Today Kampung Chicken Rice Review: Retro Kopitiam In Tiong Bahru |
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Today Kampung Chicken Rice Review: Retro Eatery With Shiok Kampung Chicken, Michelin Fishball Noodles And More

10th July 2024

Today Kampung Chicken Rice is a retro kopitiam in Tiong Bahru


I love me some chicken rice, especially on days I can’t decide what to eat, so the recent opening of Today Kampung Chicken Rice had me hurrying down to try their offerings. As the restaurant’s name suggests, kampung chicken rice takes the spotlight here, but the menu is extensive with plenty of other breakfast and zi char options.

Food at Today Kampung Chicken Rice


Let’s start with Today Kampung Chicken Rice’s signature item, the Hainanese Kampung Chicken ($12+/$20+/$38+). You can opt for a quarter, half, or whole chicken depending on how many dining companions you’re with. I found that half a chicken was just enough to feed about three to four pax.


Their kampung chicken rice is prepared arduously, down to the broth. I was told that over 10kg of chicken bones and a blend of ingredients are boiled and simmered for at least six hours to create a clear, robust chicken broth.


Above all, I really enjoyed pairing the rice and chicken with a bit of their house-made piquant chilli sauce. The oil in the rice wasn’t excessive, and I appreciated that it was neither dry nor clumpy. A scoop of rice with the tender chickenwhich boasted a lovely fat-to-meat ratiowas incredibly delicious. And the cherry on top was the distinct sweet-tangy pineapple taste in the chilli sauce that made this signature dish all the better.


I highly recommend pairing the chicken rice with their Dragon Beard Kai Lan ($10+/$16+), which features kai lan cooked in two different ways: crunchy kai lan stalks and crispy shreds of kai lan leaves.


As a huge vegetable lover, both the crunchy stalks and crispy leaf shreds were tasty, especially when I had it with the chicken rice. But I found myself reaching more for the latter as there was something moreish about the slightly bitter aftertaste, and the light yet crisp texture. Just a word of caution though, the oil might get to you after some time as the leafy parts were deep-fried to achieve the ideal texture.


If you prefer meat to greens, worry not as the Pui Kia Ribs ($16+/$22+) was as memorable as the Dragon Beard Kai Lan. Put your gloves on for this dish—otherwise, you’ll be stuck in a sticky situation. FYI, gloves are provided here for diners to put on!


Every piece was meaty, juicy, and evenly marinated. It mostly tasted sweet thanks to the caramelised skin, but there was an underlying tangy flavour as the marinade comprised sun-dried tomatoes.


Since we’re on the topic of meat, there’s also Satay ($1+). There are pork and chicken satay here! Do note that you have to order a minimum of 10 sticks.


Of all the dishes I tried, the daunting Salt & Pepper Dragon Tongue Fish ($18+) surprised me the most as it tasted better than it looked.


FYI: you don’t have to worry about fish bones as the dragon tongue fish was deep-fried; so everything, including the bones, was edible. The only minor inconvenience was breaking apart the whole fish with my hands as it was challenging to do so with a pair of chopsticks. Aside from this trivial trouble, the crispy and savoury dish was delicious and reminded me of fried ikan bilis, which complemented the rice really well. 


Speaking of rice, I also enjoyed their Signature Stir-Fried Chicken Rice ($8+), starring all kinds of delicious ingredients: scrambled eggs, fresh shrimp, shredded chicken, and my favourite pork floss.


A distinct wok hei flavour shone through the fried rice, and the addition of pork floss elevated the otherwise simple dish by providing a sweet-savoury flavour that made us see the bottom of the bowl in no time.


During my visit, l noticed the Michelin-approved LiXin Teochew Fishball Noodles—one of the best fishball noodles in Singapore in my humble opinion—housed within the same premise as Today Kampung Chicken Rice.


Since I was already there, I got a bowl of their Lixin Signature Noodles ($8.30+) to round my meal off. In case you didn’t know, they are known for using 100% yellowtail fish to make their fishballs, fishcakes, and dumplings. Plus, they are house-made daily, which is a good indicator of how fresh the toppings are.


The noodles had a lovely blend of house-made chilli sauce and vinegar, topped with huge puffs of lard. I recommend having this as soon as it’s served as the noodles hardened relatively fast.

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Ambience at Today Kampung Chicken Rice


Tiong Bahru is known to have lots of hip retro eateries. And with places like Today Kampung Chicken, that reputation certainly rings true. Unfortunately, you’ll feel the effects of our summer humidity as the place isn’t air-conditioned, but I liked that there was plenty of natural sunlight to liven up the pretty posters and decors.


For easy access, Today Kampung Chicken Rice is a nine-minute walk from Tiong Bahru MRT Station. If it helps, it’s just across from Toast Box Coffee House!

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The verdict

Today Kampung Chicken Rice opens 7am daily and operates till 10pm, and their menu is extensive enough to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Though wallet-friendly alternatives are aplenty in the area, I’d still be back to try the breakfast classics such as kaya butter toast and kopi.

For more retro eateries, read our Great Nanyang Heritage Cafe review. Otherwise, check out our Within The Walls Dessert Bar review for Hong Kong-inspired desserts. 

Address: 71 Seng Poh Road, Block 71, Singapore 160071
Opening hours: Daily 7am to 10pm
Today Kampung Chicken Rice is not a halal-certified eatery.

Within The Walls Dessert Bar Review: New Hong Kong-Inspired Cafe With Retro Vibes

Photos taken by Casandra Nicholas.
This was a media tasting at Today Kampung Chicken Rice.

Today Kampung Chicken Rice Review: Retro-Inspired Kopitiam In Tiong Bahru With Zi Char And More
  • 7.5/10
    Today Kampung Chicken Rice Review: Retro-Inspired Kopitiam In Tiong Bahru With Zi Char And More - 7.5/10


– Delicious Hainanese Kampung Chicken, especially when paired with the Dragon Beard Kai Lan
– Gorgeous retro and vibrant interiors

– Gets a tad hot as the place isn’t air-conditioned and is by a roadside
– Salt & Pepper Dragon Tongue Fish was inconvenient to eat and a little pricey for the portion

Recommended dish: Hainanese Kampung Chicken ($12+/$20+/$38+), Dragon Beard Kai Lan ($10+/$16+), Pui Kia Ribs ($16+/$22+)

Address: 71 Seng Poh Road, Block 71, Singapore 160071Today Kampung Chicken Rice

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