Ah Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice @ Maxwell Market

Have you heard about the drama over at Maxwell Market?

If you have read the papers, you would have known about the quarrel Mr Wong Liang Tai (or Ah Tai as he is popularly known) had had with his employer, Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice last October.

For the clueless, Ah Tai used to be the head-chef of Tian Tian who got fired over a dispute.

It was reported that Ah Tai did not manage his workers well and he shouted/threatened them to the point that they felt unsafe at work.

Ah Tai was aggrieved by the accusations. He is further disheartened by the fact that his twenty years of service to Tian Tian went unappreciated.

But that is not the end of the story yet.

Ah Tai is actually the brother-in-law of Tian Tian's founder, Mr Foo Kok Heng. After Mr Foo's demise, the business was taken over by his younger sister, Madam Foo Kui Lian who in turn hand the business to her daughter, Ms Loi.

It was Ms Loi who fired Ah Tai.

The disgruntled Ah Tai made a comeback four months later, by renting the stall two doors away from his ex-employer and started his own business, bringing along with him a key worker from Tian Tian.

Ah Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice Stall #01-07

And that, is the story of the chicken rice war between the two stalls.

Sounds like the perfect script for a TV drama?

Plump, juicy chickens hanging around

I was there at the Maxwell Market an hour before noon so I could avoid the much dreaded lunch time queue.

There was a short queue of about four customers in front of me but the queue moved quite fast. It reached my turn to order in under four minutes.

I ordered the chicken drumstick rice.

Ah Tai's Chicken Drumstick Rice SGD 3.70

Just by looking at the texture of the chicken alone, I was already sold.

It does not matter that the chicken was chopped haphazardly because what matters to me is how it taste.

True to what I have heard, Ah Tai's chicken is indeed very tender, smooth and fleshy.

And the dressing (which I believe is more than just soy sauce and sesame oil) drenched over the chicken tasted so yummy!

Their chili sauce is worth a mention here.

Unlike most places which diluted their chili with vinegar, the chili here is very concentrated.

Be forewarned that the chili is fiery hot so if you cannot handle spiciness well, have a mug of lime juice from the drinks stall on standby!

After eating at Ah Tai, I realised that none of the Hainanese chicken rice I had eaten in all these years could compare with this!

To be fair, I have yet to try Tian Tian but then again, is there a need to since their chickens were prepared by Ah Tai previously?

Maxwell Food Centre
Singapore 069184

Opening Hours:
Mon - Sun: 10.45am to 8pm