With National Day (9 Aug) around the corner, it is apt that much attention has been drawn to one of our most popular local dishes: chicken rice. Well-loved by many both young and old, chicken rice is our source of comfort food – and we dare say we could eat it every day! Think we are exaggerating? Check out our rundown of where to eat the best chicken rice in Singapore, and try it out for yourself!
What is chicken rice?
Chicken rice is a dish of poached chicken and seasoned rice that is sometimes served with cucumber and tomato garnishes. There are many different recipes and techniques for making chicken rice, many of which stem from Hainanese and Cantonese cultures. Its flavour comes from rice grains that have been pre-fried in chicken fat and cooked in chicken broth. It is usually sold with a bowl of soup, bean sprouts, and some hard-boiled eggs as well. For a more enhanced flavour, many choose to add dark soy sauces or chilli sauces to the mix.
Why is chicken rice so popular in Singapore?
Originally created by immigrants from Hainan in southern China, chicken rice was popularised in Singapore in the 1950s by Moh Lee Twee. Moh was the owner of the famous Swee Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant, which operated from 1947 to 1997. Chicken rice has since been considered one of Singapore’s many national dishes because of its simplicity. It is now served in most coffee shops and hawker centres, and there are also some restaurants that specialise in chicken rice.
Will there be a shortage of chickens in Singapore?
From 1 June 2022, the Malaysian government has curbed the export of chickens to ensure that there is sufficient supply in the domestic market. This is due to the rising cost of rearing chickens, which has sent prices soaring in recent months. With Singapore importing about a third of its chicken from Malaysia, the export ban has caused great worry among Singaporeans.
However, the Minister of State for Home Affairs and Sustainability and the Environment, Desmond Tan, has assured us that there will not be a chicken shortage. Singapore is expected to receive more chicken imports from several countries in the coming weeks. This includes chilled chicken from Australia and Thailand, and frozen chicken from Brazil and the USA.
Best chicken rice restaurants in Singapore
1. Boon Tong Kee
With eight outlets to its name, Boon Tong Kee is definitely another frontrunner on our list of best-roasted chicken rice restaurants in Singapore. Whether you’re at Buona Vista, Ang Mo Kio or even Tampines, there’s bound to be an outlet near you! Convenience aside, their standard of chicken rice has remained consistent since it was founded in 1979. Its rice is firm and not too oily, with chicken that packs a punch with its strong aroma. You can also expect a beautiful plating in its signature chicken rice pyramid style. Psst, do try their in-house sauces too – it’s definitely on par with the best chilli sauces in Singapore!
Address: 18 Cheong Chin Nam Road, S(599742)
Check out their other outlets here
Mon – Fri: 11am – 2.30pm, 5pm – 9pm
Sat – Sun: 11am – 3pm, 3.30pm – 9pm
2. Wee Nam Kee
It seems like every F&B chain that ends with the word ‘Kee’ offers up some of the best Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore. Case in point: the Wee Nam Kee franchise that has been around since 1987. The main highlight of its chicken rice is the rice, which is fluffy and fragrant without being overly surfeiting. In addition, they serve generous portions of chicken that are perfectly cooked. They also offer a wide range of meat and seafood dishes to complete the meal. Still not convinced? The brand has since opened outlets in Indonesia, Japan and The Philippines too – so it must be that good!
Address: 101 Thomson Road, #01-08, S(307591)
Check out their other outlets here
Opening Hours: Daily, 10.30am – 8.30pm
3. Pow Sing
The founders of Pow Sing Restaurant have worked hard over the last few decades to remain true to the traditional standards of perfectly chilled Hainanese-style chicken rice. This is evident in their steamed chicken which has a soft texture that is subtle but springy too. Meanwhile, their rice is far from oily, so you can rest assured that it is a healthier choice. You can also choose to complement the dish by adding other of their bestsellers including the curry fish heads and prawn paste chickens. No wonder this is one of the best Hainanese chicken rice restaurants in Singapore!
