18 best chicken rice stalls in Singapore

·11-min read

Where’s the best chicken rice in Singapore? I’d like to think that my love for chicken rice is unparalleled. Could I have it for lunch everyday? Sure. Dinner as well? You bet I’ll try.

In Singapore, where Hainan-adapted chicken rice is regarded as a national delicacy, there is no shortage of the dish that need not be served hot for enjoyment. Instead, save for the most convenient stall-next-door, it probably is difficult to agree on which cook did it right. As more discerning gourmands today, our idea of perfection can be marred by a snide remark from the waiter, a stiffness in the seat, or even an unsavoury food delay.

But in the pursuit of perfection, where chefs adapt and innovate, traditional chicken rice has far outgrown the old rice ball techniques (although there are still a few stalls around carrying it) and standard offerings of supplements.

1. Xing Yun Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice 幸运海南起骨鸡饭

Image of Xing Yun's chicken rice
Image of Xing Yun's chicken rice

Located in the far west, I stumbled upon Xing Yun Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice one day when I was exploring Yuhua Market and Food Centre, and decided to try it out. Tender and soft, the chicken meat is a tad oily but rice has a nice fragrance and is cooked perfectly. They specialise only in ‘white’ chicken meat, closing pretty early once they sell out.

Blk 347 Jurong East Avenue 1, Yuhua Market and Food Centre, Singapore 600347
Mon & Thu to Sun: 7am – 2pm
Closed on Tue & Wed
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2. Pow Sing Restaurant 报喜

Image of Pow Sing's chicken rice
Image of Pow Sing's chicken rice

At the Nyonya-influenced Pow Sing Restaurant, the likes of Curry Fish Head and Prawn Paste Chicken are available on top of their flagship chicken rice. Though a commercialised retooling has transpired since its 1983 opening in the vicinity, the restaurant remains true to the traditional standards of perfectly-sliced, chilled Hainanese-style chicken rice.

The fragrant rice here is far from oily, so it doesn’t exactly pack a ton of flavour. But rest assured that the ginger and chilli sauce can be used copiously in your meal.

78 Airport Boulevard, Jewel Changi Airport, #B2-201/202, Singapore 819666
Daily: 11am – 9pm
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3. Tian Tian Chicken Rice 天天海南鸡饭

Image of Tian Tian's chicken rice

Perhaps best known to Shenton Way workers in the form of a takeaway lunch box and famous all around Singapore as the best chicken rice, Tian Tian the original at Maxwell makes a traditional set of chicken rice that has sprouted many of its kind around the country. The inviting gloss of its crystal chicken skin and beloved oily rice are some reasons you should visit the large stall before 11am and after 2pm to enjoy a quieter meal at your own pace. Even Gordon Ramsay couldn’t beat Tian Tian when he challenged Singapore hawkers.

Refer to locations, contact numbers and opening hours here

4. Ming Kee Chicken Rice 明记鸡饭粥

Image of Ming Kee's chicken rice
Image of Ming Kee's chicken rice

During meal times, expect to queue at least 45 minutes at Bishan’s Ming Kee, which dishes out crystal chicken feet and bean sprouts together with the basic chicken rice add-ons. Also note that the chilli here is a little watery.

While it’s an open secret that chicken (especially white chicken that Ming Kee solely dispenses) should be chilled in ice at the end of cooking, the chicken here is extra succulent and cold as the butcher prepares the meat a la minute from the ice bucket. This is Seth’s personal pick for best chicken rice in Singapore.

511 Bishan Street 13, Kim San Leng Coffee Shop, #01-522, Singapore 570511
Mon & Wed to Sun: 10am – 8pm
Closed on Tue
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5. Bruce Lee Chicken Rice

Image of dishes at Bruce Lee Chicken Rice
Image of dishes at Bruce Lee Chicken Rice

Located at East Coast Road, Bruce Lee Chicken Rice was a bonus find for me, considering how hidden it is. A plate of rice will come alongside a yummy serving of chicken mixed with crispy taugeh, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and braised tofu, doused in a secret savoury sauce, soup, and an unlimited serving of achar!

Image of a piece of Bruce Lee Chicken Rice's roasted chicken
Image of a piece of Bruce Lee Chicken Rice's roasted chicken

Have you ever had a piece of crispy-skinned pork belly that left you speechless? Well, that’s what you can expect here. The chicken skin is incredibly crispy to the point of it being ASMR-worthy, but it is also succulent. All I had to do was brush the back of my spoon over the skin to receive a soothing-to-the-ear crackling sensation. Not forgetting the spicy chilli here that will inadvertently get you screaming for waataah!

