Mention the name ‘Tian Tian’ to anyone in Singapore and chances are they’ll know exactly what you’re referring to. Opening its doors at Maxwell Food Centre in 1987, the stall has remained a family business since. Today’s Tian Tian draws snaking queues throughout the day. Tourists can be seen in the lines, patiently waiting for their turn to try this Michelin Bib Gourmand Award winner.
Hainanese chicken rice is a dish adapted from early Chinese immigrants and is considered as one of Singapore’s national dishes. The chicken is prepared in accordance with traditional Hainanese methods, which involve poaching the entire chicken at sub-boiling temperatures. The resulting stock is skimmed off and some of the oil and liquid, along with ginger, garlic, and pandan leaves are used in the cooking of the rice. The dish is always served with condiments of garlic chili, ginger sauce and dark soya sauce.
Opened after their initial bakery shuttered, Lee Meng Li and his wife Wu Jing Hua learnt the art of excellent curry puff making from a relative. Today their long queues and Michelin Bib Gourmand Award is a sure sign of their success. J2’s handmade quality is one of a kind. As such, the Lees only make 500 a day!
Available from Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays | 12:00pm – 1:30pm | S$57 per person
Despite a deceptively ordinary name, Rojak, Popiah & Cockle serves up extraordinary popiah. Owned and operated by the Lim family for more than 25 years, Mrs Lim whips up her delicious popiah with the fluditiy of a master, a dish that is “selected by Michelin’s team of inspectors”.
Popiah - meaning ‘thin pancake’, are hand-rolled spring rolls that make for great comfort food. Kueh Pie Tee is a thin, crispy pastry shell filled with stewed turnip, egg and crabstick.
Rice dumplings are tied intrincately with the Dragon Boat Festival (5th day of the 5th lunar month). The date is to commemorate Qu Yuan, a poet and minister of Chu, who is said to have commited suicide by jumping into the river. The local people raced out in their boats to save him. This is said to have been the origin of dragon boat races. When his body could not be found, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the river so that the fishes would eat the rice dumplings instead of Qu Yuan's body.
Today, there are many variations of rice dumpling. Hoo Kee’s hand made dumplings have been around for 68 years and recently made their way into Michelin Bib Gourmand Awards in 2016.
Available from Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays | 4:00pm – 5:30pm | S$57 per person
Tze Char, literally translated as cook and fry, is usually a stall in a hawker center or coffee shop that serves a modest selection of common Chinese dishes. This wallet-friendly cuisine is very popular among locals, especially for big groups.
Kok Sen has been around since the 1980s, and they have remained a family business. Starting as a small stall in a coffeeshop selling dishes by the plate, its enterprising owner adapted to the improving standards of living and began selling bigger portions for families. In 2000, Kok Sen moved to its current premises and became a full-fledged tze char stall. Chris Wong, the current owner, quit his job and took over from his parents.
Today Kok Sen regularly churns out irresistible dishes and old-school tze char dishes beloved by many. Being awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand Award should come as to no surprise for fans of the restaurant.
Available from Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays | 7:00pm – 9:00pm | S$97 per person
See iconic sights as your food is brought to you. Enjoy your sumptuous meal while you travel past iconic sights– the Singapore Flyer, Merlion Park, Chinatown, among others – before hopping off at Gardens by the Bay for a short strolled.
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Gardens by the Bay
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