The Best Affordable Zi Char Stalls in Singapore with Delivery and Takeaway

1 June 2021 by Farihin Joehari

As much as we love our Western dishes, we’re always finding our way back to local eats such as rice with an array of delectable dishes. We’re talking about zi char, a Hokkien term used to describe a Chinese food stall that has a range of affordable home-cooked dishes. Everyone has their favourite go-to zi char stalls, but here’s our list for the best and affordable ones that’ll have you drooling in no time.

1. Two Chefs Eating Place

When you think of zi char, you think of Two Chefs Eating Place. It is the zi char place you must visit because every dish cooked here is a work of art. The masterpiece that brought this humble restaurant to fame is their Butter Pork Ribs ($10, $14 and $18). The pork cubes are fried to perfection, crispy on the outside, but moist and juicy on the inside. It is encapsulated with a generous amount of milk powder – a peculiar ingredient but marries the whole flavour beautifully.

Address: 116 Commonwealth Crescent, #01-129, S140116
Opening hours: Daily 11am – 2pm & 5pm – 10.45pm
Delivery & Takeaway: No delivery, only takeaway available.

Address: 410A Sin Ming Avenue, #02-01, S570409
Opening hours: Daily 11.15am – 2.15pm & 5pm – 11.15pm
Delivery & Takeaway: No delivery, only takeaway available.

2. GLC Hao Yun Lai Restaurant

Who would’ve thought you’d find a Halal zi char restaurant in Tai Seng? Just a 10-minute walk from Tai Seng MRT, you’ll chance upon a humble hawker, GLC Hao Yun Lai Restaurant. Known for their wallet-friendly prices, the must-try dish here is the GLC’s Salted Egg Chicken Rice ($5.80) – glistening creamy salted egg sauce, coated in crispy chicken chunks, served with white rice and a sunny side up. Take a bite with the fragrant curry leaves, chilli padi for a fiery kick.

Address: 121 Upper Paya Lebar Rd, S534836
Opening hours: Daily 8.30am – 7.30pm
Delivery & Takeaway: No delivery, only takeaway available.

3. Sum Kee Food

Source: Sum Kee Food

Source: Sum Kee Food

It’s Team Ultraman here at Sum Kee Food! Their signature Ultraman Chicken ($12, $18 & $24), is a playful take of their salted egg chicken dish and a must-order when at Sum Kee. The Telok Blangah outlet is a quaint restaurant located within walking distance of Telok Blangah MRT, is the ideal restaurant for gatherings or celebratory lunches. Did we mention that there’s no service charge and parking is free?

If you’re ordering rice with side dishes, go for the Olive Fried Rice ($6). It has a unique flavour that goes well with all the dishes here. They also have Sum Kee Family Sets that gets you more bang for your buck, and every set comes with a free Longan Tofu dessert, while stocks last.

Address: 19 Yung Ho Rd, S619592
Opening hours: Weekdays 11am – 2.30pm & 5pm – 10pm, Weekends 11am – 10pm
Delivery & Takeaway: via Oddle and takeaways available

Address: 2 Telok Blangah St 31, S108942
Opening hours: Daily 11am – 2.30pm & 5pm – 10pm
Delivery & Takeaway: Via Oddle and takeaways available

4. Jiak Modern Tze Char

Source: Jiak Modern Tze Char

Dine with a view at Jiak Modern Tze Char and taste authentic home-cooked Chinese cuisine, perfect for family gatherings. A Halal-certified restaurant, try the Signature Curry Fish Head ($26), Sambal Kangkong ($8), Oyster Omelette ($12) and more. If you work nearby, they also have Lunch Set Specials at $9.90 from Thai Style Chicken, Ginger Parsley Sliced Fish and more. Each set comes with white rice and soup of the day. Who doesn’t love a hearty lunch that doesn’t break the bank, right?

