Char Kway Teow 炒粿条, which is essentially stir-fried noodles with rice noodles, is one of those local hawker dishes that I appreciate more as I get older.
There is this ‘fear’ that when the hawker retires, I am never going to get that taste again, especially when more stalls serve up the similar ‘food-court-taste’.
The dish of Char Kway Teow is a very personal thing though. Ask “Where is the best Fried Kway Teow in Singapore?” and you may get quite varied and occasionally defensive answers, because many of us grow up eating a particular stall.
One dish, different flavours, many styles.
You never get the same type of Char Kway Teow between stalls. And as most owners (typically older uncles of a certain age) fry them plate by plate, you may not even get that same taste even as you go back to the same stall.
Sometimes, depends on uncle’s (or auntie’s) mood. That is what gives it character.
On this list are 12 Must-Try Char Kway Teow in Singapore, whether they are the best is truly debatable (so don’t get #triggered if your favourite is not there somehow).
I would also recommend the following stalls to try out, which includes Katong Fried Kway Teow (Tanjong Pagar Food Centre), Heng Huat Fried Kway Teow (Pasir Panjang Food Centre), Circuit Road Char Kway Teow, Ang Mo Kio Char Kway Teow (Ang Mo Kio Ave 6), Lai Heng Fried Kway Teow (Shunfu Food Centre), Fried Kway Teow (Amoy Street Food Centre), 786 Char Kway Teow (Bukit Merah View) and Fu Ji (Jalan Besar).
Hai Kee Teochew Char Kuay Teow
11 Telok Blangah Crescent #01-102 Singapore 090011
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 9pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Heading to Telok Blangah Crescent Food Centre in the evenings is not what many people will do, especially when there are a lot of hawker stalls already closed there.
But you would spot a line of people waiting patiently (or perhaps hear the sound of the frying on the wok. The cling cling clang clang).
Hai Kee used to be from Margaret Drive Food Centre, and many regulars who have been eating this since young commented it still tasted just as good.
Even if you spot ‘just’ 5-10 customers in the line, you may have to wait at least 30 minutes because uncle fries this up PLATE BY PLATE, unhurriedly in his own style and rhythm. Quite a joy to watch really.
This was one plate that gave me the “wow” on the first bite. It is on a different level all together… the wok-hei, smokiness, the moist texture, and that CRUNCH of the pork lard is all delicious-ness. Hai Kee Teochew Cha Kuay Teow (Telok Blangah Crescent)
Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee 欧南园炒粿條面
Hong Lim Food Centre #02-17, 531A Upper Cross Street, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 6am – 3:30pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun, PH
This is one plate of Char Kway Teow I have eaten since young, though not so frequently now because the queue is superbly long, especially after it was listed in the Michelin Bib Gourmand.
While it is not as smoky or oily than his father’s, Mr Ng Chin Chye’s skills of executing a plate of Char Kway Teow with wok hei cannot be undermined.
He fries every plate individually, squeezing an exact 42 squeezes of a special mixture made of soy sauce and fish sauce.
Its characteristic is its rather eggy and soft texture, lots of cockles added.
Watching him fry was a joy – always with a smile and often dancing, and you wonder how long it would continue for as his children are not likely to take over the business. Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee (Hong Lim Food Centre)
Hill Street Fried Kway Teow 禧街炒粿條
16 Bedok South Road #01-41, Singapore 460016
Tel: +65 6442 1763
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 4:45pm (Tue – Sat), Closed Sun, Mon
Many local foodies claim it as one of the top 10 Char Kway Teow in Singapore, if not the best.
After the founder Mr Ng Chang Siang passed away, the stall has been taken over by his son – and you could also find his aunt doing the frying.
Its Fried Kway Teow ($3.50, $4.00) contains some classic CKT ingredients such as yellow noodles, fresh cockles, egg, sweet lup cheong (Chinese sausage), along with crunchy bean sprouts and Chinese chives.
You cannot say that the portion is “generous” compared to many other stalls in Singapore, so I would recommend ordering the bigger portion.