Address: 59 Serangoon Garden Way, S(555961)
Check out their other outlets here
Opening Hours: Daily, 10.30am – 9.30pm
4. Lee Fun Nam Kee
Expanding from a small hawker stall in Toa Payoh to the open-air restaurant it is today, Lee Fun Nam Kee has definitely come a long way. With a history dating back to 1968, it is without a doubt one of the best-roasted chicken rice restaurants in Singapore. While its menu might be slightly pricey, we assure you that you will get your dollar’s worth. What we love most is its rich and tender soy chicken that is soaked in sweet-savory gravy. You’re literally promised a plate full of goodness! There are also other kinds of meat you can get like barbecue pork and honey roasted pork that all come with super crispy skin. Boy, we’re getting hungry just thinking about it!
Address: 94 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, #01-04, S(310094)
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 9pm
5. Chin Chin Eating House
When it comes to the best Hainanese chicken rice stalls in Singapore, it’s hard to miss out on Chin Chin Eating House. Here, the chicken is prepared using traditional Hainanese methods which involve poaching the chicken at sub-boiling temperatures. The stock is then skimmed off and some of the fat and liquid is used in the cooking of the rice. On top of a detailed cooking process, the restaurant also offers other Southeast Asian-influenced dishes such as chap chye and mutton soup. This gives you more options to complement your chicken rice!
Address: 19 Purvis Street, S(188598)
Tue – Sun: 11am – 9pm
Best chicken rice stalls in Singapore
6. Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice (Holland Close)
Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice has three stalls islandwide, and they all have different owners. So we wouldn’t blame you if you were confused over which Sin Kee stall is the best. While they all have their merits, we think the Holland Close store is most worthy of your buck. Located in a simple HDB coffee shop, its nostalgic vibe makes it the perfect location to share the best-roasted chicken rice in Singapore with your loved ones. Taste-wise, the rice leans on the oilier side but is rich in flavour and aroma. But what seals the deal for us is its tangy chilli sauce which is mixed with vinegar and lime that instantly enhances the flavour of the chicken rice!
Address: 6 Holland Close, #01-36, S(271006)
Opening Hours: Daily, 9am – 8.30pm
ShopeePay Deal: Choose ShopeePay as your payment method at Sin Kee to enjoy up to 2% cashback (maximum 100 Shopee coins)!
7. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
If you work near Shenton Way, chances are you’ll probably have patronised Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice for lunch before. Located at the heart of Maxwell Food Centre, the stall is known for its hustle and bustle during lunch hours. And we can totally see why! With an inviting gloss from its crystal chicken skin and rice that is cooked in chicken stock to perfection, it is the way the best Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore should be. In fact, even American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain reviewed the place to have chicken rice “so fragrant and delicious that it can be eaten on its own”. See, we weren’t kidding when we said we could eat chicken rice all day!
Address: 1 Kadayanallur Street, Maxwell Food Centre, #01-10/11, S(069184)
Tue – Sun: 10am – 7.30pm
8. Ming Kee Chicken Rice
Located at Kim San Leng Coffeeshop in Bishan lies Ming Kee Chicken Rice, a quaint little stall that serves up some of the best-roasted chicken rice in Singapore. If anything, its long queues are a testament to how good it is! In fact, you can expect to wait for up to 45 minutes during peak hours! While it might put some people off, we assure you that it will be worth your while. Their crystal chicken feet are extra succulent and jell perfectly with a plate of vegetables or bean sprouts. There are also steamed chicken sets priced affordably below $10 – what a steal!
Address: 511 Bishan Street 13, #01-522, S(570511)
Wed – Mon: 10am – 8pm
9. Leong Yeow Famous Hainanese Chicken Rice
The price of food in the Bras Basah area is known to burn a hole in your wallet. So if you’re looking for an affordable lunch option there, Leong Yeow Famous Hainanese Chicken Rice might be right up your alley. As one of the best-roasted chicken rice stalls in Singapore, we love how generous they are with their servings of tender roast and white chicken. They also offer delectable char siew and sio bak so you’ll be spoilt for choice for sure! Oh, and did we mention that we especially love their chilli sauce? It’s not too spicy but yet leaves a distinct fragrance!
Address: 261 Waterloo Street, Waterloo Centre, S(180261)
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am – 8pm
10. Xing Yun Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
If you’re ever feeling star-crossed, a plate of chicken rice from Xing Yun Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice might cheer you up! After all, ‘Xing Yun’ literally means ‘lucky’ in Mandarin. Jokes aside, we were wowed by how tender and soft the steamed chicken meat is. We also love how the chicken is boneless – no more accidentally biting on pesky chicken bones! Additionally, rather than the usual eggs and cucumber, each plate here comes with a slice of tomato and pineapple. It might sound like an odd combination but it surprisingly goes really well with the fragrant chicken rice. Surely a mark of one of the best Hainanese chicken rice stalls in Singapore!
