Take a break from calorie-counting and treat yourself to a truly Singaporean hawker classic at seven of the best char kway teow stalls in Singapore
While winning no points for presentation and notoriously having a negative score on the health-o-meter, char kway teow is undoubtedly one of Singapore’s iconic hawker dishes. The archetypical char kway teow dish is one that comprises flat noodles, cockles, Chinese sausage (lap cheong), sliced fishcake, and bean sprouts stir-fried in a dark, sweet soy sauce and pork fat.
Historically, its high calorie content is a vestige of the dish’s original purpose – a cheap way to fill the bellies of the hard-working coolies and labourers of Singapore’s founding days. Today, it’s enjoyed as an #cheatday treat and available at pretty much every hawker centre in Singapore. Here’s our list of the seven char kway teow stalls that have mastered this Singaporean dish.
No. 21 East (Coast Lagoon Food Village)
One of the best ways to enjoy char kway teow is with a cool sea breeze, ice-cold beer, and sand between my toes. So I think it’s well worth a trip to stall 21 at East Coast Lagoon Food Village for its unique red rendition of char kway teow. The mystery red sauce not only gives this char kway teow a wetter consistency, but imparts a distinctly peppery flavour to the dish. As a bonus, the char kway teow also includes fresh prawns.
No. 21, Stall 21, East Coast Lagoon Food Village, 1220 East Coast Parkway, Singapore 468960.
Chomp Chomp Fried Kway Teow Mee
Chomp Chomp might be most famous for Ah Hock’s fantastic hokkien mee, but just as worthy of attention is its fried kway teow stall. Its rendition of char kway teow is a slightly drier version with a rather sweet dark sauce. The highlight here is the chewy texture of the fried kway teow.
Chomp Chomp Fried Kway Teow Mee, Stall 35, Chomp Chomp Food Centre, 20 Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557269.
Katong (Peter) Fried Kway Teow
This joint in Katong makes the list for serving up a rather hard-to-find Penang variant of the greasy comfort food. The Penang-style char kway teow uses thinner strands of flat rice noodles and is cooked in a savoury, spicy broth rather than the sweet black sauce most of us are familiar with. But like the Singaporean variant, Peter’s rendition of the dish includes generous portions of prawns, cockles, fish cakes and Taiwan sausages, along with the absolutely essential ‘wok hei’ taste.
Katong (Peter) Fried Kway Teow, 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, Singapore 081006.
Armenian Street Fried Kway Teow
In the business for over half a century, it’s not surprising that this char kway teow stalwart has the formula down pat. The char kway teow here is slightly wet with plenty of ‘wok hei’ along with an ample portion of plump cockles, fresh crunchy bean sprouts, Chinese sausage, and egg. The dark soy sauce here has a nice hint of sweetness but isn’t detract from the rest of the ingredients.
Armenian Street Char Kway Teow, 303 Anchorvale Link.
Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee
The crispy fried croutons of lard are what really makes this stall’s char kway teow shine. The char kway teow here (lead image) doesn’t skimp on ingredients or flavour, and it’s got a potent dose of ‘wok hei’ that ties the dish together.
Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee, #02-17, Hong Lim Market and Food Centre, 531A Upper Cross Street, Singapore 051531.
Thye Hong Fried Hokkien Mee (Nex)
Thye Hong Fried Hokkien Mee more than proved itself when it was hand-picked by the Singapore Tourism Board to showcase its char kway teow at the Culinary Institute of America. Its new digs in an air-conditioned food court in Nex might suggest some domestication of its recipe, but the char kway teow here is as rich and flavourful as ever. The dish is served with a generous portion of cockles, lap cheong, and egg tied together with a fierce dose of ‘wok hei’.
Thye Hong Fried Hokkien Mee (Nex), Stall 5, Nex Food Junction, 23 Serangoon Central, Singapore 556083.
Lai Heng Fried Kway Teow (Lau Pa Sat Festival Market)
Lau Pa Sat is just a short walk from the Honeycombers office, and boy are we lucky for that. Lai Heng Fried Kway Teow is perhaps my favourite hawker stall in this bastion of street food – not just because the aunty at the stall always remembers my order (no taugay, or bean sprouts). The dish here is perfect for those who like their char kway teow a little wet and not too sweet. They also do up a great Hokkien mee as well.
Lai Heng Fried Kway Teow, Lau Pa Sat Festival Market, 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582