Chef Han Chicken Rice

Update (July 2011): This stall has ceased operations.

Who is Chef Han? He is Chef Han Seng Fong, former executive sous chef at Mandarin Orchard Hotel — birthplace of the legendary Chatterbox chicken rice.

After working there for more than 30 years, Chef Han left this year to open his own chicken rice stall at Centrepoint’s new basement foodcourt, which is a mere 5-minute walk from Mandarin Hotel.

Hainanese chicken rice, S$4.50

Hainanese chicken rice, S$4.50

Naturally, Chef Han’s connection to Chatterbox proved to be an irresistible draw. During their opening promotion in March, response was overwhelming. I know cos I went there to recce. The queue was so long it s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d- to the carpark!

Since then, the curious crowds have dispersed. I’ve eaten at Chef Han’s twice, both times during lunch hour on weekdays. There’s a steady stream of customers, but no queue.

The standard was consistent both times I ate there.

The rice: The grains were plump and had good texture. Well-rounded flavors with pleasant taste of chicken stock.

The chicken: Quite disappointing. Although the breast portion was tender, the meat lacked flavor and was too “wet” (maybe it was soaked in ice for too long after cooking?). But the skin had a nice bounciness. Also, they flattened the meat with flat side of the cleaver, a practice I personally dislike.

Chilli sauce: Hot and zingy! Very shiok, but I’d prefer a touch more tangy lime. The ginger sauce was also not bad.

Soup: Surprisingly, this was my favorite part. The soup was really tasty, not like the usual plain, tasteless type you get at other chicken rice stalls. This one had bits of radish, cabbage, and wolfberry. Nice!

Presentation: More posh than the usual hawker or foodcourt-style chicken rice. The meat was placed over a bed of shredded lettuce, and adorned with a cherry tomato on the side. This is perhaps the strongest resemblance to Chatterbox’s version.

At a quarter the price of Chatterbox’s posh chicken rice, I wouldn’t expect the same quality or quantity. However, if I had eaten this at a blind taste test, I wouldn’t have guessed this was connected to Chatterbox.

On the whole, it was ok, but they seriously need to improve on the chicken.

Chef Han Chicken Rice
176 Orchard Road
#B2-101, Centrepoint
Stall 13, Foodcourt @ The Basement
Singapore
238843

Daily: 10am to 10pm

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Comments

  1. Shu Ping says

    Hi Julia,

    I am Shu Ping from Fulford PR. One of my clients, inSing.com, is organising a Hawker Lover contest and I would like to send you some information regarding it. I am unable to locate your email address on your food blog, hence do you mind contacting me at spkhew@fulfordpr.com when you see this message?

    Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.