The best zi char restaurants in Singapore

When curating the list of best zi char in Singapore, we relived the comforting, feel-good factor of the food, making it perfect for gatherings with your family and best mates. 

Pictured above: New Ubin Seafood
Pictured above: New Ubin Seafood
12 Aug 2015

Pictured above: New Ubin Seafood

Let's face it, we all have a soft spot for zi char - Chinese homestyle dishes cooked to order. When curating the list of best zi char in Singapore, we relived the comforting, feel-good factor of the food, making it perfect for gatherings with your family and best mates (which is something rather lacking in cafes and mall restaurants these days). So here are the 10 zi char places that have made it to the top of our list! 

 

Hua Yu Wee
Hua Yu Wee
12 Aug 2015

Hua Yu Wee

Housed in a colonial bungalow nestled in the verdant environs of Upper East Coast Road, Hua Yu Wee is one of Singapore's most underrated zi char stalls. A reasonably large alfresco-styled setting provides for a laidback atmosphere, while serving staff suited up in the sarong kebaya make for a peculiar sight. Chilli and Black Pepper crabs are must-haves, but if crustaceans aren't your thing, order up the Steamed Marble Goby, Stir-fried Venison, and Deep-fried Baby Squid.

Hua Yu Wee is located at 462 Upper East Coast Road, 466508. Opening Hours: Open Daily - 5pm to 11.30pm. Tel: +65 6442 9313. 

Keng Eng Kee
Keng Eng Kee
12 Aug 2015

Keng Eng Kee

Not many Zi Char Chefs can claim to have taken part in Copenhagen Cooking, a leading Danish food festival, but Wayne Liew has been there, done that. Representing Singapore as one of its most talented hawker chefs, his good work is clearly paying off as evidenced at the ever-popular Keng Eng Kee. Indulge in their signature Salted Egg Yolk Crab; the Moonlight Hor Fun, Coffee Pork Ribs, and Claypot Beancurd are worth sampling too.

Keng Eng Kee is located at Blk 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-136, Singapore 150124. Opening Hours: Open Daily - 12pm to 10pm. Tel: +65 6272 1038

New Ubin Seafood
New Ubin Seafood
12 Aug 2015

New Ubin Seafood

New Ubin Seafood is the epitome of new-age zi char in Singapore. Hidden in the industrial district of Sin Ming, this vibrant coffee shop bravely combines Eastern and Western elements in its cooking. For example, an Angus Beef Steak is accompanied by a fragrant Beef Fried Rice - coated with the remnants of the charred fat from the steak. And besides, where else can you get Foie Gras Satay at a zi char setting in Singapore?

New Ubin Seafood is located at Block 27 Sin Ming Road, Sin Ming Industrial Estate Sector A #01-174, 575680. Opening Hours: Mon: 5.30pm – 10.30pm, Tues - Fri: 11am – 2pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm, Sat - Sun: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm. Tel: +65 6466 9558 / +65 9740 687. 

Kok Sen Restaurant
Kok Sen Restaurant
12 Aug 2015

Kok Sen Restaurant

Formerly a red light district of Singapore, the hip Keong Saik Road is still home to one of the oldest zi char stalls in Singapore. The prices might have gone up over the years, but Kok Sen Restaurant still offers savoury Cantonese classics and other typical zi char dishes. Try their signature Claypot Yong Tau Foo and Big Prawn Hor Fun (rice noodles). The Prawn Mee Soup is a good lunch option if you work in the vicinity.

Kok Sen Restaurant is located at 30 Keong Saik Rd, 089137. Opening Hours: Open Daily: 11.30am to 10.30pm. Tel: +65 6223 2005. 

Por Kee Eating House 1996
Por Kee Eating House 1996
12 Aug 2015

Por Kee Eating House 1996

We were heartbroken when Por Kee Eating House shut it doors seven months ago. Thankfully, these guys have risen from the ashes and are back with the same outstanding Cantonese food we know and have grown to love. For a dose of wok hei (the smoky flavour of the wok frying), try the Champagne Pork Ribs, Beancurd with Mushrooms, and (the favourite of all grandmothers) the Yam Basket with Chicken and Shrimp.

