ZSAT: Singapore, Maxwell Market / by Alice Zhao


Maxwell Market is one of the more well known food hawker markets. It was visited by Bourdain himself when he filmed in Singapore. The place to visit in this food court is Tian Tian Hainanese chicken rice stand. This stand was also recommended by our friend (CA) before our trip. After having my chicken rice in KL, I fell in love with this dish. The combination of soy, chili sauce and tender chicken goes so well with fragrant rice cooked in chicken stock. We decided to suck it up and face the heat and headed over to Maxwell Market for lunch.

This place is pretty huge, with 3 long aisles of food stands and a roof with ceiling fans to keep cool. Even with the fans on high, the heat was still a little discomforting. We walked from stand to stand looking at the signs until finally recognizing the words "Tian Tian" on the board, but as we grew closer, we noticed that the lights were off and the gates locked. Boooo. I guess we should have checked ahead of time, but we didn't let that deter our lunch experience as there were many other offerings found in this food court. Let me tell you, this place is super packed during the lunch hour. We walked around a few laps until finally grabbing an open table for 5. A couple of us sat down at our table to hold down the fort while the rest of the group disbanded in search of tasty treats.

Jared stood in a long line where they were selling chicken rice, hoping this place could stand up to Tian Tian. Another one of our friends picked up an oyster omelette and char kuay teow. And like I said, every meal was finished off with an ice kacang.

Overall, the dishes were a hit or miss. The chicken was pretty good whereas the oyster omelette was just ok, and the char kuay teow was too salty (you can tell since the dish was so dark!). There were sooo many stalls, it's really hard to tell which one is the best. But a bowl of ice kacang is always welcomed at the end of a meal on a hot day.