For many years it’s been prepared via two-cycle stir-frying method. The first cycle involves wok-frying a large portion of kway teow noodles with some light soy sauce.
The noodles are transferred in batches into numerous bowls, and further divided into smaller portions for second cycle stir-frying. A darker soy sauce plus the main ingredients are added during the second cycle.
Here’s what I liked about it: it is packed with crunch from the bean sprouts and crispy pork lard bits; and there is good-enough wok-hei. Hill Street Fried Kway Teow (Bedok South Food Centre)
Meng Kee Fried Kway Teow
22A Havelock Road #01-07, Singapore 161022
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
The stall has moved from the corner coffeeshop to nearby Havelock Food Centre #01-07.
It used to be manned by a father-and-daughter team, but the daughter has taken over the cooking. (I didn’t try the father’s version, so have no basis for comparison.)
Priced at $3, $4 and $5, this is what I would call a well-balanced plate. There was good wok-hei, not too wet or dry, tasty with the sauces though slightly on the sweet side. Quite satisfying, though may not warrant a trip to this part of the island for some.
There were some complaints on the cockles (too cooked) online, but I didn’t get that.
No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow
70 Zion Road #01-17 Zion Riverside Food Centre, Singapore 247792
Opening Hours: 12:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Although its name is “No. 18 Zion Road”, the stall is really No. 17. The uncle who runs the stall has mastered the skill through the years of operation.
Take note though, the queue and wait can be quite long. Even if you spot a ‘reasonably short’ line of say 5 to 10 customers, Uncle Ho fries up each plate with effort, so be prepared to wait.
Their Char Kway Teow ($4, $5, $6, $8) is packed with robust flavours and a hint of spiciness with ladles crispy pork lard.
The kway teow (flat rice and egg noodles) is springy and full of wok hei, mingling with a medley of fresh juicy cockles, fish cake, crunchy bean sprouts, egg, and lup cheong (Chinese sausage) blended in a black sauce and topped with gu chai (Chinese chives).
If you love cockles, you will love the many pieces that are in your plate.
On the flipside, I found it slightly on the greasy side (but I guess cannot be avoided that much), and it could have more of that sweet-dark sauce flavour when I last visited recently. No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow (Zion Road Food Centre)
Day Night Fried Kway Teow
163 Bukit Merah Central, #02-41, Singapore 150163
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun), Closed Thurs
This is probably one of the most under-rated Char Kway Teow available in Singapore. When I visited late evening, most of the other stalls at Bukit Merah Central were closed but this remains open. (I succeeded only on my 2nd visit though.)
The first look is, this is different from all the other Char Kway Teow too. Notice that the stall uses thin style of kway teow, somewhat like horfun. This gives it a smooth, almost slippery texture.
I ordered shao la light spiciness and the noodles coats up the seasoning very evenly, and tasted satisfying from start to the end (without feeling ’jelak’).
While the wok-hei was not super strong, I thoroughly enjoyed how the flavours come well together. To me, this is the ‘hidden’ gem, perhaps nicer than some of the very famous stalls.
Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow
20, 01-19 Ghim Moh Rd, Singapore 270020
Opening Hours: 7am – 2pm (Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat), Closed Mon, Thurs, Sun
Uncle is a class-act to watch. There is always a perpetual queue for this stall at Ghim Moh Food Centre, and you would notice a window where you can watch uncle fry up plate-by-plate. (Like ‘live’ kitchen concept.)
This stall was once awarded in the Channel U television programme, which propelled its fame further. It has the longest queue and it is surely one of the gems of Ghim Moh.
The wait can be a bit long and tedious as uncle prepares the dishes at his own pace, but their Fried Kway Teow ($3/ $4/ $5) is worth the wait for its fans.
There are all the basis ingredients of eggs, cockles, kway teow, fried pork lard and lap cheong, along with reasonably good wok-hei. Quite balanced flavours as well.
However, I suspect that some customers would prefer a version in which the dark sauce is more pronounced. Guan Kee Fried Kway Teow (Ghim Moh Food Centre)
91 Fried Kway Teow Mee
#01-91, Golden Mile Food Centre, 505 Beach Road Singapore 199583
Tel: +65 98300965
Opening Hours: 11am – 2:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Enjoy greener and healthier options at the Char Kway Teow to fulfill your cravings with less guilt.
