Singaporeans love the variety of dishes that make up the famous Chinese cuisine known as “Zi Char,” which is often prepared in a wok and served family style. Chinese for “cook and fry” refers to the manner of cooking used to make the meals, and this is how the term “Zi Char” is literally translated.
In Singapore, Zi Char restaurants are mainly informal eating places that provide a wide variety of food, from stir-fried veggies and meat meals to seafood specialties and noodle dishes. Black pepper crab, salted egg prawns, sambal stingray, and ho fun are some of the most popular delicacies (stir-fried flat rice noodles).
Zi Char Restaurants in Singapore are distinctive in that they frequently let patrons bring their own items, including live fish or vegetables, to be prepared there. The “tai pai dong” type of dining is well-liked among bigger parties that desire a more individualized dining experience.
Overall, Zi Char restaurants in Singapore provide residents and tourists with a delectable and cost-effective eating choice, with numerous eateries offering a broad selection of meals to suit all tastes and preferences.
Best Zi Char Restaurants in Singapore
|Tuesday – Sunday: 12:00 PM – 2:15 PM / 5:00 PM – 9:15 PM
|+65 6223 2005
|4 Keong Saik Road, NIL, Singapore 089112
From delectable soups to a selection of fish, poultry, and hog meals, the Kok Sen Restaurant menu offers all the hallmarks of traditional zi char cuisine. Also, it offers several exotically flavorful, hard-to-find Chinese delicacies. You may drink cold beer to accompany your filling meals.
This is a straightforward zi char stand with both inside and outdoor seating, and no matter the day, it is constantly crowded. A demonstration of excellent, real food? That has to be it. The service is frequently swift, and the personnel is really helpful.
- A traditional zi char place in a hipster enclave
- An outstanding Cantonese-style zi char menu
- Claypot Yong Tau Foo with unusual flavors and texture
- Hor Fun with the largest prawns ever
Saw the 2021 Bib Gourmand label when walking past looking for a dinner in the area. So we immediately sat down at one of the tables on street level and ordered some random dishes from the menu. – Ondrej
1 hour queue, finally seated and served at 8+. The owner’s son was apologetic that many of the popular dishes have been sold out but still tried his best to recommend them. Very good attitude, chatting with the customers. – Hoong Wai Wong
Everything was so good, very well-deserved be a Michelin Bib Gourmand authentic Singapore local food. There are a few must try’s – the big prawn noodles/ Ho fun; golden dragon chicken; Yong Tau Fu, braised bitter gourd with black beans. We have been here many times and it never fails us. The restaurant is always very crowded, it is better to make a reservation. Service is good and food is served without a long wait. – Merryheart Sg
|Daily: 12:00 – 22:00
|+65 6979 3668
|1/A Tampines Street 92 Singapore 528882
A well-executed a-la-carte menu of seafood, chicken, duck, and hog meals, as well as a variety of claypot concoctions, are available at Keng Eng Kee Seafood. Furthermore offered are set mixed platters, soups, rice, and noodle meals. Keng Eng Kee Seafood is known for serving boiling hot comfort cuisine that will warm your insides as well as your taste senses. Salted Egg Crabs, Moonlight Hor Fun, Mingzu Rolls, and Claypot Pork Liver are just a few of its mouthwatering specialties. You’ll want more of each dish that is overflowing with wok hei flavor.
This straightforward eatery exudes the same rustic charm of a zi char stand. Even during times of high demand, the service is prompt and effective, and the personnel is very welcoming.
- Great selection of signature dishes
- A comfortable air-conditioning dining option
Great meal, the crab was also good. The soup (with fish maw and crab meat) was hearty and very tasty. Crab meat fried rice is a must to order! Large platter was more than enough to feed 9 adults and 3 kids. Coffee ribs was tasty too! – Jenny Chan
Our go to zi char place. Consistently excellent over the years – chilli crab, salted egg prawn, hor fun and marmite these are what they are known for. Great value and service is pleasant as always. – Raz Yaacub
My favorite zi char restaurant in Singapore. Their signature moonlight hor fun and coffee pork ribs are a must-have. Hor fun is packed with wok hei and is so creamy when you mix in the egg yolk. The coffee pork rib is extremely fragrant and tender. Other dishes like the yam ring, signature beancurd, and salted egg crab are delicious too. You know it’s good when even my grandma craves the food. – Lester
|Daily: 3 PM–3 AM
|+65 6440 6956
|187 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428893
There are several vegan and non-vegan cuisine options on the extensive menu. To accommodate vegetarians, mock meats are offered upon request. The standard menu may also be modified to fit your individual diet, and the proprietors welcome comments and recommendations. In reality, Sin Hoi Sai has a heritage of offering foods that are in high demand on their menu.
