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.
Nowadays, it is quite impossible to find a decent place to eat in Orchard Road. The cost of a meal in a food court in town is easily at least SGD$4-6. So when my friends told me about this famous chicken rice stall at Far East Plaza which serves relatively-affordable and good chicken rice, I decided to go there for lunch to see what’s the hype about.
Hainanese Delicacy Chicken Rice is located on level five of Far East Plaza, just a five minutes walk from the main shopping belt. The run down coffee shop has several tables within a long narrow space; there’s always a queue throughout the day – a testimony of their popularity.
So is the chicken rice really that good? Is it worth queuing up for? Let’s find out.
When visiting Singapore, one should go for things that are unique to our island. Hawker food is definitely right at the top of the list. Chicken rice, hokkien mee, char kway teow, and laksa – Singapore is a foodie paradise.
One of the more popular hawker centres in the West is Clementi Market and Food Centre. Besides Bukit Timah Hawker Centre, this is the place that I always frequent when I want a cheap and simple meal.
Unlike the typical Teochew Muay (Porridge) places which are somewhat similar to economical mixed vegetable rice stalls, Xu Jun Sheng Teochew Porridge at Joo Chiat is more like a no-frills restaurant serving teochew porridge, zi-char style.
Street food is easily one of the best things a country can offer. Unlike other countries where you eat by the road side, Singapore’s version of street food is what we call hawker food, and they are found in food/hawker centres – which are usually located in the heartlands.
For what is lacking in the electrifying atmosphere of eating by the street, the hawker centres in singapore make up for it by serving clean and tasty food, in a comfortable environment.
Tiong Bahru Market is one of the most popular hawker centres in Singapore. I always go there when I am craving for local food. Here are some of the things that I order when I am eating there.
Tucked at the back of a run-down coffee shop along Upper Bukit Timah Road, Ga Hock Seafood Restaurant is a popular zhi char stall in the west of Singapore.
Despite its hidden location, Ga Hock has a huge following; many people flock here for a good and satisfying dinner. I only knew about Ga Hock when I asked on twitter for recommendations of the best zi char places in Singapore.
Like Holland Village, Serangoon Gardens is a popular dining cluster in Singapore. Beyond the many restaurants and cafes there, the estate has two popular Food Centre: Chomp Chomp Hawker Centre and Serangoon Gardens Market & Food Centre.
I brought my overseas friends there and I realised that eating in Hawker Centres can be quite a daunting experience for visitors. It is easy for us as we are familiar with the Hawker Food. But overseas visitors usually do not know what to eat, and which stalls to order from.
If you are bringing overseas visitors to Serangoon Gardens Food Centre, here is a quick guide on what to eat there.
Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak at Adam Road Food Centre is well-known in the Singapore food scene. Some of my friends even go as far as calling them the best Nasi Lemak in Singapore.
Naturally, I was half sceptical and half excited to try Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak. Having been to Chong Pang and Punggol Nasi Lemak, I thought that they were not as impressive as the one that I had in Kuala Lumpur. Bearing that in mind, I went to Adam Road Hawker Centre with zero expectations.