Named after the stall’s number at the Golden Mile Food Centre, 91 Fried Kway Teow Mee 91翠绿炒粿條面 is known for its healthier version of Char Kway Teow – no pork, no lard, added with toppings of chye sim.
Their rendition of Fried Kway Teow Mee ($3.00, $4.00, $5.00) caters to health-conscious diners watching their calories and fat intake.
Portion seems to be relatively small, compared to the average stall (Mine’s the $4 version.)
To add a nice, crunchy texture, they sprinkle some fried whitebait on the top. Mix them up with the kway teow before eating. May not be everybody’s style as some would like theirs with more sauce, pork lard and wok-hei. 91 Fried Kway Teow Mee (Golden Mile Food Centre)
Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow 老夫子炒粿条
51 Old Airport Road, #01-12 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Tel: +65 83333 4828
Opening Hours: 11:45am – 10pm (Mon – Sun
I have tried Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow 老夫子炒粿条 at Old Airport Road quite a number of times in the past. But it was never a stall I would purposely go, it was more like a ‘by-the-way’ “Let’s try CKT” kind of experience.
That was until it was listed in the Michelin Bib Gourmand list in Singapore.
Offering both the black or white versions, Lau Fu Zi’s Fried Kway Teow ($5.00, $8.00, $10.00), are all cooked-to-order, each plate fried individually.
The dish carried a well-balanced flavour, and surprisingly not very oily.
By default, it really doesn’t use pork lard unless you request for it.
It is a not-bad plate, though I think some customers may prefer the dark, wetter type with stronger flavours. Then again, everyone has their preferred style of Char Kway Teow. Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow (Old Airport Road Food Centre)
Dong Ji Fried Kway Teow
Old Airport Road Food Centre #01-138, Old Airport Road, Singapore 390001
Opening Hours: 10am – 2pm (Mon – Sun)
While Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow at Old Airport Road Food Centre had the better luck with the Michelin Bib Gourmand award, there are fans who think that Dong Ji Fried Kway Teow is the better stall.
The stall is nearer to the back of the food centre, and sometimes close slightly before 2pm.
Note: This is a one-man show, so even if the queue may look relatively short, be prepared to wait for your food.
The hawker single-handedly prepares generous servings of Fried Kway Teow with egg ($3, $4) upon order with fresh ingredients, and yes wok-hei.
However, if you prefer the dark and sweet type, then you would realise this is quite different. There is not much dark sauce used, with strong garlicky and smokiness in its flavours.
Apollo Fresh Cockle Fried Kway Teow
#01-27 84 Marine Parade Central Market and Food Centre
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:30pm or sold out (Mon – Sun)
One of the star stalls of Marine Parade Food Centre. Regulars who grew up eating this hawker dish would heave a sigh of relief.
The Fried Kway Teow ($4) is quite unlike any others you would find in Singapore. It is known to be WET, though this current version I had was not as wet as how I remembered it to be.
The rice noodles were paler than usual, without the strong sweet dark sauce, fried with garlicky notes.
The egg is cooked till almost disintegrated into the dish, thus you won’t find bigger pieces of them.
Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow
30 Seng Poh Rd, #02-11, Singapore 168898
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Tues, Fri – Sun), Closed Wed, Thurs
This hawker stall serves up one of the cheapest Fried Kway Teow in Singapore.
This used to cost $2, but have increased to $3. However, portions are considered quite generous, with cockles, sliced fish cake and Chinese sausage, matched with a tinge of spicy chilli sauce.
Occasionally, you would spot a 90+ year old uncle at the front of the stall, and if he is doing the frying, you are in luck. Uncle keeps his kway tiao quite ‘unoily’, better for them who wants a ‘healthier’ and drier version.
The recipe of their traditional and tasteful Fried Kway Teow has been passed down to the next generation.
It has a rather old school taste and noodles had a nice and moist texture and was completely soaked in sweet and savoury flavours.