Zi Char (also known as Zhi Char/Cze Char/Tze Char/Zhu Chao) is a term used to describe a wallet-friendly, home-style cuisine from a Chinese stall, which serves a variety of ala-carte dishes and leaves you spoiled for choice. Most zi char stalls are located in a non-restaurant setting like a coffee shop or a hawker centre. There are also some local seafood restaurants which have air-conditioned dining area.
Here are some of the best zi char restaurants located in the west of Singapore.
Much has been said about Big Eater’s KL-style hokkien mee and crabs. If you are looking for a place to eat in the Jurong West area, make a trip to Big Eater.
Blk 964 Jurong West St 91 #01-342
Tel: +65 6397 0480
Daily: 4pm – 2am
Chin Huat Live Seafood at Sunset Way serves competent food at reasonable prices. Besides the usual zi char offerings, they also have other unique dishes like Wagyu Beef on the menu.
For people who are staying in the west, Chin Huat is a great place to have live seafood. And you can enjoy your zi char meal in the comfort of an air-conditioned restaurant.
105 Clementi Street 12
#01-30 Sunset Way Singapore
Tel: +65 6775 7348
Daily: 11.30am–2.30pm, 5.30pm–11pm
Another Zhi Char restaurant that we frequent is Fortune Seafood Steamboat restaurant along Bukit Timah Road. The no-frills restaurant is air-conditioned but we usually prefer to dine outside.
887 Bukit Timah Road Singapore
Tel: +65 6469 5957
Opening hours: 11am – 2.30pm
Dinner: 5pm – 11.30pm Daily
Despite its inaccessible location, Ga Hock Seafood Restaurant has a huge following; regulars will go all the way there for a good and satisfying meal. The cze char eatery is tucked at the back of a run-down coffee shop.
794 Upper Bukit Timah Road
Hup Choon Eating House
Tel: +65 6314 5725
Daily: 4pm – 11pm
Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hoon is famous for its namesake dish, but not everyone knows that they do an excellent har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken). We are going out on a limb to say that this is one of the best har cheong gai in Singapore.
Jumbo Coffee Hub at Blk 19A
Tel: +65 6778 3691
Daily: 11.30am–2pm, 5pm–11pm
Located in a coffee shop at Alexandra Village, Keng Eng Kee Seafood Restaurant is one of the most popular zi char restaurants in the neighbourhood. Prices have increased quite a bit over the years, but the food in general is still pretty good. Even though it is crowded during dinner every night, the kitchen is extremely efficient and you don’t have to wait long for the food.
Blk 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1
#01-136 Alexandra Village Singapore
Tel: +65 6272 1038
Daily: 11.30am –2pm, 5pm–11pm
Kimly Seafood Restaurant is a tze char chain with many outlets around the island. It is one of the zi char places that we go to when we feel like having a simple and fuss-free meal.
Blk 346 Jurong East Street 31
Daily: 2pm – 1am
Crab-lovers must go to Master Crab Seafood Restaurant which serves a fantastic salted egg yolk crab. Besides the branch at Ghim Moh Road, Master Crab also has several branches in Singapore.
Blk 19 Ghim Moh Road #01-229
Tel: +65 6314 1868
Daily: 5pm – 10.30pm
Two Chefs Eating House
Two Chefs Eating Place is a familiar name for most as it is well-publicised in the media. Most of the dishes are decent, but nothing to shout home about. However, we will return just for the awesome Butter Pork Ribs.
Blk 116 Commonwealth Cresent #01-129
Tel: 6472 5361
Mon: 5pm – 11.30pm
Tue to Sun: 11.45am–2.30pm, 5pm–11.30pm