Daily: 10.30 am - 10.30 pm
Located on Joo Chiat Road, Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice (Joo Chiat) serves Hainanese styled chicken rice
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Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice needs no introduction. Rated as one of the best chicken rice in Singapore, its original shop in Maxwell market drew the crowd like no others. During meal time, expect the queue to stretch around to shop to the open air car park. And that's not all, most of the tourist guide, blogs or other food reference, recommend Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice ('Tian Tian) as a must try in Singapore.
In 2013, when Singtel Invited Michelin Stars Chef Gordon Ramsay for Hawker's Challenge. Representing Singapore National dish, Madam Foo, the owner of Tian Tian, won hands down and send Godron back to UK licking his chops. Prior to that, Anthony Bourdain and other celebrity food host have given their seal of approval to this establishment.
Since Madam Foo has come to a ripe age, the second generation has come in to continue the business. With that the expansion of Tian Tian begun and this time around we visited the shop in Joo Chiat.
The set up is an upgraded version comparing to Maxwell Market Food Centre. It is air-conditioned with simple and minimalistic furniture. Today we have 3 hungry guys for lunch, we ordered 1/2 steam chicken ($14), 1 portion of giblets and heart ($4), Hainanese Pork Chop ($8) and small baby kailan ($6). Oh not forgetting the Rice ($0.80) per plate.
The rice is fragrant, flavourful, plump and fluffy. It does not stick to each other. The chicken is plump, silky and succulent. There is skin and meat does not stick to each other and the breast meat us as succulent as the thigh meat. The same can be said about my favourite part of the chicken as well, the bishop. It is springy and full of flavour. Although it is a bit oily, it's just irresistible. The best part, they remove the smelly part from it.
The giblets and kidney tasted clean, no gamey smell. I like giblets because of its crisp and chewyness, while the kidney has a velvety texture.
Hainanese Pork Chop is thick yet tender. However, the meat is not as tasty but it is well fried, coated with panko and not too oily. The traditional tomato sauce, provide the sweet and sour flavour to the dish. The vegetables are fresh, crunchy and tasty, stir fry with garlic.
Service is average. As we are seated near the entrance, it is very difficult to get their attention. There is at one point, you can't even see them. Although the set up is minimum, at least it is air-conditioned so you won't sweat too much if you had too much of the chilli.
Overall, it is a good place to have Tian Tian Chicken Rice if you don't want to line up in Maxwell Market. However, I must admit their standard is not as equivalent as their main store. The chicken is missing the X-Factor compare to the one I had in Maxwell. Kind of lost in transition. Cheers!!
My wife heard good reviews about Tian Tian and requested that we tried it so I went and ordered take away for 5 packs of Hainanese chicken rice. The restaurant was almost empty when I reached before 6pm.
The waitress on hearing my order of 5 packs suggested that I order 1 whole chicken for $28, while big pack is $5.80 and small is $3.80. I called my wife to double check what they want and decided on 1 big pack and 4 small packs of Chick Breast meat.
Another waiter took over the ordering and instead of accepting my order, kept pushing for one whole chicken with reason along the line small pack has very little meat after they chop the chicken so better to chop one whole chicken. When I insist on my order as we don’t need such big portion, he finally and unwillingly wrote the order, hastily tore out the slip and told me to pay at the back.
When I paid and walked back to the front counter, most of the chicken rice had been packed and I saw the ones still chopping are chicken breast meat. I then saw the waiter put 2 small tubs of ginger which I promptly requested for one more. He replied while pointing to the small chilli tub “We don’t give so many and the chilli itself already has some ginger.” I was just about had enough and was going to give him a piece of my mind when the cashier who looked like the manager told the waiter to give one more ginger tub.
When I got home and opened the packs, we found out of the 5, only 3 are chicken breast meat.
My unpleasant experience of aggressive upselling, condescending attitude when customer didn’t go for the upsell and then purposely prepared wrong order leaves such a bad taste that I decided to register and share my experience.
There is absolutely no reason for me to patronise this restaurant ever again as there are other comparable or better chicken rice with better service nearby such as Boon Tong Kee, 5 Star and Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice.
I am a chicken rice fan. I can also cook chicken rice with very tender chicken. I just had a plate of chicken rice at Tian Tian Joo Chiat.The place had about 5 empty tables so I just walked in and asked for permission to sit at a table. The guy raised his voce at me and said dont I know I have to queue outside? I was puzzled what queue, Then the chicken meat was so tough my jaws actually hurt. I have never eaten chicken tougher than badly cooked lamp. I could only eat the rice and cucumber.. When paying I gave feedback nicely. The cashier said they are very famous so no way the chicken is lousy. Quite arrogant and big time bo chap. That's ok I won't be going there again. I will go back to Boon Tong Kee while further away serves much much better food.