[Singapore] Chatterbox - Most Expensive Yes, But Best Hainanese Chicken Rice?
Aside from chili crabs, Hainanese chicken rice is another must-try national dish in Singapore and trying to get the consensus on the best chicken rice was super hard as everyone had their personal preference when I asked around. Chatterbox is one of those names that kept popping up but it's probably more famous for being the most expensive at SGD$27 while most hawker stalls cost around SGD$4. It reminded me of Grand Cafe in Hong Kong as both are located in hotels but while the version at Grand Cafe was satisfactory, Chatterbox's was actually downright disappointing.
I wasn't planning on trying Chatterbox at first but since our dinner plans fell through one night, we decided to go check it out since it was close to our hotel on Orchard Road. The cafe was brightly lit and spacious enough but wasn't as luxurious as I thought it would be for a restaurant in a hotel.
This was the "legendary" Mandarin Chicken Rice (SGD$27) with homemade chili, ginger and dark soya sauce. So what went wrong with the chicken rice? Pretty much everything. They had asked me whether I preferred breast or thigh and I replied thigh - expecting a more tender texture from my chicken but the meat turned out to be quite dry while the flavor was bland - nothing special about it at all. The rice was hard and not nearly fragrant enough, and even the chicken soup was forgettable. The chicken rice here just tasted really average so it's definitely not worth it for me especially at this price point.
We also tried the Chatterbox Lobster Laksa (SGD$36) with thick vermicelli, whole Boston lobster, quail eggs, fish cakes and dried beancurd in spicy coconut gravy. It was decent but the gravy was a bit bland and not spicy enough - again I don't think this was worth it when you can find better versions elsewhere at a fraction of the price.
Most expensive yes, but best Hainanese chicken rice? No.
Level 5, Mandarin Orchard Singapore
333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867
Tel: +65 6831 6288http://www.meritushotels.com/mandarin-orchard-singapore/dining/chatterbox.html
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