Last Updated: April 10, 2020
We love sharing good food recommendations with you, but for now, keep these recommendations as bookmarks—visit them only when the COVID-19 situation ends. Stay safe!
Whenever I tell people I live in Katong, it always inspires envious sighs. The aspiring influencers love the colourful and charming heritage shophouses. Not to mention, the artisanal gelato, French bakeries and minimalistic coffee scene.
Well, for the hardcore foodies, they know that Katong is home to a certain famous nasi lemak, wonton mee and best of all, chicken rice. You are spoiled for choice when it comes to chicken rice in Katong.
There is Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice, Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice and now Nan Xiang Chicken Rice. The holy trinity of chicken rice if you will.
Nan Xiang Chicken Rice has been on the corner of Tanjong Katong road for ages and is a favourite, come lunchtime. When I got there, there was already a steady queue in front of the stall. As a true blue Singaporean, this was a testament to its quality.
Take note that during this COVID-19 period and especially with the circuit breakers in place, #stayhome as much as possible and don’t join long queues for stalls. We visited earlier in the year, before this situation fully took hold.
Like any good chicken rice connoisseur, I ordered both the Steamed Chicken Rice (S$4.50) and Roasted Chicken Rice(S$4.50). I also ordered a plate of Roasted Meat and Char Siew (S$10.50) for two people for good measure, and because any diet goes out the door when you’re here.
We’ll start with the Steamed Chicken Rice, a bona fide classic. A generous serving of chicken doused in a secret savoury sauce sat atop a mound of fragrant chicken rice. I do have to admit; when it comes to chicken rice, I am more inclined to the roasted variety.
Even though there are obvious merits and skill involved in preparing a stellar plate of steamed chicken rice, the somewhat gelatinous skin always stops me short. There have been a few too many scarring experiences—that being said, I was willing to give Nan Xiang Chicken Rice a shot.
My fears were unfounded. The skin was jelly-like and tasty; I found myself not minding the texture at all. The chicken was so soft and silky and slid apart when I tore into it.
Utterly satisfying and delicious, this steamed chicken has my vote for sure.
Another defining quality of chicken rice has to be, well, the rice. You want it redolent and aromatic with that ginger-garlicky goodness that you can smell before you even taste it. The rice was indeed fluffy and flavourful but lacked a slight oomph for it to be truly mind-blowing.
Don’t get me wrong; this was still a stellar plate of chicken rice.
I opted for breast meat for my Roasted Chicken Rice, seeing as it was one of my preferred cuts. Breast meat has a reputation for being dry and tough, so it serves as a good barometer for any chicken rice purveyor.
For this one, I drizzled a liberal amount of dark soy sauce just for little umami kick with the roasted chicken.
Just like their steamed chicken, Nan Xiang’s roasted chicken was juicy, moist and flavourful—no complaints here.
To truly complete your meal, a mouth-watering plate of Sio Bak and Char Siew (S$10.50 for two pax) seems in order. Thick and hefty slices stood before me glistening in the early afternoon light; a glorious plate indeed.
I went immediately for the char siew, these cuts were thick and flanked by a tantalising layer of fat. They were a little anaemic and not as charred as I would have liked, but they were still tender to a fault. This one did lean a little sweeter, and I would have preferred them to have those smoky notes char siew is known for.
This was not the best char siew I’ve had, but one that still hits the spot.
Now, their sio bak was a different story. Crispy, crunchy skin on the top and translucent layers of tantalising fat in between tender sections of pork—that’s how you know you’re in for a treat. Not too salty and still retaining a good bite, this one is worth all the calories.
Nan Xiang Chicken Rice certainly promises a satisfying meal. From their superb chicken to their mouth-watering roasted meats. I would have thrown in some duck if I had still had space left, but alas, even I have my limits.
If you are in the area and have a craving for chicken rice Nan Xiang Chicken, remember to #tapauplease and enjoy all that Nan Xiang has to offer in the comfort of your own home.
Expected Damage: S$4.50 – S$10 per pax
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Nan Xiang Chicken Rice
271 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 437054
271 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 437054