14.4.17

Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Chinatown Complex Food Centre is a veritable trove of hawker gems. It's very possibly the largest hawker centre in Singapore, with meandering corners at every turn. Being in the heart of Chinatown means that the majority of the stalls here offer Chinese fare, but the beauty of Singapore's wonderful multiculturalism also means that there's a smattering, however limited, of Malay and Indian food.

Jia Ji Mei Shi

This is my favourite economic noodle stall anywhere. And best of all, it's open all day! The Mixed Bee Hoon & Egg Noodles ($1) was fried perfectly, flavoured just-so and imbued with a hint of the smoky wok. Lashings of that punchy chilli sambal, and a few slabs of luncheon meat, fish cake and egg, all fried of course, round off the one-plate dish.

The stall front for reference.

#02-166
Tel: 6222 7209
Open daily from 6am to 10pm

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Zhao Ji Claypot Rice

There are a number of stalls selling claypot rice, and Zhao Ji is one of the more notable ones. The Claypot Rice ($12) is cooked upon order, so either eat at an off-peak time, or be prepared to wait in the sweltering humidity. Generous with their ingredients, the chicken was succulent and tasty, and the rice was beautifully charred at the bottom.

The stall front for reference.

#02-053
Open Thursdays to Tuesdays from 12noon to 7pm;
Closed on Wednesdays

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Bedok Chwee Kway

This chwee kway franchise is all over our island, and they're a consistent reliable. I got a couple of Chwee Kway ($1 for 2 pcs) to try and it was nothing unexpected. The flour pudding base was soft and moist, which set up the indulgently salty and oily radish topping nicely.

The stall front for reference.

#02-43
Open daily from 7am to 9pm

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Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap

This stall is helmed by a young second-generation hawker, and so I would have loved to say good things about it, but no, it really just wasn't the case. We had the Kway Chap ($0.50 per bowl) which barely passed muster, and the Braised Duck ($10) was stringy and gamey, while the Large Intestine ($2) was odiferous. That was badly in need of a more thorough cleaning. The Pork Belly ($2) was dry and Tamago Egg ($1.20 per pc) middling, with that ugly grey rim around the yolks.

The stall front for reference.

#02-156
Open Saturdays to Thursdays from 10am to 6.30pm;
Closed on Fridays

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Teochew St Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle

This stall always sports a snaking queue, and it's easy to see why. The Minced Pork Noodle ($3) was simple peasant fare made good. It's not too "porky", and the emulsion of soy, black vinegar, lard and chilli tossed through was scrumptious.

The stall front for reference.

#02-023
Open Wednesdays to Sundays from 12.30pm to 9pm;
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

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Ann Chin Popiah

This stall does a pretty excellent popiah and Kueh Pie Tee ($3), which is no mean feat considering no pork or lard is used. The stewed radish is sweet and flavourful, which complements the smoky sweet notes of the chilli. Lashings of minced hard-boiled egg and crispy flour crackling finish off the addictive little morsels.

The stall front for reference.

#02-112
Open weekdays except Thursdays 10am to 9pm;
weekends from 9am to 9pm

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Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre
Blk 335 Smith Street

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