396 East Coast Road, Singapore 428994
Daily: 8am – 7.30pm

6. Chin Chin Eating House 津津

Image of Chin Chin's chicken rice

Like Pow Sing, Chin Chin dishes out more than just chicken rice and has become home to many families searching for a bountiful and affordable dinner. I must make special mention of its delectably oily rice that is my preference. At Chin Chin, overcooking of the chicken is strictly refrained, which at times results in reddened meat near the bone.

Otherwise, effective cooking here ensures you wait no longer than 10 minutes for your serving of chicken rice.

19 Purvis Street, Singapore 188598
Daily: 11am – 9pm
Website

7. Lee Fun Nam Kee Chicken Rice & Restaurant 李范南记

Image of Lee Fun Nam Kee's chicken rice
Image of Lee Fun Nam Kee's chicken rice

A little off the Toa Payoh Police Centre is open-air restaurant Lee Fun Nam Kee, famous for its rich and tender soy chicken as well as the sweet-savoury gravy that is most complementary with its dry rice and other meats. Its roasted pork features a madly crispy skin as well.

Pricing may come as a little shock with the rather long wait you have to endure while seated.

94 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, #01-04, Singapore 310094
Mon to Wed & Fri to Sun: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 9pm
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8. 紫金城 Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice

Image of Hainanese Boneless' chicken rice

I can’t be sure how much weight this may bear, but rumour has it that this Alexandra Village stall sells founding father Lee Kuan Yew’s favourite chicken rice. The boneless chicken that comes with a side of acha is very evenly sliced by the butcher and its soft skin is dressed heavily with soy sauce. Together with the fragrant and soft grains, you’ll be guaranteed a tender meal overall.

120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Alexandra Village Food Centre, #01-15, Singapore 150120
Mon to Sat: 10am – 8pm
Closed on Sun

9. Hua Kee Chicken Rice 華记鸡饭

Image of Hua Kee's chicken rice

Lovers of bone and cartilage will be pleased to know that Hua Kee thickly slices its chicken without removing the often sinewy bone. As a dedication to meat freshness, the stall with rather firm rice chooses not to operate on Mondays, for its chicken supplier cannot provide imports then.

Hua Kee also closes a little after lunch time, perhaps because the owners like an early rest or that they tend to shy away from the spotlight.

85 Redhill Lane, Redhill Food Centre, #01-72, Singapore 150085
Tue to Sun: 8am – 3pm
Closed on Mon

10. Kampong Chicken Rice Chicken House

Image of Chicken House's chicken rice
Image of Chicken House's chicken rice

A direct translation of Kampong Chicken Rice Chicken House does an objectionable injustice to its kampong-procured chicken that it chooses for flavour intensity in all its rice, soup, and flesh. Kampong chicken is also known to be leaner and healthier, and can be distinguished from its yellow skin, but not as juicy as other chicken rice stalls though.

Close up of Chicken House's steamed chicken
Close up of Chicken House's steamed chicken

There are two branches, one at Upper Thomson and the other at Lorong Kilat which is a tad more ulu. The chicken is also sold out typically quite early at 5pm.

55 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574382
Daily: 10.45pm – 5pm

11. Yishun 925 Hainanese Chicken Rice 义顺925海南鸡饭

Image of Yishun 925's chicken rice

20 years of serving people living in the Yishun district has prepared Yishun 925 Hainanese Chicken Rice to effectively tackle the slew of lunch orders they receive daily. The juicy chicken that is coated in a thick layer of soy sauce is cooked at what the owners deem the optimal temperature. And because it is strictly boneless here, you can be guaranteed an equitable share of chicken for your money.

They also have multiple outlets all over the island, be sure to head on over to the one nearest to you to check them out!

Refer to locations, contact numbers and opening hours here

12. Nam Kee Chicken Rice and Restaurant 南记鸡饭餐室

Image of Nam Kee's chicken rice
Image of Nam Kee's chicken rice

Nam Kee is one of the oldest chicken rice restaurants in Singapore, with heritage going back more than 30 years. Many of our parents or even grandparents love this stall for its old school, no frills decor and classic chicken rice. They also serve a variety of Chinese zi char dishes in this restaurant that makes it perfect for family dinners. Staff are known to be grouchy in these super old restaurants though, so don’t expect much service.