Sin Hoi Sai, tucked away along the congested East Coast Road, is a stand-alone tourist destination. It is for this reason that a loud, crowded dining establishment has become the norm during peak hours. These peculiarities are offset, though, by the roomy space, the refreshing wind, and the kind personnel. The relaxed atmosphere makes you want to gather with friends and family for a substantial lunch.
- Friendly eating house
- Vegan-friendly starters and mains
I’ve been going to Sin, Hoi Sai, almost every week for the past 2 years and it’s become a sort of comfort food for me. Excelled dishes, lovely owner lady and there’s a certain warmth in all of the food being served. Open till late 3 AM and they’re such hardworking people. Undoubtedly the best Zi Char place in all of Singapore. – Ashis Nayak
My favorite place for zi char. Ordered Fried Squid, Lala Garlic, marmite chicken, and sambal Kang kong. Also 3 rice and 3 lime juice. – Swee Keow Seng
Enjoyed their Zi Char very much, flavours of the sotong, chicken, soup & hor fun were not too strong and their customer service is good. I saw many people from different races enjoying their food here, so I’d say that this place is worth a try if you’re craving a nice local Zi Char. – SeungJun Kim
|Daily: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM / 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
|+65 6472 5361
|Blk 116 Commonwealth Crescent, #01-129, Singapore, Singapore
The menu of Two Chefs Eating Place offers a variety of seafood and meaty main dishes. On the menu, there are a number of tasty options for fish, prawns, crab, pig, chicken, beef, beancurd, vegetables, soup, rice, and noodles. Since the cooks work hard to be inventive, certain meals are not your normal Zi Char cuisine.
There’s no denying that the atmosphere at Two Chefs Eating Place Dining Spot is friendly. In order to accommodate the enormous number of visitors, particularly families who make it a point to eat together on the weekends, there are additional large tables.
- Innovative dishes
- Zi Char food was even made more affordable and served fast
- Allows you to place an order before you even secure a table
- Near-raw cockles to “warm the cockles of your heart
Very good and affordable zi char food. Go early at 5 pm, seats are available. Food tastes good, not too salty like others. – Paul KH Phua
Great place for dinner/supper especially if feeling hungry! The food was served fast and delicious. Pork ribs were surprisingly so crispy, and kangkong and tofu were flavourful. Can’t go wrong with this zi char stall. – Michelle Tan
This is definitely a zi char stall to visit for the ages. Tried their signature milk powder pork ribs and it was really very special. Not only did it taste good, the meat was also easy to bite into. Their tofu with mushrooms and sambal kangkong were also great dishes to go with rice. There’s really nothing much to criticize about this place. Great experience overall! – Jun Wei
|Tuesday – Sunday: 11 AM–2:30 PM / 5–10:45 PM
|+65 6221 0582
|69 Seng Poh Ln, #01-02, Singapore 160069
The majority of the cuisine of Por Kee Eating House 1996 is Cantonese. Both vegans and non-vegans can choose from a choice of appetizers and entrées. There is also a nice assortment of wines available to wash away the delicious aftertaste.
Por Kee Eating House 1996, a Zi Char restaurant, frequently has a boisterous crowd throughout lunch and supper. The eating space inside is relatively small, and there is barely enough room for a large party to eat at the outdoor tables. Walk-in customers should plan on waiting for a table for at least 10 minutes, but the delicious meal will more than make up for it.
- A wide selection of Cantonese dishes
- Signature Homemade Beancurd
- Dining area with air conditioning
Always a great choice for zi char if one runs out of ideas on where to bring friends to try good zi char dishes. Quality n portions have been consistent over the years, my fav dishes are champagne pork ribs, homemade tofu, and prawns with vermicelli in a clay pot. – SingWei Wong
Spot on zi char dian, must try if you’re hanging around old Tiong Bahru. But that Thai-style seafood chili sauce tho. – James
One of my absolute favorite zi char restaurants – I always take family and friends who visit the area to eat here. They get full quickly, even on some weekdays, so best to call in advance! My favorites include the beancurd with mushrooms and broccoli, the cereal prawns (the best I’ve had in Singapore), and the salted fish fried rice. The family loves their champagne pork ribs too. Also had their black pepper crab once before and it was amazing. – Sophie R
In conclusion, Singaporeans appreciate Zi Char eateries for their delectable and reasonably priced Chinese cuisine. These informal restaurants serve a broad variety of foods, with seafood specialties being particularly well-liked. The tai pai dong style of dining, in which patrons can bring their own food to be prepared in the restaurant, also gives the dining experience a customized touch. A visit to a Zi Char restaurant is unquestionably worthwhile if you want to sample wonderful and traditional Singaporean food, regardless of whether you are a native or a guest.
Do check out our list of Malaysian Restaurants and have time to try their delicious food.
Frequently Asked Question
What is zi char in chinese?
What is Zhu Chao in English?
What is Zi Char in Cantonese?
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