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Michelin Chicken Rice · Ruenton Restaurant Review & Menu · Montien Hotel Surawong Bangkok

I was as excited as a child when we decided to go to Ruenton Restaurant for their famous chicken rice (khao man gai), touted as Bangkok's answer to Singapore's legendary Mandarin Hotel Chatterbox chicken rice.

Before I go any further, here's a brief spill on what is the legendary Mandarin Chatterbox chicken rice.

When Singapore's Mandarin Hotel at Orchard Road opened in 1971, owner Lien Ying Chow decided that the hotel's Chatterbox Coffeehouse must have three hawker dishes.

The Straits Times, 5 Nov 1977
He chose chicken rice, fried kway teow and laksa. Lien's sensing of hawker culture was acute and he was a visionary ahead of his time. Remember this was in 1971, putting lowly street food on the tables of 5 Star international class hotels was never done before. It was a very bold gambit. The rest is history, so says the overused cliche.

New Nation, 16 Jun 1973. $3.50 only!
All three hawker dishes did well, especially chicken rice which became an international icon. Chatterbox Coffeehouse chicken rice is still on many visitors and locals' bucket list, even though Mandarin Hotel was rebranded Hilton Singapore Orchard.

Coming back to Bangkok, Ruenton Restaurant's chicken rice has earned itself the "Mandarin chicken rice of Bangkok" accolade. Ruenton Restaurant won a spot in Bangkok's Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand list since 2018. Ruenton serves many Chinese dishes including dim sum but chicken rice is their claim to fame.

Stepping into Ruenton Restaurant in Montien Hotel, I like the understated rustic, simple and down to earth yet elegant feel.

There are many references to gritty local coffee shops such as the black heavy linked iron grill, brick wall, round tables, etc., creating a warm, nostalgic ambience.

Thinking of chicken rice when in this space made me salivate even though I was not hungry. I have no chance to be hungry in Bangkok 😄

Ruenton chicken rice, Jan 2024. Baht 340 or S$12.70
So, here we are, Bangkok's answer to Singapore's Mandarin chicken rice.

Bangkok won right away on one count, there was chicken blood curd.

Let's dissect the dish like it's a biology lab class 🤭

The chicken was chopped into big but meaty bite size chunks.

There's skin, and meat but no bone and no jelly fat under the skin. For me, I love my chicken with bone and jellified fat as these have a bit of natural chicken taste.

I like it that the chicken skin was thick and so had more chicken flavour. The meat was tender but not as juicy as I prefer and didn't have much chicken taste.

The chicken rice set already has one or two pieces of blood curd cube but we need to order more for the Singaporeans who can't get this at home 😂

Mildly savoury, they were quite nice.

There's option for just breast meat, no skin, no bones.

The rice was well greased, infused with flavour and aroma from savoury chicken stock.

The grains, some broken, were soft tender, slightly starchy and lumped together. However, they were aromatic and tasty as its subtle sweetness was balanced with infused savoury chicken flavour.

The dipping sauces. I didn't really used or needed them.

Actually in Bangkok, I like my dipping sauce to have some tau cheo (fermented soy bean) and kaffir lime blended in.

Nice umami savoury sweet radish soup.

Nice but don't think I will crave for this rendition of Hainanese chicken rice.

Would love to try Ruenton's other dishes next time.


Restaurant name: Ruenton

Address: 54 Surawong Road, Si Phraya, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand (inside Montien Hotel)

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Samyan station

Tel: +662 233 7060

Hours: 11am - 9:30pm

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Written by Tony Boey on 29 Feb 2024

🎗 Opinions in this blog are all my own as no restaurant paid money to be featured. 

To ensure neutrality, this blog is powered by voluntary contributions from appreciative readers to Tony Boey Johor Kaki PAYNOW 96888768 in Singapore $.

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  1. Yvonne Sumana Loh29 February 2024 at 16:31

    I went to Mandarin’s Chatterbox many many years ago. It left a deep impression on me till now.

    For me then (fresh out of college) it was such a treat from dear but working friends and a wow factor to have chicken rice in a high-end hotel. That was long before I stepped into the hotel industry myself. I saw TCS (then name for Mediacorp) artists having chicken rice there. Service of course was impeccable. I must say chicken rice for me was never the same for me again even if it’s a norm for me to eat at hotels now. It wasn’t just a very good chicken rice it was the overall experience - the pride with how it’s prepared and served.

  2. ❤️❤️❤️ the khao man gai at Ruenton.

  3. Tony I had it once on my working trip, my business associates brought me there , I feel any of our chicken rice stall in sg can beat it easily 😂.. they win on the blood curds though haha

  4. Tony Boey personally I felt the taste of our chicken rice and our chilli sauce is the killer lol … the Thai can’t emulate these 😂

  5. Tay PK Obed-Edom Ratsown1 March 2024 at 11:54

    Mandarin hotel chicken rice no longer taste good these days . The older chefs left and things not the same anymore

    1. Tay PK Obed-Edom Ratsown it's mainly due to where they sourced the chicken from. If you compare the texture and taste of the chicken from Ipoh you will see the difference. Many chefs from HK commented that we are not eating "chicken"

  6. Ruenton's my fave spot for Hainanese chicken rice in Bangkok. But Chatterbox still beats them hands-down ... except for the chicken blood thingy. That, I wish Singapore has!

  7. it was one of those rare occasions where a hotel didn’t ruin a humble dish by trying to atas it to match the eye watering price. good move.


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