They say that the best way to bring people together is through a meal and for us Singaporeans, nothing beats having zi char with our family and friends where we can have the best of Chinese food that is both delicious and great for simple dinners or even reunions.
Perfect for communal dining, zi char provides both an unrivalled source of comfort and an excellent variety of quality food—what we reckon are the two must-haves to having a darn good time. The dishes mimic Chinese home cooking to a certain degree and is something that’s hard to get bored of.
Here is our list of 7 best zi char places in Singapore to bring your family to for your next gathering!
This humble stall nestled in an unassuming coffee shop opposite Serangoon Junior College is one spectacular zi char stall you ought to try. Whipping up a wide variety of typical zi char dishes, including Prawn Paste Chicken (S$10/15/20) and Claypot Horfun (S$10/18/25), Fuman’s rendition will be one that will impress you for sure.
The one that left the deepest impression on us was the Honey Milk Pork Belly (S$10/15/20)—slathered in a sweet honey milk sauce that is almost sinful, we were hooked onto this dish right from our very first piece.
Fuman Seafood Zichar
703 Hougang Ave 2
Tel: +65 6913 7087
Daily: 12pm – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Hougang / Kovan
For a delightful zi char experience with a few contemporary spins here and there, Two Chefs Eating Place at Sin Ming Avenue is a must to try.
As all other zi char stalls, they serve a huge variety of over 50 dishes so to say that you’d be spoilt for choice would be an understatement. Those who have a sweet tooth mustn’t skip the Butter Pork Ribs (S$8), which comes served in a sweet-savoury milk powder.
Two Chefs Eating Place
410A Sin Ming Avenue, #01-01
Tel: +65 6451 3812
Daily: 11am – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Bishan
Looking for a full spread of zi char dishes at reasonable prices? Curry & Curry over at Kovan serves up an insane variety of zi char dishes, and while it is safe to say that they are all equally delicious, the one must-to-order dish would be their Fish Head Curry (S$26).
Accented with a sourish tinge and a fairly thick consistency, we suggest you pair their stellar curry with a plate of rice for maximum enjoyment.
Curry & Curry
203 Hougang Street 21
Tel: +65 8121 9561
(Closed on Mondays)
Tue to Sun: 11.30am – 9pm
Nearest Station: Kovan
Tucked away in D E Eating House along Sims Avenue, literally a few metres away from popular late-night dim sum eatery, 126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi, is Yong Tai Seafood.
Their menu focuses on straightforward zi char dishes in the likes of Prawn Paste Chicken (S$10), Fried Mee Sua (S$5.50), Sambal Fried Rice (S$5) and Salted Egg Yolk Pork Rib Rice (S$6), alongside over a hundred other dishes—we kid you not. What’s more, they open until 4am daily so be sure to hit them up if any late night hunger pangs strike!
Yong Tai Seafood
130 Sims Avenue
Tel: +65 9612 1912
Mon to Sat: 5pm – 4am
Nearest Station: Aljunied
Founded by Chef Tony Tan of Lei Garden Restaurant, Yalong Bay is a hidden gem located inside an air-conditioned food court in Toa Payoh North.
They serve up innovative Chinese dishes at wallet-friendly prices—of which, the Signature Crispy La-La Hor Fun (S$17) was the one dish that we thought was a showstopper in its own right. Topped with shards of crispy deep-fried wonton skins and filled generously with lala, just this dish alone was enough to make us want to make a return trip to Yalong Bay.
978 Toa Payoh North
#02-01 Grains & Hops
Tel: +65 8457 4885
Daily: 11am – 2.30pm, 5pm – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Braddell
Situated in the North region of Singapore, Sembawang Traditional Claypot Rice is a casual dining establishment that specialises in JB’s San Lou Bee Hoon, KL Hokkien Mee and Fish Head Curry and, needless to say, Traditional Claypot Rice.
They offer both claypot and zi char dishes at one place, bringing you the best of both worlds especially if you love smoky claypot dishes and are looking for a place for casual communal dining.
Sembawang Traditional Claypot Rice
4 Jalan Tampang
Tel: +65 6757 7144
Daily: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Sembawang
If you’re ever hankering for crabs but without the added pinch on your wallet, visit 21 Seafood for affordable yet delicious crabs and zi char dishes.
21 Seafood is best known for their pocket-friendly Sri Lankan crabs that, while priced economically for the masses, do not skimp on quality. Other dishes you can look forward to would be the Prawn Paste Chicken (S$8/S$10/S$12) and Mixed Furong Omelette (S$6/S$8).
212 Hougang Street 21, #01-347
Tel: +65 6343 0771
Daily: 12pm – 2am
Nearest Station: Kovan