Ah-Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice: The Chicken Rice War at Maxwell Road Food Centre
The man who has been cooking at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice (#01-10) for more than 20 years has set up his own place – Ah-Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice (#01-07), just three stalls away from his former employer at Maxwell Road Food Centre.
A chicken rice war broke out when the cook behind Tian Tian Chicken Rice, Mr Wong, was sacked last October. Upset at being sacked after 20 years behind the stove, Mr Wong opened his own stall in the same food centre after 4 months later.
After people find out that he has set up shop nearby, many make a beeline for it. Judging from the snaking queues at Ah-Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice when we were there last Saturday for lunch, it seems to be winning.
Taste-wise, Ah-Tai’s chicken is more tender, juicy and has a smoother texture, which is definitely better than Tian Tian.
The rice is grainy and fragrant but I felt it was too dry for my liking.
As for the chilli sauce, Tian Tian’s chilli sauce is a winner for me because it has more tangy kick. Ah Tai’s chilli was much thicker and more spicy.
Prices at Ah Tai starts at $2.50 a plate, compared to $3 at Tian Tian.
So if you are in Maxwell Food Centre, try both chicken rice and compare notes. Tell me which one you like better!
Ah-Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice
Address: 1 Kadayayanallur Street, #01-07 Maxwell Food Centre
Tel: +65 8137 6559