'Maybe my expectations were too high': Tourist left underwhelmed after trying 'best' Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore

'Maybe my expectations were too high': Tourist left underwhelmed after trying 'best' Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore
PHOTO: TikTok/Ambardriscoll

It is disappointing when one's expectations don't match up to reality, especially after a particularly long and sweaty wait.

That's the experience of British tourist Ambar Driscoll on TikTok after her first time tasting Hainanese chicken rice, from famed Tian Tian Chicken Rice no less.

"Okay, I was a little underwhelmed. Maybe my expectations were too high," Ambar summed up in the caption to the video.

The clip, published on April 8, showed Ambar and her friend Sabrina heading to Maxwell Food Centre for a meal.

"So one thing Singapore is famous for is its food, obviously, and basically they have these food markets called hawker centres," shared Ambar before joining the snaking queue at Tian Tian which stretched outside of the food centre.

"Apparently the queue is for a store that does rice and chicken, which is a famous Singaporean dish, but this is supposed to be the best one," she continued of the Michelin Bib Gourmand-listed stall.


As if waiting in line wasn't enough, Ambar had to hoof it to the nearest ATM in the unbearable heat as she'd forgotten to bring any cash.

She arrives back in the queue just in time to order a "medium" plate of chicken rice.

Before tucking into her meal, she noted that "the chicken is very soft", but appeared nonplussed, however, after taking her first bite.

"It's nice... I guess," Ambar expresses to Sabrina with a slight shrug of her shoulders before letting out an awkward laugh.

Sabrina, on the other hand, gave the dish her stamp of approval, stating that it was "perfect".

Speaking to the camera, Ambar shared: "Maybe I just have really high expectations. It's good for what it is, I guess."

"The rice is good, it's very tasty, I'll give you that.. I don't know, maybe the flavours aren't what I... It's good," she concluded, reiterating later somewhat apologetically, "I admit I think my expectations were very high".

"Maybe I thought the street food was better than it was, or maybe I haven't tried the best thing."

She needn't have explained herself though.

In the comments, some netizens shared that while lauded, Tian Tian Chicken Rice might not have been the best choice.

"A true local would know to avoid Tian Tian," wrote one commenter, while another proffered: "If you think about it from a price standpoint then the quality and flavour you're getting is incredible."

One Singaporean stated, to many surprised reactions, that his favourite chicken rice is one he had in London's Borough Market.

Another suggested that Ambar's experience might have been greatly improved if she'd eaten it with the signature zesty chilli sauce.

But all's not lost. In a separate video posted by Ambar, she declared that she'd found her favourite food on her trip to Singapore — nyonya kueh.

ALSO READ: 'I eat chicken rice 3 times a week': Swiss expat reveals 'weird habits' she picked up after moving to Singapore


This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.