Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice 天天海南雞飯

It feels like mum and dad are never home these days and they disappeared again for a few days this weekend after having done so last weekend. Lucky that we never developed separation anxiety syndrome (we only suffer from not-enough-treat syndrome). Last week they kept talking about Portuguese food in Macau and dim sum at the old Lisboa; now they talk about the funeral that they went to and Hainanese chicken rice.

The urge for food hunting goes in the family, it's little wonder that we feel hungry all day long. They went to the Maxwell Hawker Center after they landed in Changi Airport. It was almost 3 in the afternoon and there was still this queue of 15-16 people outside the small shop front of Tian Tian. Grandpa was there securing a table while dad queue behind a Japanese couple with their baby in a pram. It was a multinational queue with local people as well as Japanese youngsters and Hong Kong girls. All Asians though, strange given that mum and dad only learnt about the place from Antony Bourdain's TV Series "No Reservations". Enough preamble. Cut right to the chicken and the rice. Chicken was very soft and smooth and the rice was very fragrant. The chilli sauce was hot!! Unlike most other shops, it didn't have crushed ginger. If queues of people don't put you off, then this shop probably offers you the best chicken rice that money can buy and best of all you don't pay a lot for the privilege to try. For a whole chicken, you pay SGD 22 and you pay no extra for having half a chicken, ie SGD 11. And the rice which in Bourdain's word "so fragrant that you can just eat on its own" cost just SGD 50 cents.

Again no pictures taken, but plenty of other bloggers have theirs on flickrs and here is a good recent example. The picture quality is better than what you will see in the shop now, as the real ones have severely faded colours. You can see Bourdain's endorsement on the right-hand top corner. Right next to it, there was a Japanese article comparing chicken rice in Singapore "チキンライス 食べ比べ", this perhaps explains why there are so many Japanese in the queue. In fact there's a blog entry about the shop just 5 days ago in Japanese.

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