Amidst all the fancy café hype, zi char is still something that remains close to most, or I daresay, all Singaporeans’ hearts. From delicious prawn paste chicken to sizzling hotplate tofu, here is our guide to some of the best zi char places islandwide!
1. Two Chefs Eating Place
Opened by two brothers, the original branch at Commonwealth Crescent has a perpetual snaking long queue. Thankfully, the branch at Sin Ming boasts a larger dining area and is perfect for large hungry families!
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Their signature dish, Butter Pork Ribs, is an absolute must-order whenever you are dining here. Tuck into their juicy, succulent pork meat slices that are thoroughly coated with condensed milk powder. A unique combination of flavours which you simply have to try to find out!
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Alternatively, their Minced Meat Tofu dish offers an unconventional rendition of the common hotplate tofu as well.
Address: 409 Sin Ming Ave #02-01, Singapore 570409
Operating hours: Daily, 11am – 10.15pm
2. Mellben Seafood
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Mellben Seafood is constantly bustling with business even on weekdays. Their most famous dish is the highly raved about Claypot Crab Bee Hoon. This flavourful dish is bound to whet your tastebuds with its delicious, fresh crab meat and bee hoon.
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With the assortment of ways in which crab is prepared here at Mellben Seafood, it is literally a haven for crab lovers! Their other popular favourites include Black Pepper Crab and Butter Crab.
Address: 232 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Singapore 560232
Operating hours: Daily, 5pm – 10pm
3. Keng Eng Kee Seafood
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The chefs here at Keng Eng Kee Seafood restaurant are certainly bold with their unique renditions of traditional zi char dishes! One of their signature dish is the Mingzhu Roll, which features dried beancurd skin that is stuffed to the brim with salted egg yolk, mushrooms, ham and prawn. It is then deep-fried for that extra crunchiness!
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Another star dish here is their Moonlight Hor Fun. This flat noodles dish, which is generously topped with Chinese sausages, prawns, squid and a raw egg for finishing touch. Stir-fried with lard and dark sauce, you will definitely not miss the smokey wok hei flavour of this dish!
Address: 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-136, Singapore 150124
Operating hours: Daily 12pm – 2.30pm, 5pm – 10pm
4. Fatty Fong Seafood Restaurant
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Here at Fatty Fong’s, presentation is clearly the key with this interesting-looking Mee Sua. Wrapped in a huge tissue-thin egg crepe, the interior of this giant-looking sack reveals a generous portion of piping hot fried rice vermicelli paired with tender sliced pork, prawns and bean sprouts. Simply irresistible!
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Similarly, their Chilli Crab here is not to be missed! The thick and eggy, spicy gravy is set to pack a fiery punch to your taste buds.
Address: 56 New Upper Changi Road, #01-1300, Singapore 461056
Operating hours: Daily, 2.15pm – 12.30am
5. Por Kee Eating House
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If you really love alcohol-infused dishes, Por Kee Eating House is the place to go! Their main highlight, Champagne Pork Ribs, is available in both solo and sharing portions, though we highly recommend that you go for the former. Savour huge chunks of pork meat that is drenched in a thick, savoury black sauce with a faint Champagne after taste.
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Yet another worth-mentioning dish would be their Signature Tofu, which features a crispy exterior and a smooth silky tofu interior. With their plethora of old-school Chinese dishes, this is the ideal place to wow your family and grandparents as well!
Address: 69 Seng Poh Lane, #01-02, Singapore 160069
Operating hours: Daily 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 11:30pm
6. New Ubin Seafood Restaurant
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Thankfully with their current outlet on Singapore’s mainland, there is no need for you to travel all the way to Pulau Ubin to sample their delectable, appetising zi char dishes! A popular favourite would be their US Angus Rib-Eye Steak with medium rare chunky beef are being served atop a wooden chopping board.
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Another popular favourite would be their Garlic Baked Crab, which New Ubin Seafood has certainly nailed in terms of the taste, given their roots being traced back to the sandy shores of Pulau Ubin.
Address: 63 Hillview Avenue, Level 6, Singapore 669569
Operating hours: Daily, 11am – 2pm, 5pm – 10pm
7. JB Ah Meng
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JB Ah Meng is definitely one of the top choices when it comes to zi char with its Malaysian-influenced dishes. An absolute must-try here would be their San Lou Bee Hoon, which consists of bee hoon that is pan-fried together with shrimps and egg before being shaped into a giant pancake and set atop an assortment of vegetables.
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Similarly, their White Pepper Crab is not to be missed as well! Their White Pepper Crab has a rather spicy flavour which complements the sweet and tender chili crab meat well.
It’s been recently conferred the honorary Michelin Bib Gourmand title and you know you will certainly have an out-of-this-world zi char experience here!
Address: 2 Lor 23 Geylang, Singapore 388353
Operating hours: Daily, 5.30pm – 2.30am
Besides all these popular zi char places that serve up savoury and flavoursome zi char dishes, there are definitely others all across our little Lion city! Then again, what more can we expect from a foodie city like Singapore?
Featured Image: Nipapun | PIxabay.com