Address: 347 Jurong East Avenue 1, Yuhua Market & Food Centre, S(600347)
Wed – Mon: 7am – 2pm
Best halal chicken rice spots in Singapore
11. Enak-Enak Hong Kong Tea House
Enak-Enak Hong Kong Tea House may be known as one of the best halal dim sum restaurants in Singapore, but did you know that it serves up some yummy halal chicken rice too? Whether roasted or steamed, you have the option to add more meat or even choose a drumstick instead. And that’s not all they have to offer. With rave reviews for their salted egg chicken that’s buttery and rich, you’ll likely want to order that as a side dish. What’s more, since it’s located at East Coast Park, this best halal chicken rice restaurant in Singapore provides an alfresco dining area by the sea! We could definitely appreciate such chill vibes!
Address: JUMBO Seafood (East Coast Seafood Centre), 1202 East Coast Park, S(449881)
Mon – Fri: 11am – 4am
Sat: 11am – 5am
Sun: 8am – 4am
12. MacKenzie Rex Restaurant
Established in 1966, MacKenzie Rex Restaurant definitely has decades of experience serving up some of the best halal chicken rice in Singapore. Priced affordably below $10 as a set, this is the most value-for-money place to eat with your loved ones, especially if you’re going as a big group! Other than its succulent chicken skin, we recommend having some of their chilli too. The sour tang adds the perfect touch to the dish! Alternatively, you can add their chilli crab and bitter gourd beef as side dishes that will bring a spicy kick to your palate. And if you want extras, you can always call in delivery when you’re back home!
Address: 66 Prinsep Street, S(188668)
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am – 10pm
13. Sedap Corner Nasi Ayam Hainan
Some say that hawker centres hide some of the best halal chicken rice stalls in Singapore. And the humble Sedap Corner Nasi Ayam Hainan at Bukit Batok is one of them! There’s really no need to venture out of the heartlands for some good quality chicken rice. With juicy and tender chicken that has been steamed to perfection, you’ll love every bite of goodness from this stall. We suggest adding on some braised egg or tofu to complete the meal. It’s definitely enough to keep you going for the whole day!
Address: 640 Bukit Batok Central, #01-40, S(650640)
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am – 9.30pm
14. Evertop Chicken Rice
It would be impossible to list the best halal chicken rice spots in Singapore without including Evertop Chicken Rice! Since its establishment in 1989, it has since racked up a loyal fan base of all ages. Its succulent chicken meat is soft to the touch and can be smelled from a mile away. With mouth-watering rice and the addition of achar, we can totally see why many would choose to visit the stall again. And can we just say that it is so worth it to purchase the chicken rice as a set? This is because it comes with servings of fried wantons and stir-fried baby kailan too. Colour us impressed!
Address: 89 Joo Chiat Road, S(427383)
Mon: 10.30am – 10.30pm
Tue: 10.30am – 9pm
Wed – Sun: 10.30am – 10.30pm
15. OK Chicken Rice
If OK Chicken Rice rings a bell in your head, it’s probably because of their successful social campaign in 2020. The stall made waves over the Internet when it started a “Cheer Up” campaign in an effort to deliver sponsored meals to healthcare workers during the pandemic. With such outstanding community outreach efforts, it’s nice to see how the stall has been gaining traction for its crispy and succulent chicken too. And if you still can’t get enough of the chicken, you can always buy them with steamed porridge and curry noodles too. These scrumptious plates have proven time and again why it is one of the best halal chicken rice stalls in Singapore.
Address: 721 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, S(560721)
Check out their other outlets here
Opening Hours: Daily, 10.30am – 9.30pm
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*Do note that the voucher is only viewable on mobile
Enjoy the best chicken rice in Singapore today!
Regardless of the chicken supply, we’re sure chicken rice will always remain a well-loved dish in our local cuisine. But if you’re up to trying other meat alternatives, these best meat delivery vendors will be your best bet. For more local delights, check out our extensively curated list of the best local snacks in Singapore that everyone loves. This includes halal options for our Muslim friends such as the best kueh lapis and best rendang spots!
This article was updated on 18 June 2022. Additional research done by Jamantha Lim.
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