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Fifty years later and Chatterbox still retains its appeal, with regular updates to keep up with the times and more discerning appetites. Left: Mandarin's signature chicken rice. Right: Lobster laksa.
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Chatterbox: A Singapore dining icon

Its famed chicken rice and local fare still draw food lovers to this restaurant stalwart
30/10/2020 - 05:50

FOR nostalgia buffs, there's always a tale to tell about Chatterbox - one of the first hotel coffee houses in the 1970s to take local fare from sweltering hawker centres into its five-star, air conditioned premises.

Mandarin Orchard Singapore was famed for its Mandarin Chicken Rice, introduced in 1971 and a culinary icon since. Served in its familiar plating and followed up with homemade coconut ice cream served in its own shell, it was the dream treat of any child growing up in that era.

Of course, Chatterbox also had a plethora of hawker classics on its menu. Laksa, char kway teow, fried Hokkien prawn noodles, rojak and more held their own, and it was the go-to place to relive youthful memories as well as a great one-stop for overseas visitors wanting to sample local fare in cool comfort.

Fifty years later and Chatterbox still retains its appeal, with regular updates to keep up with the times and more discerning appetites - think lobster laksa and king prawns in your fried Hokkien noodles. In 2016, Chatterbox entered the elite Hall of Fame circle at the Singapore Prestige Brand Award in the Heritage Brand Category, cementing its place as a home-grown Singapore brand. Every year, it has made the coveted list of Singapore's Top Restaurants by Wine & Dine, and Best Restaurants by Singapore Tatler. Chatterbox has also been selected as the 2020 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Winner.

Over the years, Chatterbox has maintained its DNA as the 'home' of Singapore food, thanks also to its master chef Liew Tian Heong. His 30 years of experience saw him rise from assistant to executive sous chef, working his way through Mandarin Orchard's banquet kitchen and signature restaurants, including Chatterbox and the hotel's previous Chinese restaurants - Pine Court and Mandarin Court.

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Chef Liew is not only tasked with protecting Chatterbox's legacy, he has also consistently added to its repertoire with a variety of promotional dishes every month. The latest addition is Pan-fried Pomfret with Homemade Sambal that's crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, topped with rich and fragrant homemade chilli sauce. This dish will be available for the month of November at S$28++ per portion.

Special menus

Whether you prefer to dine in or at home, Chatterbox ensures a tasty, value-for-money meal. From Nov 1 to Dec 31, from Mondays to Thursdays, it serves a special set menu comprising a tasting portion of seasonal vegetables, chicken satay, and choice of any one local main dish for S$28++ only (a S$6++ supplement to Chatterbox Lobster Laksa).

For takeaway and delivery, selected dishes are available at 30 per cent discount for the month of November. Also available are family bundles featuring its signature chicken rice, seasonal vegetables and soup for two to four people at S$38+ and S$78+ respectively. The bundle for four comes with complimentary DeepFried Tofu with Minced Chicken. Enjoy free island-wide delivery for orders above S$80+.

Chatterbox is at Mandarin Orchard Singapore Level 5, 333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867. For reservations, call 6831-6288/91. To order online, visit shop-orchard.meritushotels.com