Singapore’s most iconic dish takes centre stage at 13 Stages, but with a few surprises in store.
The star of the new casual eatery 13 Stages is a Singapore icon —yes, we are talking about the humble chicken rice, arguably the one hawker dish that Singapore does better than its neighbor.
The chicken rice at 13 Stages goes beyond the usual roast (black), steamed (white) and braised versions. There are seven flavors (all $9.90, served with fragrant chicken rice) currently, ranging from the original Imperial Ginger chicken to Indo Chicken (cooked with galangal and lemongrass for a rich, sweet and savory taste), Assam Chicken (tangy tamarind and chilli), Danggui Chicken (Angelica sinensis, red dates and wolfberries) and Mala (no descriptions needed).
Each good-sized chicken leg is steamed in a bamboo steamer basket, locking in the ﬂavor and the moisture for a tender, juicy bite. We sampled the Imperial Chicken, which tasted exactly as what one would expect of the classic dish done well, but a strong favorite was the Sesame Chicken, served with Japanese sesame sauce and soft tofu; pairing a familiar sauce with a familiar dish resulted in a surprisingly pleasant twist. The other favorite was the Curry Chicken, cooked in classic Nyonya curry and rich coconut milk—we suggest you order this with white rice instead of chicken rice!
For those who are not so inclined, there are other dishes such as Steamed Fish and Chips, Chicken Floss Fried Rice, wraps, Asian quesadillas and as though the owner is giving it one more shot to impress you with their star dish, there is the Imperial Ginger Chicken Cheong Fun ($5.90)—the same works, only with chee cheong fun (silky rice noodle rolls) instead of rice.
The “13” in its name is a reference to the 13 kinds of barista-brewed coffee served—one from each of the 13 states of east and west Malaysia, each representing the characteristic of coffee from that particular state. Choose between acidic and mellow, medium and full-bodied, and so on. The Pahang,” ($3.90) for example is described as “medium strong, aromatic, rough and thick” while the “Perlis” is “sweet and mild.” The idea is for customers to travel through Malaysia on their palettes.
Owned by local celebrity Mark Lee, this place gets our thumbs up for its family-friendly set-up (the place has a seating capacity of 80 pax), wallet-friendly prices and fuss-free, good ol’ comfort food.
1 Stadium Place, #01-41,
Kallang Wave Mall,
Singapore 397628 (Stadium MRT)
Tel: +65 6384 0502