Por Kee Eating House 1996 is located at #01-02 69 Seng Poh Lane, Singapore. Opening Hours: Open Daily: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 5.30pm - 12.30am. Tel: +65 6221 0582.

Two Chefs Eating Place
Two Chefs Eating Place
12 Aug 2015

Two Chefs Eating Place

Run by two brothers from Ipoh, Two Chefs Eating Place dispels the notion that Malaysians can't cook proper Singaporean cuisine with an array of Zi Char delights to tantalise your taste buds. Sink your teeth into their signature Butter Pork Ribs Dish, while other favourites include the Cold Cockles, Prawn Ball with Pork Floss, and the XO Claypot with Red Grouper. Take heed though that it'll take quite awhile to get a seat, and the crowd cluster might be too much for some people to take.

Two Chefs Eating Place is located at #01-129, 116 Commonwealth Crescent, 140116. Opening Hours: Mon: 5pm - 11.30pm, Tue - Sun: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 5pm - 11.30pm. Closed on every last Mon of the month. Tel: +65 64725361

Yong Kee Restaurant
Yong Kee Restaurant
12 Aug 2015

Yong Kee Restaurant

Great coffee shop stalls open past midnight are a rarity in Singapore, which is why Yong Kee Restaurant is a god-send for our nocturnal tendencies. Famous for their Chao Tar (charred) Bee Hoon, this unpretentious zi char spot has mastered the art of hardening the crust on the vermicelli to produce a pancake-like noodle. If you’re craving Chinese cuisine in the wee hours of the morning, there’s no where better to go.

Yong Kee Restaurant is located at Shing Boon Hwa Food Centre, 43 Jalan Besar, 208804. Opening Hours: Open Daily: 5pm - 3am. Closes every first Wednesday of the month. Tel: +65 6396 5390.

Lai Huat Sambal Fish
Lai Huat Sambal Fish
12 Aug 2015

Lai Huat Sambal Fish

Recognized nation-wide for their glorious Sambal Fish, there are many Lai Huats in Singapore and all of them are run by two brothers and their sons. The family recipe of the signature - Sambal Fish - is tweaked by each individual chef that helms each brunch. Our pick of the bunch is the restaurant at Siglap, where 2nd generation Chef Patrick Lim is certain that his Sambal Fish is the best of the lot.

Lai Huat Sambal Fish is located at 17 Upper East Coast Road (Crescendo Building), Singapore 455208. Opening Hours: Open Daily - 1am to 11pm. Tel: +65 64489077.

Eastern House of Seafood Delicacy
Eastern House of Seafood Delicacy
12 Aug 2015

Eastern House of Seafood Delicacy

If value-for-money is what you’re looking for, Eastern House of Seafood Delicacy takes the top spot. Although they’re not known for generous servings when it comes pricier items such as crabs and Fish Head Curry, they do offer a wide variety on the menu, including unique dishes like Dinosaur Pork Ribs, Har Cheong Tempura Prawns, and Wok Grilled Sotong.

Eastern House of Seafood Delicacy is located at Ping-an Gardens, 55 Chai Chee Drive, 460055. Opening Hours: Open Daily: 10.30am to 11pm. Tel: +65 91508172.

Siang Hee Restaurant
Siang Hee Restaurant
12 Aug 2015

Siang Hee Restaurant

Famed for coming up with new variations of typical Zi Char dishes, Madam Yoke (as she is affectionately known) is a sprightly old woman with a passion for her cuisine. Every dish is well-thought over, and she even spares a thought for customers' health by adding ingredients that lower cholesterol. For example, her version of Red Yeast Rice contains lovastatin - a well-known cholesterol lowering drug that also reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes when used with exercise.

Siang Hee Restaurant is located at #20, Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre, 49A Serangoon Garden Way, 555945. Opening Hours: Open Daily: 11am - 10.30pm. Closed on alternative Tuesdays. Tel: +65 97364067.

This story first appeared on City Nomads

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