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A Complete Guide to the 10 Best Chicken Rice in Singapore

Chicken Rice
Photo Credit: Kenny Mah

History of Chicken Rice

Hailing from the Hainanese community, these immigrants brought over the recipe during the 19th and early 20th centuries and introduced it to Southeast Asia. Adapted from Hainan’s wenchang chicken (文昌鸡) dish, the Hainanese Chicken Rice was made with a similar cooking style for both its chicken and rice. The chicken would be poached while the rice was cooked in leftover chicken stock.

In Singapore, the dish was only popularised in the 1950s after the Moh Lee twin brothers opened a restaurant, Swee Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant. However, such restaurants only began opening during the Japanese Occupation after the Hainanese lost their income.

Present Time

Chicken Rice is now one of the most common dishes found in Singapore and is mostly available in 3 different options: steamed, roasted or soya sauce chicken rice. This dish is not only popular dish locally, but also overseas! With it being one of our most recognisable dishes, Chicken Rice is served as a menu option on certain Singapore Airlines flights and is an important part of our food heritage.

With Chicken Rice being such an icon, there are also multiple fusion dishes or spinoffs that involves or has been inspired by it such as Chicken Rice Tea by ETTE Tea Company and Hainanese Chicken Rice Risotto by Stateland Coffeehouse.

Here are 10 stalls you should visit to try out some good chicken rice!

1. Tian Tian Chicken Rice

Tian Tian Chicken Rice
Photo Credit:

With its flagship store located at Maxwell Food Centre, Tian Tian Chicken Rice is famous among tourists for being the best chicken rice hawker stall in Singapore, with snaking long queues especially during lunch hour.

Having been around since 1987, Tian Tian What stands out about Tian Tian is that it has a history of “beating” Gordon Ramsay in a “Hawker Heroes Challenge”, has been recommended by Anthony Bourdain (American celebrity chef), was visited by multiple celebrities such as Chow Yun Fat and was featured in the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand.

Tian Tian’s strength lies in its fragrant rice and its house-made dressing that is drizzled over the tender poached chicken, giving it more flavour and overall depth to the dish. To enjoy the dish better, we do advice you to try it with the chilli sauce! With a decent portion of rice, chicken and a bowl of soup, the meal costs about $5, which is an average price for a hawker meal.

Address: 1 Kadayanallur Street #01-10/11 Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore 069184

Opening Hours: Tues – Sun, 10am – 7:30pm

Nearest MRT Station: Maxwell (Thomson East-Coast Line)

Price Range: $5 - $10 per pax

2. Hawker Chang Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle

Hawker Chan Soya Sauce Chicken Rice
Photo Credit: Libby Curran

Popular in both Singapore and overseas, Hawker Chan is famous for its soya sauce chicken that’s cooked with the chef’s secret sauce. Offering Cantonese soya sauce chicken, roasted pork and char siew, it comes in rice, noodle and hor fun options. The full menu can be seen here.

With its humble roots starting at a small stall in Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, Chef Chan was an apprentice of a Hong Kong chef. It was during this apprenticeship that he learned and developed the soya sauce chicken recipe, his signature dish.

In July 2016, Chef Chan was awarded a Michelin Star from Michelin Guide Singapore and even received the titles of “The World First Hawker Michelin-starred Meal” and “The Cheapest Michelin-starred Meal In The Word”. It was also known as the world’s least expensive Michelin-starred meal in the past, amounting to $2.50 in the past.

Chef Chan even went on to open franchise restaurants not only in Singapore but in countries such as Australia, Thailand, China and more.

Address: 78 Smith Street, Singapore 058972

Opening Hours: Daily, 10:30am – 8pm (last order: 7:30pm)

Nearest MRT Station: Chinatown (North-East Line / Downtown Line)

Price Range: $7 - $21

3. Evertop Chicken Rice

Evertop Chicken Rice
Photo Credit: Evertop Chicken Rice Facebook

Not every chicken rice stall is halal so for those who are wondering where to get halal chicken rice, this is one of the stalls for you to consider! Known for having the “best halal chicken rice” according to reviews on Facebook, Evertop Chicken Rice has 2 stalls located at Clementi and Joo Chiat.

With roasted, steamed and even a special Thai-style chicken option, the chicken is served with achar. There is a chicken rice lunch set meal ($9) which is served with fried wantons and stir-fried baby kailan in oyster sauce. Though the appearances may be slightly lacking, your tastebuds would be blown away!

What really stands out about the place is their roasted chicken that’s soft, simply melting in your mouth, the fragrant rice that’s slightly on the oily side and its chilli that’s spicy but not overpowering.

If you are not able to go down to either of the 2 stalls to dine, you can also order takeaway or self-pickup at their website, deliveroo or oddle!

