Looking for the best chicken or beef satay (and peanut satay sauce) in Singapore? Head down to these hawker stalls, and you definitely won’t stop at one stick
It’s our very own answer to Japanese yakitori and Middle Eastern kebabs, and it’s one of our 75 Singaporean foods you must try – who’s down for some satay?! Usually served skewered on a stick, these BBQ meat snacks – often beef, chicken, mutton or pork – are perfect for sharing amongst ravenous groups, usually for dinner or supper with a ice-cold pint of beer. Served with chopped onions, dense rice cakes known as ketupat, and a thick, heavenly dipping sauce that’s both sweet and nutty, satay is soul food that you can find at these hawker centres, and even some restaurants if you know where to look. Good thing you have us, eh?
No trip to Serangoon Gardens is complete without planting your bum and your bellies at this beloved hawker centre. Aside from Hokkien mee and BBQ wings, the satay here is one popular munch that always guarantees a long waiting time on weekends. But for 50 cents a stick, and with generous servings of acar, chunky peanut sauce and lots of onions and rice cakes, the wait’s absolutely worth it!
Chomp Chomp Food Centre, 20 Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557269.
Adam Road Food Centre
While many residents of Bukit Timah like to come here for this hawker centre’s famous nasi lemak, they’re also in for a satay snack that deviates from the norm. Zaiton Satay doesn’t just offer any beef satay, but beef tripe in particular. An acquired taste for some, but if you’re gaga over gamey-tasting meats, you definitely won’t stop at one stick here. Dip in the peanut sauce and eat with onions if you prefer to mask the taste.
Zaiton Satay, #01-07 Adam Road Food Centre, 2 Adam Road, Singapore 289876, p. 9755 6701.
Lau Pa Sat
Confession: this writer swears by this satay street for satiating his late-night munchies after partying at kyō just a stone’s throw away. At this former market-turned-hawker centre, you can feast on favourites like tender beef satay and char kway teow. The stunning colonial structure and rich history behind this popular dining spot also makes this a must-see, so make sure to bring your friends from out of town here.
Lau Pa Sat, 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582.
East Coast Lagoon Food Village
Worked up an appetite after cycling along East Coast Park? This beachside food haven is where you’ll most likely end up in. There are plenty of satay stalls here – you’ll leave smelling like a BBQ after you’re done – but if there’s one that’s highly recommended, it’s Haron 30 Satay. We always order an equal mix of beef and chicken satay; these are tender and moist with just the right amount of smoky charredness. Pssst… can’t get enough of that nutty satay sauce? Complement your meal with some satay bee hoon from Meng Kee!
Haron Satay, Stall 55 East Coast Lagoon Food Village, 1220 East Coast Parkway, Singapore 468960.
Alexandra Village Food Centre
The food hub where you can find the renowned Old Punggol Satay, Alexandra Village is where you can get your hands dirty with pork satay – and yes, you have to use your hands. Mutton and chicken options are available too, and a mashed pineapple puree is added to the peanut sauce for an extra tangy wallop to the taste buds.
Old Punggol Satay, #01-52 Alexandra Village Food Centre, 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Singapore 150120, p. 9677 0074.
Old Airport Road Food Centre
You won’t just find one prominent satay stall at this hawker centre, located near Mountbatten and Goodman Arts Centre. Chuan Kee Satay is worth enduring the queues for if you’re yearning for some Hainanese-style pork satay with pineapple-mixed gravy. But for something more out-of-the-ordinary, Fu Dao Satay serves pork satay seasoned with black pepper, offering an earthier, spicier flavour to the meat.
Chuan Kee Satay, #01-85 Old Airport Food Centre, 51 Old Airport Road, Singapore 390051.
Fu Dao Satay, #01-97 Old Airport Food Centre.
Satay By The Bay
Well… the name’s pretty much a giveaway! Admittedly a hot tourist spot, prices here are slightly more expensive than your average satay stick. But aside from the sublime view of Marina Bay, here, you can choose from up to eight pushcarts serving up satay, as well as a number of other stalls selling favourites like barbecued chicken wings, popiah, and chicken rice.
Satay by the Bay, #01-19, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953.
Geylang Lorong 29
The stall that’s gotten satay lovers raving? Kwong Satay. Why? Because unlike most Halal satay stalls that serve chicken, beef or mutton, what you’ll find here is pork belly satay – yes, you read that right. Think of it as a Chinese-styled ton-toro kushiyaki; this satay is extra fatty and juicy, and reaches new heights when dipped in the savoury peanut sauce infused with pineapple.
Kwong Satay, Sing Lian Eating House, 549 Lorong 29 Geylang, Singapore 389504, p. 6565 0002.
Makansutra Gluttons Bay
A bustling alfresco hawker centre adjacent to The Esplanade, this food street always sees throngs of hungry folks hovering over others in hopes of securing a table (that’s the shamelessly Singaporean way!). And once you finally get a seat, ask your pal to look after the table while you queue up to buy some sticks of BBQ satay and a sugarcane juice to beat the heat.
Makansutra Gluttons Bay, #01-15 The Esplanade, 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981, p. 6438 4038.
Clementi Central Market & Hawker Centre
What’s better than grilled meat on a stick? Cheap grilled meat on a stick! Satay is known for flying off the barbie here at Chai Ho Satay as low as 38 cents a stick. As you can expect, monster queues are frequent at this Westside stall, so make sure you order a heap of satay on your turn lest you wanna wait 30 minutes for seconds.
Chai Ho Satay, #01-10 Clementi Central Market & Hawker Centre, 448 Clementi Avenue 3, Singapore 120448.
Cumi Bali Indonesian Restaurant
A change of scenery from your sweaty hawker centres, this Indonesian restaurant will still fill you up if you’re craving authentic satay – in air-con comfort, no less. Its house specialty is sate madura, an eight-inch-long chicken satay grilled with sweet soy sauce and topped with fried shallots. Btw, the serving here is huge; one stick is enough for one person, so don’t over-order!
Cumi Bali, 66 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088487, p. 6220 6619.
Bonus Entry: The Quarters
Why tire your jaws gnawing the meat off the skewer when you can stuff a succulent satay patty into a burger? Chef Chung Deming empathised with this #firstworldproblem, and concocted his very own satay burger in his restaurant on Enggor Street. Char-grilled and sweetly marinated, the meat here is clearly the highlight of this East-meets-West delicacy.
The Quarters, 16 Enggor Street, Singapore 079717, p. 6834 4174.