Every country has their own rendition of Chinatown, Singapore’s Chinatown area proudly retains the kampung spirit, from its old-school food and decor to the friendly and open demeanour of the tenants there. Incidentally, the Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre is one of the most popular hawker centres in Singapore.
With an endless list of “best in Singapore” stalls all located under one roof, one visit is definitely not enough to cover what this huge food complex has to cover. With this guide, we’ve picked 10 of the most popular food spots in Chinatown Complex, including lesser-known local favourites and hidden gems. No more dilemmas on what to eat, just start from #1 and slowly work your way to #10!
10 Best Food Spots In The Famous Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre!
1. Claypot & Cooked Food Kitchen
A well-kept local secret, Claypot & Cooked Food Kitchen serves up some of the best tze-char in Singapore. Although their menu is not extensive compared to other tze-char restaurants, the amazing quality of their food more than makes up for it. Most of their dishes come in piping hot claypot bowls, keeping the food warm throughout the meal. Their best-selling claypot Sweet & Sour Pork is a must-try! The sauce is made with hawthorn instead of the usual combination of pineapples, vinegar and ketchup, giving it a unique natural sweet tang.
Make sure to head down early and be prepared to queue – the stall is only open for two and a half hours at each mealtime!
Unit No: #02-151
Opening Hours: 12.30pm – 2pm, 6.30pm – 9pm (Fri – Wed)
2. Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu
Yong Tau Foo (YTF) is a common dish, but most stalls tend to use pre-made ingredients in the dish, giving it a slight manufactured taste and texture. A true hidden gem, Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu consistently churns out handmade YTF at extremely affordable prices ($3/6 pieces). Don’t underestimate this dish – it may have a plain and unassuming appearance, but it’s both nostalgic and tasty! The most popular menu is YTF with dry noodles, topped with ikan bilis made with their secret recipe.
The unique point of this stall is the chilli – the orange-y chilli provided is similar to that eaten with chicken rice. While that may seem like a weird combination, trust us when we say it works. The unique flavour combination will leave you craving for more in the middle of the night, we guarantee!
Unit No: #02-88
Opening Hours: 5.45am – 3pm
3. Chinatown Special
Fried rice may seem like a simple dish, but the Yang Chow style fried rice at Chinatown Special is anything but simple. Tossed generously with the usual ingredients like char siew, eggs and prawn meat, this dish packs a serious punch with the wok hei. The sambal chilli adds a good kick to the dish, and additional upgrades like fried egg, anchovies and luncheon meat are available to level-up this already amazing meal!
Unit No: #02-12
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 12.30pm (Mon – Fri)
4. Fatty Ox HK Kitchen
Located next to Claypot & Cooked Food Kitchen, Fatty Ox HK Kitchen has amassed a reputation for their delicious, authentic Hong Kong-style roasted and braised meats. Customers are in frequent disagreement on the best dish at this stall, but their soya sauce chicken is highly regarded as a strong competitor of the Michelin-starred Hawker Chan. Besides that, the char siew and braised beef are also constant best-sellers, with pull-apart tender beef and well-marinated slices of roast pork.
Be sure to go over on an empty stomach, you’ll want to try everything they have to offer!
Unit No: #02-84
Opening Hours: 8am – 2pm (Wed – Sun)
5. Lian He Ben Ji Claypot
Despite multiple claypot rice options to choose from at Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre, Lian He Ben Ji Claypot still remains a crowd favourite. The thick cuts of chicken remain moist despite the intense heat, and the dish is further elevated by the good quality of the rice used. The claypot rice here is extremely affordable too, with a two-person portion going at only $10.
Waiting times tend to span over an hour, so consider calling to order in advance!
Unit No: #02-198/199
Opening Hours: 4.30pm – 11pm (Fri – Wed)
6. Millennium Glutinous Rice
If you ever find yourself in Chinatown for breakfast, or a snack, Millennium Glutinous Rice is the stall you HAVE to stop by! They proudly specialise in home-made glutinous rice, which is a slowly dying trade in Singapore with the long hours of preparation and low profit returns. Offering both sweet and savoury options for their glutinous rice, every batch of rice is cooked just right – not too mushy, and not too tough. This traditional snack makes for a clean, filling meal option for the early hours of the morning, or as a good accompaniment to dishes from other stalls like Hong Kong Mong Kok Dim Sum’s famous dim sum!
Unit No: #02-092
Opening Hours: 7am – 3pm (Mon – Sat)
7. Chai Wee Cuttlefish
Take a trip down memory lane with hand-made snacks from Chai Wee Cuttlefish! Some of you may be familiar with the traditional Ear biscuits sold at old-school tidbit shops, straight out of the metal tin. Unlike the usual hard and crunchy texture (which may be too much for some), the biscuits at Chai Wee Cuttlefish have a surprisingly airy and crisp texture. We guarantee no toothaches eating these biscuits! 😉
Besides Ear Biscuits, be sure to give their signature Crispy Cuttlefish a try. They’re baked fresh daily, ensuring a consistently crisp texture for maximum deliciousness!
Unit No: #02-65
Opening Hours: 7.30am – 3.30pm (Tues – Sat)
8. Outram Park Roasted Meat
Specialising in Cantonese-style roast meats, Outram Park Roasted Meat is a true hidden gem in the bustling Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre! Tucked away in a quiet corner of the food centre, the roasted duck, char siew and crispy sio bak are all equally good at this stall. In particular, their char siew comes in generously thick slices and provides a consistently tender, moist texture with every bite. Good luck trying to avoid the queues though – meal times can get tough!
Unit No: #02-14
Opening Hours: 11am – 7pm (Tues, Thurs – Sun)
9. Hill Street Fried Kway Teow
Hill Street Fried Kway Teow may sound familiar to some, due to another famous stall with the same name at Bedok. While the two stalls are not affiliated, the one located at Chinatown has its own hoard of loyal followers. With an old-school decor at the humble storefront, the old couple running the stall are first-generation owners. They lovingly prepare each plate of noodles to order, ensuring fresh, springy noodles.
As with most other dishes, what constitutes a good plate of char kway teow is mostly up to personal preference. For foodies who enjoy a ‘wetter’ style of noodles slightly on the sweeter side, this stall is a must-try!
Unit No: #02-32
Opening Hours: 11am – 6pm (Sat – Thurs)
10. Hong Kong Mongkok Tim Sum
It wouldn’t be a true Chinatown experience without a good dim sum option. One of the most popular stalls in this market (which is already brimming with famous stalls), Hong Kong Mongkok Tim Sum is one of the go-to places for locals to get a good and cheap dim sum fix. There were initially queues spiralling so long that they had to introduce a ticketing system. And we can see why – the ingredients are generous and the dishes are all extremely well-executed.
In particular, the Char Siew Pau at this stall is especially famous for the steaming, fluffy bun and lava-like filling pouring out at the first bite. If you’re going to be queueing, be sure to order their other signature dishes – har gow and siew mai. Enjoy!
Unit No: #02-097
Opening Hours: 11am – Sold Out (Wed – Sun)
10 Must-Try Stalls At Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre!
Teeming with tourists and locals alike, Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre is often extremely crowded. While there are many other hawker centres you can visit instead, trust us when we say the queues and the crowds are totally worth it. Let us know which stall is your favourite, and venture out of your comfort zone to try something new from this list – everything is amazing! Happy Eating! 😊
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