201 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574343
Daily: 10.45pm – 8.30pm
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13. Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice (Changi Village)

Image of dishes at Tiong Bahru Hainanese Chicken Rice
Image of dishes at Tiong Bahru Hainanese Chicken Rice

If you are looking to escape the crowd at Changi Village Hawker Centre and for a hearty plate of chicken rice, Tiong Bahru Boneless Hainanese Chicken Rice, a hidden gem that deserves your visit. Compared to some of the acclaimed brands in Singapore, the chicken here is smooth and not too oily while managing to retain its juiciness. The steamed chicken here also doesn’t come with the familiar jelly-like skin as well. 

Not only does their chicken rice put a smile on your face but the shop has a nice rustic feel to it, which definitely puts the ‘village’ in Changi Village. Besides, where else can you find a decent plate of food for just S$3 these days?

5 Changi Village Road, #01-2037, Singapore 500005
Daily: 10.30am – 9pm

14. Boon Tong Kee 文东记

Image of Boon Tong Kee's chicken rice
Image of Boon Tong Kee's chicken rice

After exploring chicken rice balls, we present the chicken rice pyramid at Boon Tong Kee— that’s how they plate their rice. Another well-known chicken rice brand in Singapore, I found that since expanding multiple outlets Boon Tong Kee has steadily increased prices while the restaurant gets fancier with other dishes, losing its original charm. Still, quality has been pretty consistent among the various outlets although it isn’t as good as it used to be.

Refer to locations, contact numbers and opening hours here

15. Katong Mei Wei Boneless Chicken Rice

Image of Katong Mei Wei's chicken rice

At Katong Mei Wei Boneless Chicken Rice expect to find lurid colours emblematic of creative visual appeal displayed in the bright yellow rice, soups, complimentary achar, and glistening chicken. Other than the yellow, I’m no advocate for the slightly dry rice, but the cold and tender chicken is doused in an incredibly tasty soy sauce that I always use on the rice. Once you are acquainted with this sauce, pretty much everything on that plate will disappear.

You’ll be able to recognize a generous business once you’re offered two types of home-quality soup, three kinds of sauces, and a limitless container of achar with your chicken rice order. Also, because they’re so efficient, a 15-minute wait should be the maximum at peak hour.

865 Mountbatten Road, Katong Shopping Centre,  #B1-85/87, Singapore 437844
Tue to Sun: 10.45am – 7pm
Closed on Mon

16. 169 Hainanese Chicken Rice

A close up of 169 Hainanese's steamed chicken
A close up of 169 Hainanese's steamed chicken

You’ll realise at 169 Hainanese Chicken Rice that the stall doesn’t have an extensive menu, but then again, great establishments shouldn’t have to. It’s a baller move that’s testament to just how much confidence they have in their offerings, and I respect that.

Think silky smooth skin marinated in an umami soy sauce, softer than many of its other counterparts by a mile, that’s the kind of chicken you can look forward to when you’re here.

335 Smith Street, #02-169, Singapore 050162
Mon to Tue & Thu to Sun: 11am – 3pm
Closed on Wed

17. Qi Lin Xuan Chicken Rice Ball

Image of Qi Lin Xuan's chicken rice ball
Image of Qi Lin Xuan's chicken rice ball

The difference between Qi Lin Xuan’s chicken rice and the others you see at most hawker centres is that the rice is moulded into balls. Commonly found in Melaka and also a part of Hainanese culture, this process may seem like a marketing gimmick— but believe it or not, there have been theories as to why the rice is shaped like that. 

Glistening in the light, the skin of the roasted chicken is the first thing you’ll notice. The meat here is soft and tender, and also boneless. The chicken comes with three separate rice balls that surprisingly wouldn’t break as easily! 

Block 422, Jurong West Avenue 1, #01-758, Singapore 640442
Daily: 7am – 11pm
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18. Leong Yeow Famous Waterloo St. Hainanese Chicken Rice 亮耀

Image of leong yeow's chicken rice
Image of leong yeow's chicken rice

One of the more affordable options in the area, Leong Yeow has very tender roast and white chicken along with delectable char siew and sio bak. The chicken comes all oiled up and the chilli is also not too spicy yet still having its distinct fragrance. Leong Yeow is probably the most famous chicken rice hawker stall in the Bras Basah area, so you know you’re at the right stall when you see the long snaking queue.

261 Waterloo Street, Nan Tai Eating House, #01-29, Singapore 180262
Daily: 11am – 8pm

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