Address: Blk 354, #01-254, Clementi Ave 2, Singapore 120354

Opening Hours: Daily, 10:30am – 9:30pm

Nearest MRT Station: Clementi (East-West Line)

- Will also take a 14-minute walk as it’s a void deck restaurant.

Price Range: $6 - $20

4. Hainan Chicken Rice Ball

Hainan Chicken Rice Ball
Photo Credit: Esther Yeon

Boasting a 105-year-old recipe, Hainan Chicken Rice Ball was synonymous with Jalan Basar, with Shing Boon Hwa Food Centre being its home. The stall was first started in 1947 at Sungai Road’s infamous Thieves Market and later moved to Jalan Besar, where it stayed for almost 40 years before relocating to its current location at Maddox Canteen Bar.

Chicken Rice Ball is a dish that can be traced back to the 1920s, with the dish being locally popularised by Moh Lee Twee, who ran the well-known Swee Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant from 1947 – 1997. Hainan Chicken Rice Ball is one of the few remaining stalls that still rolls its rice into tennis-sized balls.

This stall is famous for its steamed chicken and the iconic Hainanese chicken rice balls that hailed from Malacca. The rice balls are hand-rolled with technique, giving it a compact shape but was able to crumble easily when bitten or cut into. The rice is aromatic and had small bits of fried garlic & shallots while not being overly greasy.

Address: 1002 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-3752, Singapore 159456 Maddox Canteen Bar

Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 10:30am – 2:30pm

Nearest MRT Station: Redhill (East-West Line)

- Will also take a 15-minute walk.

Price Range: $5 - $10 per pax

5. Boon Tong Kee

Boon Tong Kee Chicken Rice
Photo Credit: @jorringlyfats

Since 1979, Boon Tong Kee has been serving Cantonese chicken rice at a small Chinatown stall before moving to open their first restaurant at Balestier Road in 1983. Loved by both Singaporeans and tourists, Boon Tong Kee is famous for its silky white sauce chicken rice! Their signature boiled chicken is made using a treasured recipe and served with a special chicken sauce.

Their poached chicken is tender yet savoury while the rice is delectably fluffy with a glossy sheen from the chicken fat. To complete the meal, you must try it along with their dark sweet soy sauce, garlic chili and the crushed ginger! Each outlet has their own respective set of recommended dishes, allowing you to discover different kinds of Chinese home cookery styled dishes as well!

If you are unable to dine at any of the 8 outlets, you can also opt for delivery! Boon Tong Kee also offers buffet catering from their Ang Mo Kio branch or their chicken rice combo sets if you want to satiate your hunger at an event!

Address: 399, 401 & 403 Balestier Road, Singapore 329801

Opening Hours:

Mon – Fri: 11am – 3pm (last order: 2:30pm), 5pm – 11pm (last order: 10:30pm)

Sat: 11am – 11pm (last order: 10:30pm)

Sun: 11am – 10:30pm (last order: 10pm)

Nearest MRT Station: Toa Payoh (East-West Line)

- Board Bus 145 and alight at Zhongshan Mall before walking for about 5 minutes.

Price Range: $13 - $20 per pax

6. Loy Kee Chicken Rice

Loy Kee Chicken Rice
Photo Credit: aoi_8823

Since 1953, Loy Kee has been serving authentic Hainanese chicken rice and is a local favourite. It was such an icon for Hainanese chicken rice that in March 2020, it was even recognised by the National Heritage Board of Singapore as one of Singapore’s Heritage Brands!

The recipes and cooking techniques have been passed down through 3 generations, with each of them making everything from scratch. They are famous for their roasted chicken rice, with its tender and juicy roast chicken, paired along with fluffy fragrant rice.

Their Loy Kee Special Set ($9.80) is a must try! It includes their Hainanese chicken, fragrant rice, a plate of fresh kai-lan/Chinese broccoli and a bowl of soup. They also offer delivery/pick-up services on their website, deliveroo and foodpanda!

Address: 342 Balestier Rd Singapore, Singapore 329774

Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 10am – 9pm, Sun: 10am – 10pm

Nearest MRT Station: Novena (North-South /Downtown Line)

- Board Bus 124 and alight at Opp Blk 104 (2 stops) before walking for about 5 minutes.

Price Range: $7 - $40

7. Hoe Kee Kitchen 和記雞飯小厨

Hoe Kee Kitchen Chicken Rice
Photo Credit: Daniel Food Diary

Featured in the Michelin Guide Singapore, Hoe Kee Kitchen和記雞飯小厨was awarded a Michelin Plate in 2021 and is always seen with a long queue that can go up to 30 mins - 45 mins, with the dish normally getting sold out by 1:30pm – 2pm. This long queue begins forming as soon as the stall opens!

