Singapore is known for Hainanese Chicken Rice and it also happens to be one of my favourite dishes so I decided to try two very well known places in Singapore for this.
The first place I went to was called Chatterbox and it's located on Orchard Road, inside the Mandarin Orchard. It's a bit more on the pricier side ($30SGD) so I had high hopes for this.
The chicken was quite tender and juicy but everything else was more or less just so-so. For the price I was paying, I definitely expected a 'wow' factor. The soup was a little on the salty side and I thought the rice was a little hard (it could be just a preference thing though) and the sauces were just ok.
I also tried Tian Tian, which is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Chatterbox. Located inside the Maxwell Food Centre (basically an outdoor food court), their hainanese chicken rice was sold for only $3.50SGD!! As you can see, there's a bit of a queue but the line moved quite fast.
I think the only thing they sell here/only thing people order is their hainanese chicken rice but look at the amount of chicken!
Instead of the elaborate plating from Chatterbox, this was your simple hainanese chicken on rice with the sauces on the side. The chicken was definitely not as tender or juicy as Chaterbox's but their sauce had that 'wow' factor- a special housemade spicy sauce. For the price of $3.50SGD though, this was for sure worth every penny! I had the chance to talk to a local afterwards about hainanese chicken rice and she told me that most hainanese chicken places are more or less the same. How they differentiate which one is good is by their sauces (something new I learned since I thought it was the chicken that was the make or break!)
We didn't really get a chance to explore the rest of the food court but we did try fresh coconut juice which was refreshing on an extremely hot day.
Overall, I thought Chatterbox's chicken appealed to me more but $30SGD is a little pricey for a lunch. Tian Tian has the more bang for buck and if you're a fan of anything spicy, then you will for sure love their sauce. If I was a local, I'd be at Tian Tian quite a lot I think.
333 Orchard Road (inside the Mandarin Orchard)
nearest MRT station: Orchard
Tian Tian Haianese Chicken Rice
1 Kadayanallur Street (inside the Maxwell Food Centre)
nearest MRT station: Telok Ayer