We all have our hawker favourites, but for many, Hainanese Chicken Rice places right at the top of the list. Why? It’s convenient, affordable, and has a complex taste, thanks to the accompanying sauce, chilli and oily rice. We could go on but chances are, you already know what we’re waxing lyrical about.
This beloved dish is so popular it can be found in almost every corner of our island and at every type of eatery, from coffeeshops and hawker centres to standalone stores, hotel restaurants and even fusion cafes. Everyone has an opinion on where the best chicken rice stall is, so we’ve rounded up our editors’ thoughts on the best spots here to indulge in this unofficial national dish.
1. Jew Kit Hainanese Chicken Rice
“Many locals may not have heard of or tried Jew Kit, but it’s actually a renowned Hainanese chicken rice stall that has been around for more than two decades in Singapore. I love everything about the chicken rice here, from the tender chicken meat and fragrant rice to the addictive chilli sauce. Other than chicken rice dishes, they also have an extensive menu filled with many local zi char favourites to explore.” — Sean Tan, Associate Editor, Singapore Women’s Weekly
2. Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice at Katong Shopping Centre
“I’m always so stuffed after a meal there. The chicken is really good, plus I like that they actually give you a proper Chinese soup (instead of some tasteless broth you tend to get at most chicken rice stalls) to go with your meal. You also get a serving of achar — it’s quite unusual but I like that it’s sour and refreshing.” — Sophie Hong, Associate Editor, CLEO
At Katong Shopping Centre #B1-85/87, 865 Mountbatten Rd, Singapore 437844.
3. Boon Tong Kee and Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
“As I’m an Eastie, I don’t wander far for my chicken rice. When there are visitors from abroad, we may take them to Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at Maxwell Market — more for the gram. But for our chicken rice fix, we usually head to Boon Tong Kee on East Coast Road — it’s a classic choice that is known by almost everyone, but we love it because the aunties offer great service, and the chicken is delish. Even closer to home, we get our steamed white chicken rice from Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice at Bedok South Market. The stall serves soft and juicy chicken and I love to drench it with the scrumptious sauce and chilli!” — Barbara Koh, Editor-in-Chief, The Singapore Women’s Weekly
Boon Tong Kee is at 199 East Coast Road, Singapore 428902, tel: 6478 1462 and other outlets. Visit https://boontongkee.com.sg/. Tong Fong Fatt Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice is at 207 New Upper Changi Rd, Singapore 460207.
4. Poh Poh Roasted Chicken Rice
“I’ve been eating from this Serangoon Gardens stall since I was a little girl and when it was still located at a corner coffee shop now occupied by Srisun Express. Back in its heyday there were long queues, especially during lunch hour and weekends. It has since shifted to Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre and the queues aren’t as long, but the chicken rice is still just as good and as flavourful as I remembered. The meat is soft and juicy, the rice fragrant and tasty. I can’t get enough of the chilli which packs a strong garlic punch and is just the right level of spicy.” — Joy Fang, Associate Editor, Digital Trending Desk
At Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre Stall 15, 49A Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555945.
5. Hainanese Delicacy
“This is an oldie but still a goodie. While the queues used to be longer, the baby-bottom-smooth chicken hasn’t lost its oily charm, and the piping hot salted vegetable duck soup (ordered separately) still packs a punch. And the uncles still make you share tables at peak hours.” — Grace Chua, Editor, Brand Lab
At #05-116, Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228213.
6. Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice
“This outlet on East Coast Road is hands-down my family’s favourite chicken rice go-to spot. My son especially craves it, so we eat there about once a week, or every other week. We always order the roasted chicken, because my son gets grumpy if he doesn’t get enough crunchy skin. The rice is fluffy but flavourful. My hubby and I like the chilli sauce (it’s too spicy for my son), but we all like the thick soy sauce. We drizzle it on and stir. Yum! Bonus: It delivers!” — Sara Lyle Bow, Editor-in-Chief, The Finder
At 191 East Coast Road, Singapore 428897, tel: 6344 5911 and other outlets. Visit https://fivestarchickenrice.com/
7. Ming Kee Chicken Rice
Despite the rat problem that caused this coffeeshop to close temporarily some months ago, the queue for the chicken rice here never abates. The supple white chicken meat is served chilled, and you can see the whole birds stored in tubs of cold water in the shop window until you order up. The stall doesn’t serve roast chicken, though. — Grace Chua, Editor, Brand Lab
At #01-522, Kim San Leng Food Centre, 511 Bishan Street 13, Singapore 570511.