Following our tour at the wet market of Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, we have come to every Singaporean’s favourite topic on any day – FOOD. The food centre located on Level 2 is zoned into 4 sections represented by colours as shown below. We list some of our regular favourites and also checked out some that we didn’t know but were popular with long queue or patrons. Try for yourself to determine if you like them all. Let us know too if we’ve missed out anything, particularly at Blue Zone as it seem to be pretty sleepy?!
Jia Ji Mei Shi (佳记美食)
Red Zone @ #02-166
Opening Hours: Daily 6:00am – 22:00pm
Tel: 6222 7209
Jia Ji is another stall my family frequently patronise for their chee cheong fun, yam cake and porridge. My parents and hubby enjoy eating here. Personally, I find the chee cheong fun averagely OK as I prefer thinner ones. However, I must agree that their fragrant oil and soya sauce added into the chee cheong fun is full of flavour. I also don’t find their chilli sauce a must-have hence I sometimes don’t order it with chilli.
This is one of the more popular stalls in Chinatown Complex Food Centre with a good variety for simple local fare. Despite being breakfast food, long queue is often seen during dinner time as well. We would normally order the fried bee hoon (it’s fragrant!), chee cheong fun and porridge if we favour a light yet savoury dinner.
From Yam Cake to P’ng Kueh, dumplings to fried noodles and porridge, this stall has everything! Here’s a closer look at the food selection. The attitude of a particular person manning the stall is very bad though. As such, I would normally leave it to my hubby to go order the food, lest I am angry from the rude attitude and bad service.
Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao (中国拉面小笼包)
Red Zone @ #02-135
Opening Hours: Daily 11:00am to 21:00pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
I recently discovered this stall while having my dinner. From the constant queue, I decided to also join in despite feeling full from my chee cheong fun and porridge. The Chinese couple makes the xiao long bao 小笼包 as they take order. It takes them about 6-8 min to fulfill each order on the spot. The xiao long bao is actually comparable in size with that at Paradise Dynasty and Ding Tai Fung. With the skin thickness just right, it is enough to hold all the soup of the xiao long bao. The soup is tasty but not heavily flavoured. Vinegar and shredded ginger is available as well. The amount of soup in each dumpling varies at different visits though. It was quite a disappointment when only a tiny amount of soup flowed out of the xiao long bao after I poked it.
At $5.50 for 10 pieces of xiao long bao (served in 2 dimsum steam trays), I would happily come for my fix of xiao long bao coupled with other yum-tastic delights at Chinatown Food Centre when the craving calls. It is seriously affordable.
Oh well, this is the very last piece before I remembered to take a photograph. I had been enjoying it and busy serving to the kids’ requests.
Give the Pan Fried Dumpling 锅贴 a try too while you’re there. The dumplings have a crispy base with a juicy filling. However I feel that the good old 锅贴 stall at People’s Park Complex is still crispier and drier. That one is unbeatable! Hahahah!
My friend has asked me to try their la mian 拉面. They are served in different flavours and I regretted ordering their Sichuan Spicy & Sour La Mian 四川酸辣面. Just didn’t like it. While the soury and the spicy taste is there, I forgot that I don’t like my noodles drenched with starchy gravy. I found the la mian a little too thick to my liking as well.
HongKong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle
Red Zone @ #02-127
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 20:00pm
Apparently this is one of the highly raved Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle in the Chinatown neighbourhood. There is always a queue for it too. I have not patronized this stall before as my family is used to buying our soya sauce chicken from Chiew Kee Noodle House along Upper Cross Street. Mum would always buy a whole chicken to add to the meal when she is not free to cook everything. The stall closes when they sell out. On some days when I reach at 645pm, they are already left with probably just a few servings. On some very good days I suppose, they are already closed by the same time.
Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu (秀记江鱼仔酿豆腐)
Green Zone @ #02-88
Opening Hours: 6:00am to 2:00pm
Xiu Ji owns two stalls at an inconspicuous corner of the food centre. Although hardly visible due to their stall facing a quiet corner and the toilet structure, they have perpetual long queue at breakfast and lunch hours. Their Yong Tau Fu is handmade daily at the stall using fresh yellowtail or wolf herring meat as stuffing.
