We give you the lowdown on the top spots for this classic local dish.
One of Singapore‘s most recognisable national dishes, there’s no way you can live in the city without trying a plate of chicken rice. In a time of food fads, this unwavering local favourite can sure hold its own. Served with roasted or steamed chicken atop fragrant rice that’s cooked in chicken broth, garlic, ginger and pandan leaves, the iconic dish is best savoured with chilli.
Best chicken rice in Singapore
Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice
The best part of Wee Nam Kee? It serves three different types of chicken: Poached, soy sauce and roasted. The broth is also worth shouting about because of how tasty it is. And don’t forget to top up the chilli – it’s pretty amazing. For a hearty meal, put in an extra order of hotplate beancurd and salted egg pork ribs.
Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice, multiple locations including East Coast and Novena.
Boon Tong Kee
Boon Tong Kee’s outlets usually close late for supper hunters out there. It’s one of Singapore’s more established spots for the local dish, and we can’t get over how fragrant the rice is. Just add a drizzle of soy sauce and chilli, and you can eat it on its own! Also, don’t miss out on the variety of zi char dishes available such as BBQ suckling pig, paper-wrapped chicken and cereal prawn.
Boon Tong Kee, multiple locations including Balestier and River Valley.
What was once an unassuming hawker stall in Chinatown is now a must-try one Michelin-starred haunt for foodies, with several eateries peppered across the island (and beyond!). The chicken here is marinated in soya sauce and roasted to perfection while the tempting rice is cooked in chicken fat – a guilty pleasure reserved for cheat days. Also, say yes to the juicy roasted pork that has the crunchiest crackling.
Hawker Chan, multiple locations including Chinatown and Tai Seng.
Loy Kee Best Chicken Rice
Loy Kee has been serving this dish since 1953, so these folks know what’s up. Fragrant rice? Check. Tender roasted chicken? Check. Tangy garlic chilli? Check. Having nailed the important components of the dish, make sure you get a bit of everything in each mouthful for a well-balanced flavour profile.
Loy Kee Best Chicken Rice, 342 Balestier Road, Singapore 329774
Five Star Kampung Chicken Rice
You can’t argue about the best chicken rice in Singapore without this establishment being thrown in as a contender. Using only kampung chicken, the dish here is less oily but heavy on flavour. Just dip the tender poached chicken in the house-made chilli and ginger, and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
Five Star Kampung Chicken Rice, multiple locations including East Coast Road and River Valley Road.
Evertop Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
Want to enjoy the local dish but need a halal option? Evertop has been doing the classic Hainanese variation for years. The poached chicken might seem plain at first, but together with rice, chilli, ginger and soy sauce, you’ll understand why the place has a loyal fanbase. It first started out at Tanglin Halt, but the small stall has since expanded to several branches and is still enjoyed by many.
Evertop Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice, multiple locations including Joo Chiat and Clementi.
Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Ready to brave the queues at lunchtime? The popularity of this spot is never waning. Tourists flock to it, locals love it, and even the late Anthony Bourdain approved it. The rice is simple but it’s really the cornerstone of this stall. Cooked to perfection in chicken stock, it’s just the right amount of oily and flavourful, the way it should be.
Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, #01-10/11, Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184
Pow Sing Restaurant
Sure, our hawker centres are dear to our hearts. But once in a while, it’s nice to sit in a family restaurant and enjoy the local dish. Famed for the Hainanese-style version, these folks prepare their star dish using only organic, antibiotic-free chickens that have apparently been serenaded with classical music (so they say!). The chicken is tender and the rice is light on flavour yet not too oily, but the chilli and dark soy sauce are something we’re hooked on.
Pow Sing Restaurant, multiple locations including Serangoon Gardens and Jewel Changi Airport.
Jew Kit Hainanese Chicken Rice
With over 20 years of refinement and research, Jew Kit prides itself in mastering the art of preparing Hainanese chicken rice. What’s the secret? The chicken is cooked sous vide, creating the highly sought-after tasty collagen, which complements the fork-tender meat. Also, don’t miss out on fried kang kong and Thai-style fried beancurd for the perfect accompaniment.
Jew Kit Hainanese Chicken Rice, multiple locations including Bukit Timah Shopping Centre and Killiney Road.
Chye Kee Goldhill
If the queue is anything to go by, this is Novena’s worst kept secret. Lines stretch outside the store at all hours of the day… for a reason. This underrated hole-in-the-wall stall shies away from the theatrical dining ambience and focuses on the local dish instead – a true-blue hawker experience for urban explorers. The chicken is succulent, be it steamed or roasted. And for a kick, douse it in lip-numbing chilli. If you’re feeling a little extra, try the fab roast pork belly.
Chye Kee Goldhill, #01-151, Goldhill Shopping Centre, 151 Thomson Road, Singapore 307606
Our national dish in a swish setting? Chatterbox is your answer. Located on the fifth floor of Mandarin Orchard Singapore, the posh restaurant serves an impressive plate of the modest dish, which has been on the menu since the restaurant first opened in 1971. We have no complaints about it… well, except maybe the price tag.
Chatterbox, Level 5, Mandarin Orchard Singapore, 333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867
Ming Kee Chicken Rice
The stall has been doling out this mouth-watering dish since its early years in Bugis. Now located in a humble coffee shop in Bishan, it still attracts a snaking queue from loyal patrons and residents. The proof is in the pudding – we mean, chicken. The meat is steamed and then dunked in an ice-cold bath, creating a gelatin-like layer under the skin, which lends a flavourful bite. Best of all? One plate will only set you back $3.50.
Ming Kee Chicken Rice, #01-522, Kim San Leng Coffee Shop, 511 Bishan Street 13, Singapore 570511