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Tian Tian (stall #10 in Maxwell Food Center), Singapore

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Tian Tian (stall #10 in Maxwell Food Center), Singapore

cimui | Jan 1, 2008 12:54 AM

That Tian Tian is one of the tastiest chicken rice stalls in Singapore is no secret, of course: it's written up in countless guidebooks and dining bibles of wide distribution. But I suppose I was personally surprised at how tasty the chicken rice, there, actually was given how mundane the dish sounds on paper and how much of the clientele must be comprised of tourists. Obviously, I have no expertise when it comes to SIngaporean dining, but to my tastebuds (which began life exposed to wonderful Chinese food and, more recently, all that New York City has to offer), it really is that good.

For anyone who has not yet had the pleasure of having it, chicken rice is a simple dish of rice cooked with chicken broth, served with stewed chicken and cucumber slices. It is more paella than risotto: The grains of rice remain distinct. The chicken, though a bland, pale white in appearance, is wonderfully flavored with just a touch of ginger and salt. The skin of the chicken, which apparently some people are foolhardy enough to ask be removed, is a lovely texture, as well. It is gelatinous without being slimy. The crisp, clean taste of cucumber is a perfect foil for the dish. Simple. Perfect.

There is a stall a little ways off from Tian Tian, whose number I didn't write down, that serves up a delicious pig organ soup, as well. I'll have to swing by, again, tomorrow, to take more notes.

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