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Tian Tian hainanese curry rice

In my food quests around Singapore, I usually go about exploring food centers not expecting to find anything. At times, some interesting gems appear and me, out of curiosity will try the food. If it is good, I will write about it here. Tian Tian hainanese curry rice is one of this such food outlets in Singapore hawker fare. Lets check it out.

The food store is located inside a coffee shop, in block 116 in a coffee shop called “Food Farm”. It is situated beside the Bukit Merah view hawker center area. The area is well served by buses, with the nearest MRT station being Tiong Bahru about a 10-15 minute walk away. The store sees long queues during peak mealtimes, but they are fast moving.

Tian Tian hainanese curry rice storefront in the 116 Food Farm coffee shop
Tian Tian hainanese curry rice storefront in the 116 Food Farm coffee shop.

Moreover, Tian Tian, simply translate to “Everyday come“, probably beckoning you to patronize their store daily. This is not to be confused with Tian Tian chicken rice, another popular food store at Maxwell market. There is another Tian Tian hainanese curry rice franchise, located at Block 35 Telok Blangah Rise with similar offerings.

Sticking to curry rice traditions

Their main selling dish is traditional pork chop with rice. It is a simple and plain dish invented during its time for the low to medium income workers. The dish is often doused with plenty of curry to make up for the lack of taste the dish usually has.

The curry rice with their signature hainanese pork chops
The curry rice with their signature hainanese pork chops.

Furthermore, this dish, despite it’s hainanese name was actually a dish invented in Singapore by the immigrating people from Hainan China. This dish has its roots at the nearby Tiong Bahru market decades ago and now find its way into the Singapore Hawker fare through stores like this. Little has changed from the classic dish. You may remember another similar curry rice store at Redhill I wrote about sometime back, Hong Seng Curry rice, which has similar roots too.

Meal offerings

Tian Tian offers a choice of 6 meal sets to simplify your ordering. My recommendations will be first and most popular “Set 1”. It comprises of Pork Chop with a side serving of Vegetables (white cabbage). It sets you back $3.50. The serving size is small-medium.

Also, it fills you just enough without making you full, yet unfilled. Alternative selections of meats includes Char Siew (roast pork), as well as Curry chicken. Both alternatives to your main meat selection similarly sets you back $3.50 with a vegetable side.

The dish with the choice of Chicken curry as the main meat option
The dish with the choice of Chicken curry as the main meat option.

Moreover, if you desire more premium selections, you have option for their Sotong (squid), Assam fish (a Malay sour and spicy fish stew) or Mutton meat selections for a dollar more at $4.50 plate with a vegetable side.

Additional condiments like egg or omelette cost 50 cents a pop. Additional serving of vegetables costs a very affordable 20 cents. Main meat serving of curry chicken, pork chop or prawns will set you back $2.00 on top of your starting meal price, with mutton being the biggest additional item going at $3 extra.

Additional food selections available on the order on top of your regular meal
Additional food selections available on the order on top of your regular meal.

A tasty and mild curry

The curry is creamy, but no overly spicy at all. It is mild and good for people who cannot take spicy food. The rice is tad bit on the wet and soft side. I am fine with that though it can be subjective to tastes, as I know of people who strictly prefer their rice hard and bone-dry. Also, the dish does taste and look alot better in person than the sludgy curry pile on camera.

Additionally, you have the option to have your ingredients served on separate plate instead of everyone on one plate. This is particular useful if you are sharing your meal with multiple people at the same table.

All in all, Tian Tian curry rice is a nice hawker find. It is a nice throw back to independently run hawker stalls in the fast changing commercializing world of food courts. The quality of the food, taste and condiment varieties the store offers does justifies for a recommendation and a revisit.

Tian Tian hainanese curry rice
Block 116 Food Farm coffee shop,
Bukit Merah View
Singapore 151116
Opens daily during lunchtimes, 10:30am – 3pm
Closed on Mondays

Verdict:

Must Go! | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid

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