Chinatown Food Street is a supper gathering spot for friends to share the a variety of local cuisines. You just need to know which stalls to go to.
The food street has recently extended its hours to be until 2am from Monday to Thursday and 3am from Friday to Sunday.
The revamped Chinatown Food Street seemed a lot more promising than the old one. Conceptualized by the Select Group (who was also behind Singapore Food Trail at the Flyer), they gathered 24 street hawker stalls and 6 shophouse restaurants – which includes known brand name such as Chen Fu Ji (imperial golden fried rice), Fatty Weng (dim sum and braised pork knuckle) and Koo Kee (yong tau foo).
The major complaint previous was the street was too hot and messy. The rejuvenated street now boosts of glass-canopy shelter with cooling system, and it is fully pedestrianised (no vehicles allowed in).
Just to get you more excited, here are 10 hawker stalls you can check out (some we liked, some… well). And for visitors to Singapore… Welcome, and I hope you will enjoy our local delights as much as we do.
Tiong Bahru Meng Kee Roast Duck
This may not be the most known roast meats stall at Tiong Bahru market, but its tender sweet char siew, and siok bak with crackling skin captured our hearts. We say judge by the popularity of the dish by how fast it is finished. Sure enough, the plate was empty in minutes.
Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters
This stall comes from a family of ‘Orh Lua’ – Teochew fried oyster omelette. Uncle Law who has been frying this for close to 50 years, says his entire family sells orh lua, having different stalls under different names around the island. His Oyster Omelette ($8, $10) is full of fluffy eggs, light crispy on the outside, with fresh plump oysters on top.
Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge
This is the stall that got the most media attention – it is THE FAMOUS Geylang Shi Sheng (Lion City) ‘tian zi zhou’. Supper-goers would queue for their claypot frog porridge ($8, $16, $22 for kung pao frog, $2 for porridge) – tender frogs’ legs cooked in very spicy kung pao sauce full of dry chill, matched with Cantonese style thick porridge. Don’t have to go Geylang to find parking already, and this feels cleaner and more comfortable. (Yah, but it’s not quite the same feeling.)
Odeon Beef Noodles
Odeon Beef Noodles which used to be opposite the Odean theatre at North Bridge Road was popular for its Hainanese style beef noodles in dark starchy gravy with fresh tender sliced beef. The owner did not want to open another stall because he just wanted to retire. He was persuaded and now we can still try his famed dry noodles with light herbal broth with beef balls ($6).
Old Airport Road Satay Bee Hoon & BBQ Steamboat
Hock Leng Satay Beehoon at Old Airport Road is famous for their lok lok, sticks of meat dipped and cooked in satay sauce. The satay beehoon ($5, $8, $10) is quite a uniquely Singapore dish, vermicelli covered with spicy peanut sauce. While the beehoon is not that well-cooked, the satay sauce (a family recipe) remains slurp-worthy.
Joo Chiat Ang Moh Noodle House
This used to be known as the best wanton noodles in the east, until they changed hands. Btw, it is called ‘ang moh’ because the original owner was tall and looked like a Caucasian. The Wanton noodles ($4.50) were springy (liked a lot) and the sauce emm… interesting (didn’t fancy the chill base, which is supposedly their speciality), and char siew a tad dry. Overall, an okay old-school style wanton noodles.
Chomp Chomp Goodluck BBQ Chicken Wings
What is a food street without BBQ chicken wings? Except that this cost $1.70 and is probably one of the priciest versions I have seen around. This stall from Serangoon Garden’s Chomp Chomp Food Centre serves wings which are evenly grilled (not chao-tar), and still moist and juicy.
Boon Tat Street BBQ Seafood
This stall is found at many touristy places – the Singapore Food Trail at the Flyer, Makansutra Gluttons’ Bay, and Lau Pa Sat Festival Market. Of course it has to be here. The BBQ Stingray remains a crowd pleaser.
Newton Circus Ahmad Ibrahim Satay
A supper favourite, though we wished the skewered meats were not so charred.
Chinatown Cheng Kee Hokkien Mee
The presentation looks very promising. Perhaps the hawker was trying to dish out too many plates at once (had quite a queue here), the noodles could have been cooked in the prawn stock for a longer period to soak up the taste.
There are some challenges. We hope that the price point stays (although a dining mate literally screamed when she saw a $1.60 youtiao), and that the consistency and taste remains. Many other food courts face the challenge of hiring skilled cooks, and standard starts declining after the initial hype, and when the main owners do not cook at the stalls anymore.
Generally, I concur that the new Chinatown Food Street is a must-visit if you are a traveller to Singapore and want to try as many of our famous local street food at once. Some stalls may not be the most representative, but they are certainly good enough.
Tell me which stalls you look forward to trying, and which you liked. I will probably go back again a few times.
Chinatown Food Street
335 Smith St Singapore 050335 (Chinatown MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 2am (Mon-Thurs), 11am -3am (Fri-Sun)
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