Address: The Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Ave, #02-14, S039802
Opening hours: Daily 11.30am – 9.30pm
Delivery & Takeaway: WhatsApp 8875 3466 or call 6252 8765 - 25% OFF total bill for all takeaways and self-pick ups, till 13 Jun 2021

5. Segar Restaurant
Another Halal zi char restaurant to add into your foodie list, Segar Restaurant in Chinatown Point. Here, a zi char experience isn’t complete without ordering Curry Fish Head - they pride themselves in serving a delicious one that’ll have you wiping your plate spotless. Using only the freshest ingredients, you can also order Bento Sets from Black Pepper Beef, Sweet & Sour Chicken to Ginger Parsley Fish to make mealtimes more convenient. Their other outlets are located in Yishun and Downtown East.

Address: Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Rd, #B2-39/40/41, S059413
Opening hours: Daily 11.30am – 9.30pm
Delivery & Takeaway: Available on their website here.

6. KEK Seafood

Source: KEK Seafood

Source: KEK Seafood

Keng Eng Kee (KEK) Seafood, founded by Chef Wayne’s grandparents have come a long way since the 1960s, at their Old Havelock Road stall. They are currently located at Alexandra Village and is the go-to restaurant when the zi char cravings hit. Their signature dish is the Mingzhu Roll ($12, $16 & $18), fried beancurd stuffed with ham, prawn, salted egg yolk, mushroom and parsley – the ideal side dish for sharing.

Source: KEK Seafood

One does not go to KEK Seafood without ordering their Fried Hor Fun ($5, $8, $12 & $16), one of the most common zi char dishes, but none as good as theirs. Cooked in a wok under a big fire, the wok hei in this dish is enough to make you drool. The flat noodles are cooked with lard, prawns, squid, Chinese sausages and dark sauce that brings all the ingredients together. For a dramatic presentation, egg yolk is cracked in the middle for you to mix it up, resulting in a glistening consistency ready to be enjoyed.

Address: 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-136, S150124
Opening hours: Daily 11.30am – 2pm & 5pm – 10pm
Delivery & Takeaway: Via Oddle and takeaways available

7. Kok Sen Restaurant

Source: Kok Sen Restaurant

Source: Kok Sen Restaurant

Awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand, Kok Sen Restaurant is one of the best zi char restaurants in Singapore. The restaurant has been operating for more than 40 years and is currently helmed by the third generation in the family. Located in trendy Keong Saik, one wouldn’t expect a zi char stall here. But during the weekend, you’ll see a snaking queue to get a spot at this humble restaurant.

Order the Prawn Paste Chicken ($12, $14 & $24) a dish that is well-marinated and fried till golden brown. The Big Prawns Bee Hoon Soup ($20.70) is a comforting (and spicy!) bowl of noodles you must order. You’ll love the flavourful broth that comes with big juicy prawns and fresh vegetables.

Address: 30-32 Keong Saik Road, S089137
Opening hours: Daily 12pm – 2.15pm & 5pm – 10pm, closed on Mon
Delivery & Takeaway: Call 96984119/ 94772889 or order from foodpanda, GrabFood and Oddle

8. JB Ah Meng

A familiar name for all things zi char, JB Ah Meng has a few signature dishes you should try. The JB San Lou Mee Hoon ($7, $11 & $14) may look like an unappetising brown vermicelli pancake. However, the flavour of this dish is the complete opposite. You’ll get bits of charred flavour with each bite as the ‘pancake’ is pan-fried to perfection. Next up, instead of regular Salted Egg Chicken, JB Ah Meng does it differently by using prawns instead. The Salted Egg Prawn Roll ($20, $30 & $40) is a clever use of salted egg and prawn, a match truly made in heaven.

The restaurant is located at Geylang and the food here is worth travelling for. Listed in the Michelin Bib Gourmand 2016, their snaking line of customers is a testament to show how award-winning the dishes are.

Address: 534 Geylang Road, Lor 30, S389490
Opening hours: Daily 5pm – 2.15am
Delivery & Takeaway: No delivery, only takeaway available.

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