a certain amount of chicken flavor and pandan aroma infused within from constant tending. Their sauce is a subtle blend of sweetness, saltiness, chili and garlic. What I’m trying to say is, that this chicken rice dish can have as much or as little flavor as you want it to be.

Tian Tian, they are a solid first step into understanding more about what you want from your chicken.
And rice.

Tian Tian has been doing this family run operation for nearly 30 years now and have it pretty much down to a science. They have streamlined their cooking techniques to give the most chicken to the masses, covering a lot of general tastes in the process.

Of course, as with most things as personal as eating, you might have a peculiar preference when it comes to taste. For example, some people don’t like egg yolks (who doesn’t like egg yolks?) while some other people love cheese; to each their own.

tian tian chicken rice maxwell ordering line

Where is Tian Tian Chicken Rice?

Tian Tian Chicken Rice can be found in downtown Singapore, a 30ish minute drive West of the Changi International Airport, known as the Downtown Core or lovingly called CBD (Central Business District). Centrally located in this area is a hawker center that efficiently feeds as many people, both tourists and local alike as quickly as they possibly can.

The name of this hawker is Maxwell Food Centre and it’s close to everything. Coming from the main street, passing countless other various hawkers and equally hungry patrons, you can find Tian Tian Chicken Rice taking up 2 stall spaces in the back center aisle intersection.

Most days, you can spot this blue signed hawker by the long line of food seekers wrapped around the corner stretching into yonder.

  • Less than a 10 minute walk from Chinatown
  • It’s very own metro station is being built
  • It’s near other hawker centers
    • Amoy Street Food Centre – Lunch time weekday option. Less than 8 minutes away
    • Chinatown Complex – All day, all week food and beer hawker and wet market. Less than 7 minutes away
    • Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market – Smaller all day, all week hawker and wet market. Less than 10 minutes away

tian tian chicken rice maxwell half chicken oyster sauce vegetables liver hearts bean sprouts zoom

Would We Go Tian Tian Again?

After everything is said and done, my bottom line regarding Tian Tian Chicken Rice is that they are a solid choice for chicken rice. You could not go wrong in going to them for your first introduction to Hainanese chicken rice. They are relatively easy to get to, easy on the wallet, and just tasty enough to satisfy every palate.

With that being said, and I know this may set some people off but honestly, if there’s a long line then please, please, PLEASE don’t wait in it. There are a number of other chicken rice spots in Maxwell Food Centre. There are a few in the very same aisle as Tian Tian.

Do yourself a favor, if you’re anything like me and you find that long lines take away from the overall eating experience then eat somewhere, something else. There’s plenty of other places, with smaller or no lines which taste very similar, and some completely different from what can be had at Tian. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll go if it’s convenient, but I wouldn’t wait in 30 minute long line to try this.

But that’s just me.


Get out there and remember, “You’re going to eat, it might !”
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Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice


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