Specialising in Hainanese chicken rice, their fresh steamed chicken is tender across all portions while the rice is fragrant, with some claiming that they can eat the rice by itself. Paired with a zesty garlicky chilli sauce with a strong fragrance, this stall has one of the best chick rice chilli to date! Other meal options include reasonably priced char siew and roasted pork rice!

Another reason for Hoe Kee Kitchen’s popularity is their affordable meal. They continued to sell their food without upping their prices despite the rising cost of ingredients. One plate of chicken rice would cost only $2.50 (last checked in June 2022).

Address: Jurong West 505 Market & Food Centre, Blk 505 Jurong West Street 52 #01-39, 640505

Opening Hours:

Mon: 10:30sm – 3pm, Tues – Wed: 10am – 6pm, Fri – Sun: 10am – 6pm

Nearest MRT Station: Lakeside (East-West Line)

- Board Bus 515 and alight at Blk 526 (2 stops) before walking for about 3 minutes.

8. Chicken House

Chicken House
Photo Credit: theRantingPanda

Famous for its kampong chicken, Chicken House is an eatery that’s been around since 2002 and loved by the locals, especially those that stays in the area. Even during off-peak hours on weekdays, there would still be a queue despite its old school vibe.

Kampong chicken, unlike normal chicken, are allowed to roam free and raised in a way that supposedly gives them sweeter and leaner meat with less fat. Due to its low-fat content, the kampong chicken that’s distinctively yellow is not as oily as the normal roasted/steamed chicken.

The rice on the other hand is milder compared to its usual counterpart, with hardly any grease. The dish is served with grated ginger and spring onion, along with a saucer of thick and spicy garlic chili!

Address: 255 Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574382

Opening Hours: Daily, 10:30am – 7:30pm

Nearest MRT Station: Upper Thomson (Thomson East-Coast Line)

Price Range: $5 - $10 per pax

9. Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice

Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
Photo Credit: Yeoh Wee Teck

Located at the popular Tiong Bahru Market, Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice has been around since 1988 and is known for their signature steamed chicken rice! The stall has also been recognised, having received the Michelin Bib Gourmand, is included in the Michelin Guide and has even been visited by overseas celebrities such as Chow Yun Fat (Hong Kong actor)!

The secret to their fragrant and fluffy rice is the addition of onions! This gives the rice a sweetness that others don’t have. The owner, Cheong Weng Wah, learnt how to make chicken rice from a friend who previously worked at Mandarin Hotel, that’s famous for its Chatterbox Chicken Rice. With the help of his friend, Cheong was one of the few to use the uncommon method of blanching the chicken in iced water for its tenderness and texture, back in the past.

They have the steamed chicken rice as their signature, but their roasted chicken rice is just as good too! Aside from the chicken rice, you can order other dishes such as soy sauce vegetables and handmade ngoh hiang rolls! They have multiple outlets across our island as well! Locations include Smith Street, Clementi, Ang Mo Kio and Tampines!

Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-82, Singapore 168898

Opening Hours: Wed – Sun, 10am – 8pm

Nearest MRT Station: Tiong Bahru (East-West Line)

- Take Bus 33 (one stop) before walking for about 2 minutes.

Price Range: $3 - $7 per pax

10. Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice

Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice
Photo Credit: Wee Nam Kee Website

A popular local food chain with 7 outlets in Singapore, Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice has been around since 1987 and has accumulated quite a few accolades and prestige across the years. Its Hainanese chicken rice is a fond memory for many Singaporeans, both for the older and younger generations, and has even expanded to having outlets in other parts of Asia, spreading the taste of home.

Founded by the late Mr Wee Toon Ouut, he developed a discerning palate as his father was a Head Chef on a ship while basing the cooking off his mother’s passionate care. To maintain the quality of their chicken rice, only the freshest chickens are used while the fragrant rice is infused with garlic-ginger. The sauces that goes along with the dish are made in-house, with some claiming that it has one of the best condiments.

Aside from the steamed chicken, their roasted chicken is just done as well, with many diners usually getting a mixed plate of steamed and roasted chicken rice, getting the best of both worlds! Wee Nam Kee also offers a range of other dishes such as curry fish head, prawn roll and hotplate beancurd, as well as delivery services through deliveroo !

Address: 101 Thomson Road, #01-08, S307591

Opening Hours: Daily, 10:30am – 8:30pm

Nearest MRT Station: Novena (North-South / Downtown Line)

Price Range: $7.50 - $49.20

Want to find out more about Singapore's food?

If you would like to learn more about the different food that Singapore offers, do consider checking out our small group tours, possibly booking and customising private tours with us or reading our mega-zine to discover where to visit next or what other interesting foods to try out!


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