My family has been patronising this stall for many years. Even though this is not the Hakka Yong Tau Fu that I personally love, I do love this stall for it’s unique combination of deep fried ikan bilis in fragrant oil and thin bee hoon. They go well with the lightly-flavoured fish-stuffed yong tau fu in ikan bilis/soya bean/fish bone soup. Do give it a try if you have not. They are not open for dinner though!
Pan Ji Cooked Food (潘记刹骑马)
Green Zone @ #02-078
Opening Hours: 9:00am to 17:00pm
Sak kei ma is my childhood favourite snack. At Pan Ji, there are a variety of local goodies are made here on a daily basis so you can be sure what you are buying is the freshest possible. I think if they were to give up their stall one day without their younger generation taking over, I would have to eat machine-made sak kei ma then 😦
If you’re there, die die must try their famous sak kei ma! It smells heavenly with malt sugar-coated crispy yet chewy cracker that is also not too sweet. Oops, if you’re wearing dentures, better not eat though ;p Each block costs $6. They also have other local goodies which are all handmade. Do give them a try if you’re in the vicinity if you have not already heard of them.
Big, big regret at not queueing when I come across this stall with long queue! I did not have the chance to eat it as the uncle was already half done with washing up the stall by 7pm. I shall make it a point to make a dash for it when we visit the food centre next time. The Yam Cake looked good and I was watching the uncle slicing and putting onto plates. They looked like very soft. With so many people queueing, surely it must be good right??! ;b
Hill Street Fried Kway Teow
Yellow Zone @ #02-032
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 19:00pm
This stall caught my eye with the giant cockles on display. On closer scrutiny, they are just empty shells and probably were from the good old days when the first generation wild shellfish were caught. Nowadays cockles that come with Fried Kway Teow are miserably tiny. Not that I’m complaining though, as I don’t eat cockles.
Following the large cockles, the next thing that caught my eye was the signboard – Hill Street Fried Kway Teow! Foodies would know or have heard of their famous name. I happened to discover the existence of this stall during my walk around and am not sure if this has any connection with the original stall.
Oh well, it was also a sort of a regret as both my sis and I didn’t find this tasty. We found better tasting ones elsewhere. Leave a comment on the blog if you’re keen to know where our favourite char kway teow stalls are. 🙂
Joo Chiat Beef Noodles
Yellow Zone @ #02-022 or #02-024 (Neighbour of Teo Chew Minced Meat Noodles)
I forgot to take down the name of this stall. They are located on the left of the famous Teochew Minced Meat Noodles found at #02-023. You won’t miss the Teochew stall from the long queue if you are at the right stretch. And this probably is not the exact stall name as well. I only remembered Joo Chiat + Beef Noodles and it’s location 🙂 Hubby ordered a bowl of mixed beef kuay teow. The beef brisket was tender and soft. So were the beef ball. The kuay teow is the fatter kind and went very well with the gravy. This is anytime a better choice than the La Mian mentioned above at Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao 🙂
Lao Huo Tang (老火汤)
Yellow Zone @ #02-05/07
Opening Hours: 12.00pm – 2.30pm and 5.00pm – 8.30pm (Daily)
Phone: +65 64388368
This is an impressive stall occupying 2 units at the food centre. However, this was the WORST Salted Vegetables & Duck Soup we tasted in our lives. This pot costed $2.50. According to my hubby who ordered it, the stall owners will add a ladle of soup into each pot before they serve, as the soup in the pot was very little to start with. To me, I read it as simply adding a standard soup base to different ingredients and giving it a name for the sake of it. Certainly I’m not going to patronize them ever again.
This is a continuation from my earlier post on the Wet Market of Chinatown Complex, part of the “To Market, To Market” blog train hosted by Life’s Tiny Miracles. To read about other local markets in Singapore, please click on the icon below.
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About Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre
Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre (a.k.a. Kreta Ayer Market) used to be located along the road sides of Smith Street, Terrenganu Street and Temple Street during the early days of settlement. The vendors were relocated into Chinatown Complex (at the basement) upon it’s completion in 1983, and the building had also completed upgrading works in 2008. Chinatown Complex Market has a long history of Chinese heritage and is proudly one of the most exotic and largest wet markets in Singapore. Situated along the iconic Smith Street, one should not miss visiting the place for its great variety of fresh fish, shelled crustaceans and exotic meats.
Address : 335 Smith Street Singapore 050335 (Map)
North-East Line – Chinatown Station (NE4)
Last MRT service: 11.50pm
Bus stop at South Bridge Road: C2, 166, 197, NR5