From a tantalising plate of char kway teow to sticks of mouthwatering satays, the newly revamped Chinatown Food Street offers a diverse spread of iconic local dishes.
The Chinatown Food Street now has 24 street hawker stalls, six shophouse restaurants and ad hoc street kiosks, and can seat about 650 to 700 diners. The food street is back in business and reopened almost a month ago on Feb 22.
Of the original seven to eight stalls operating at the old Chinatown Food Street, only two - Boon Tat BBQ Seafood and Food Street Fried Kway Teow - remained after passing a taste test conducted by Select Group Limited (which was also behind Singapore Food Trail at the Flyer) to check the quality and authenticity of their dishes.
The new stalls include famous hawker stall brands such as Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters, Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge and Fatty Weng Restaurant.
Spoilt for choice on what to order? Here are the top five dishes to try at the new Chinatown Food Street.
1. Oyster Omelette from Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters (Unit 5)
The chef heading this stall, known as Uncle Law, has been frying 'or luak', or Teochew fried oyster omelette, for over 40 years. His oyster omelette is slightly crispy on the outside, with fragrant eggs and fresh plump oysters. This dish comes with chilli sauce that the chef mixed himself.
2. Dried Chilli Frog Porridge from Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge (Unit 10)
This is the famous claypot frog porridge that got supper-goers queuing at its stall at Geylang Lor 9. Served in a traditional clay pot, the tender frogs' legs are cooked in very spicy and sweet sauce, and goes best with a bowl of rice or porridge.
3. Sambal Sotong from Boon Tat Street BBQ Seafood (Unit 1, 3)
The sambal sotong from Boon Tat Street BBQ Seafood is famous for its sweet and spicy chilli sambal sauce, as well as the home-made dipping sauce made with red spring onions and lime juice. The squid meat was fresh and chewy, and did not carry a 'fishy' taste.
4. Satay Bee Hoon from Old Airport Road Satay Bee Hoon & BBQ Steamboat (Unit 2)
This famous beehoon dish from Old Airport Road comes with tau pok, squid and prawns, covered with steaming peanut sauce. The rich peanut sauce, which tastes sweet and slightly spicy, is a family recipe.
5. BBQ Chicken Wings from Chomp Chomp Goodluck BBQ Chicken Wings (Unit 11)
This stall is from Serangoon Garden's Chomp Chomp Food Centre, which is said to be the best hawker centre in Singapore. Chicken wings served here are evenly grilled and the skin is crispy, yet its meat remains moist and juicy. Supper-goers who head down to Chinatown should definitely order this.
Here is a list of the hawker stalls and shophouse restaurants located at the new Chinatown Food Street, by unit number.
Street Hawker Stalls
Bugis Street Famous Hainanese Chicken Rice (Unit 4)
This stall offers roast chicken and Hainanese chicken rice with tender chicken meat.
Balestier Abalone Noodle (Unit 6)
Noodles served here are tossed with spicy chilli sauce and topped with abalone and prawns.
Tiong Bahru Meng Kee Roast Duck (Unit 7)
Char siew served at this stall is tender and sweet, and its sio bak (roasted pork) is very crispy.
Food Street Fried Kway Teow Mee (Unit 8)
This stall's fried kway teow is topped with a generous portion of fresh oysters, prawns and egg.
Chinatown Cheng Kee Hokkien Mee (Unit 9)
This Hokkien mee comes with chewy yellow noodles and thick beehoon, and tastes best when hot.
Odeon Beef Noodles (Unit 12)
This stall used to be opposite the Odeon theatre at North Bridge Road, and is famous for its Hainanese-style beef noodles in dark starchy gravy with tender sliced beef.
Chong Chong Ngoh Hiang Prawn Fritter (Unit 13)
Ngoh Hiang rolls are a unique Hokkien and Teochew dish served in many hawker centres. They are usually made with beancurd skin, then filled with minced meat, spices and prawns which give it a crunchy texture.
High Street Tai Wah Pork Noodle (Unit 14)
Bak chor mee lovers would love the Tai Hwa minced pork noodle, which is tossed in a mix of chilli, soy sauce and vinegar.
Joo Chiat Ang Moh Noodle House (Unit 15)
The original owner of this stall in Joo Chiat was tall and looked like a Caucasian, hence the name. Unlike other wanton mee which are mixed with a tomato ketchup base, this stall's chewy noodles are tossed with lard, chilli and soy sauce, making it salty and savoury.
Chinatown Ah Hock Steamed Fish Head (Unit 16)
This stall offers fish head dishes served with slightly spicy and tangy sauce.
Serangoon Raju Indian Cuisine (Unit 17)
A dish worth trying here is the Indian-Muslim-style kambing soup, which is a spicy mutton broth served with bite-sized chunks of goat meat.
Adam Road Nasi Lemak (Unit 18)
This stall is famous for its authentic nasi lemak, made with basmati rice which gives it a lighter texture and better flavour, and served with spicy sambal chilli.
Newton Circus Ahmad Ibrahim Satay (Unit 19)
Another supper favourite, the chicken and mutton satay served here taste really good and chewy.
Maxwell Road Soon Soon Popiah . Laksa (Unit 20)
This stall comes from Maxwell Road Hawker Centre, one of Chinatown's iconic hawker centres.
Chinatown Food Street Hot/Cold Beverage . Desserts (Unit K1)
This stall serves a selection of beverages and local desserts.
Chinatown Food Street Hot/Cold Beverage . Fresh Fruit Juices (Unit K2)
This stall serves a selection of beverages and fresh fruit juices.
Chinatown Enak Fritters (Unit 21)
This stall serves 'you tiao' (Chinese fried breadstick) among other local pastries.
Holland Village X.O. Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant (Unit 15 and 17)
Touted as the first restaurant to serve the X.O. fish soup some 16 years ago, this stall serves San Lau Hor Fun made with X.O. sauce and fresh ingredients.
Noodle Man (Unit 19)
This stall offers hot bowls of hand-pulled noodles (La Mian) made in the old fashioned way and rich meaty soup dumplings (Xiao Long Bao).
Koo Kee (Unit 21)
Famous for its signature thin and flat egg noodles with minced meat and home-made Yong Tau Foo, Koo Kee goes way back to 1954 when its founder started selling the specialty along the streets of Chinatown.
Chen Fu Ji (Unit 23)
This restaurant, known for its imperial golden fried rice, also serves other popular dishes such as black pepper crab and paper wrapped chicken.
Fatty Weng Restaurant (Unit 37, 39, 41)
Chinese buns, dim sum, hor fun and braised pork knuckle are just a handful of options that one can choose from at this restaurant, which was deliberately set up to create a rustic Chinatown feel.
Chinatown Food Street
Address: 335 Smith Street, Singapore 050335.
Opening hours: 11am to 11pm daily
Price range: $2.50 to $10 a dish (Street Hawker Stalls), $15 to $30 (Shophouse Restaurants)
Tel: 6225 3633