When my editor suggested creating a char kway teow list, I jumped at the chance as this dish is a favourite local delicacy of mine. Growing up with my late Teochew grandmother, who was a char kway teow hawker inside an army camp, I had the opportunity to have this often.
Besides our local version, there’s also Penang char kway teow derived from our neighbouring country which I’m adding inside here. I’ve lost count of how many stalls I’ve tried, famous and under-the-radar ones, and some ended with immense disappointment.
Join me as I curate a list of the 12 best char kway teow stalls in Singapore that will hit the sweet spot.
I might catch some heat for this, considering everyone has their own closely-guarded char kway teow spot. Feel free to drop your recommendations in the comments if you have a better place in mind— it would be much appreciated!
Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee, established in the 1950s, distinguishes itself prominently at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre. Notably, its enduring popularity is evident through consistently lengthy queues, extending up to 90 minutes even during non-peak hours.
It’s no wonder that the stall managed to earn a spot on the Michelin Bib Gourmand list.
Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee offers either a S$4.50 or a S$5.50 portion of Char Kway Teow, with the option to add more cockles for S$2 or extra egg for S$0.50.
Each soft noodle tendril was coated in a sweet dark sauce, while other elements, like the beansprouts, cockles and pork lard, were well scattered throughout the dish. The Char Kway Teow was sweet with a fantastic wok hei flavour, nicely furnished by a smokey aroma from small chao tah bits within.
Compared to other stalls, the stall offered a wetter take on this popular local dish, with the eggs being exceptionally creamy. The cockles were big and juicy, with a good portion in relation to the amount of noodles.
Our favourite element of the Char Kway Teow was undoubtedly the pieces of pork lard within. There’s nothing more satisfying than biting into a crunchy, fatty piece of pork lard while simultaneously savouring the soft and sweet noodles.
531A Upper Cross Street, Hong Lim Market, #02-17, Singapore 051531
+65 9838 7619
Mon to Sat: 6am – 3pm
Closed on Sun
Ang Mo Kio Fried Kway Teow is located right smack at the town centre within Ang Mo Kio Central Market & Food Centre. This stall has been run by an elderly couple for the past 4 decades and garners a consistently long line of hungry customers.
The Fried Kway Teow is available in 2 portions: S$4 for small and S$5 for large. Indicate your preference to the aunty— with or without cockles and/or chilli.
The kway teow was on the wet side; each strand was lusciously coated in a mixture of sauce and oil. For my plate of S$5, there were sliced fishcakes, lap cheong, cockles and beansprouts.
The Chinese sausages seemed to have been seared beforehand, creating a charred saltiness that went fantastically well with the Fried Kway Teow. And, of course, the quintessential lard pieces contributed to the overall delectability of this dish.
Overall, it was savoury, full-bodied, and filled with glorious smokey flavours— my dining partner and I wiped the plate clean!
724 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, #01-22, Singapore 560724
+65 9729 8273
Tue to Sun: 10.30am – 3pm
Closed on Mon
For those thinking of patronising Hai Kee Teochew Cha Kuay Teow during breakfast or lunch, don’t make a wasted trip— unless, ehem… you eat lunch at 4.30pm.
Yes, this stall at Telok Blangah Crescent Food Centre only begins operations at that time and stays open for just 4.5 hours.
For the uninitiated, the default plate is served with hum (cockles) and not with lup cheong (Chinese sausage). Apparently, you can ask for it to be done to your liking. Unfortunately, after the 45-minute queue, we were too hungry and forgot to ask— what a bummer!
The portion of the Cha Kuay Teow (S$5) was massive with close to 20 pieces of cockles. The noodles were on the wet side and the pieces of crispy pork lard and bean sprouts gave the dish, a pretty addictive crunch.
The flavour of the Cha Kuay Teow was rich and flavourful, all thanks to the well-balanced coating of the sauce.
11 Telok Blangah Crescent, Telok Blangah Crescent Food Centre, #01-102, Singapore 090011
Mon to Sat: 4.30pm – 9pm
Closed on Sun
4. Zheng Xing Fried Kway Teow Mee
Zheng Xing Fried Kway Teow Mee is located at Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Market & Hawker Centre. This stall follows an unconventional schedule, opening only 4 days a week for a brief 4.5 hours each day.
Operating under the radar with no social media presence, this hidden gem employs an ‘invisible queue’ system where customers receive a queue number to collect their plate of char kway teow.
Arriving just before the peak lunch hour at 11:30 am, we were served within 20 minutes. However, be forewarned that the wait can stretch anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour during lunch.
Despite the absence of pork lard and the use of vegetable oil, the char kway teow exudes an aromatic fragrance and captures the smokey essence of wok hei. The spice hits you instantly, delivering a fiery punch.
It contains hum, Chinese sausage, egg and tau geh. Perhaps the secret lies in the hawker’s meticulous approach, frying 1 plate at a time.
210 Lor 8 Toa Payoh, #01-35, Singapore 310210
Tue & Wed, Fri & Sat: 11.30am – 4pm
Closed on Mon, Thu & Sun
5. Liang Ji The Legendary King
Situated at Telok Blangah Street 32 within Coffee & Tea kopitiam, Liang Ji The Legendary King offers a diverse selection of char kway teow dishes on its menu. Noteworthy options include the Humful Char Kway Teow (S$8/S$12), which has recently garnered attention on various social media platforms as well as Mala Fried Kway Teow (S$5/S$7).
I skipped all the fancier varieties and went straight for the traditional Teochew Char Kway Teow (S$5/S$7). The S$5 version was substantial with pieces of fishcake, lap cheong, cockles, tau geh, pork lard pieces, and egg.
The dish featured a notable wok hei essence, lending the kway teow a distinct charred flavour, and it leaned towards a drier texture. Paired with the crispy pieces of pork lard, the combination was heavenly. As it was a Teochew style, each bite contained delectable morsels of cai poh, imparting a lovely combination of savoury richness and satisfying crunch.
Additionally, the cockles were larger and juicier, which stood out compared to those from other establishments I have frequented. Seasoning was well-balanced and it wasn’t too oily for me.
Day Night Fried Kway Teow, a pioneer stall with 3 decades of history, proudly displays numerous accolades across its stall front and enjoys frequent mentions on social media. Notably, it stands out as one of the stalls with the lengthiest lunchtime queues at Bukit Merah Central Food Centre.
The small-sized char kway teow costs just S$3.50, making it one of the cheapest on this list. The noodles were a combination of yellow mee and ultra-thin kway teow (similar to those used in pad Thai or Vietnamese pho).
The kway teow mee was stir-fried together with fishcake, cockles, bean sprouts and Chinese sausage. Before serving, the aunty will serve you a spoonful of pork lard by the side and half a calamansi.
I could detect decent levels of wok hei, with crispy and airy golden nuggets of pork lard which weren’t oily. The tiny morsels of Chinese sausage were both juicy and flavourful. Squeezing the calamansi helped reduce the jelak-ness of the kway teow, but somehow also took away some of the smokey wok flavour— use it sparingly!
163 Bukit Merah Central, Bukit Merah Central Food Centre, #02-41, Singapore 150163
+65 9640 4870
Fri to Wed: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Closed on Thu
7. Sweet Bistro
At first glance, you may think that Sweet Bistro at Holland Drive Market and Food Centre is a hawker stall selling kueh and snacks like yam cakes. However, take a closer look and you’ll notice that everyone is queueing up for char kway teow instead.
The owner, Benz Tan used to work in the buffet restaurant at Conrad Hotel about a decade ago, before he came out to be a hawker in his own right.
His Penang Char Kway Teow (S$5), available only from 11 am to 2 pm daily, adds to its allure, making it a truly elusive dish.
It came with a large amount of ingredients, such as bean sprouts, a whole prawn, fish cakes, lup cheong and some green onion shoots. Every bite was filled with savoury wok hei, and because it’s drier than the char kway teow we’re used to here in Singapore, I could taste a smokey spiciness, which only added to how delicious it was.
The noodles were light and delicate and they didn’t clump together. The bean sprouts gave that well-needed crunch factor, while other ingredients like the lup cheong, fish cakes and egg created a beautiful varied texture when paired with the noodles.
44 Holland Drive, Holland Drive Market and Food Centre, #02-24, Singapore 270044
Daily: 7am – 3pm
8. Penang Taste
Tucked behind the taxi stand at Sultan Plaza is Sultan’s Kitchen food court, featuring a stall with a vibrant yellow display named Penang Taste. With a menu boasting around 10 Penang dishes, I couldn’t resist trying the Signature Penang Char Kway Teow priced at S$6.
Hidden below the perfectly-shaped sunny-side up was a mound of reddish pho-like kway teow adorned with Chinese sausage, tau geh, 2 plump prawns, green onion shoots, egg and pork lard pieces (too little of them).
The kway teow had an impactful punch of spice, which hits you instantly. The wok hei was robust, and when I broke the yolk of the sunny-side up, mixing it all together, every bite became creamier and richer.
I’ll make a bold statement by saying that it’s actually better than previous renditions I’ve had in Penang.
Order Delivery: foodpanda
9. Heng Huat Fried Kway Teow
Established in 1983, Heng Huat Fried Kway Teow at Pasir Panjang Food Centre offers a unique rendition that sets it apart from other stalls. Their version features a generous heap of green cai xin on top of the kway teow, stir-fried with egg, tau geh, and hum.
Prices range from S$4 to S$8 for the normal ones and S$10 to S$15 if you like it to be served with oysters.
While I couldn’t find any traces of pork lard, what stood out were the tiny pieces of crunchy cai poh (preserved radish) which added bursts of savouriness and texture to the dish. Even with the absence of lard, I found the dish to be quite satisfying with sufficient, smokey wok hei.
The addition of green veggies not only enhanced the visual appeal but also played a crucial role in balancing the richness of the dish by introducing fresh and vibrant elements.
121 Pasir Panjang Road, #01-36, Singapore 118543
+65 9735 5236
Wed to Sat: 11am – 8pm
Closed Sun to Tue
Tucked away in a secluded corner, Quan Ji Cooked Food at Hougang Hainanese Food Village sells 2 dishes: Hokkien mee and char kway teow— simple and straightforward.
The stall is headed by 39-year-old Mrs Lu and her husband who have been running it for the past 10 years. Mrs Lu hails from Hainan, China, and had never stepped foot in the kitchen before she took over the business.
I tried the Fried Kway Teow (S$4.50 for small). It was a lovely mess of fried kway teow mee, lap cheong, fishcake, cockles, egg, bean sprouts, green vegetables and a generous topping of pork lard chunks.
To my surprise, the Fried Kway Teow wasn’t as oily as expected. Infused with a substantial amount of wok hei, it seduced my taste buds, enticing me to go for seconds (and more). Mrs. Lu’s addition of a generous amount of black sweet sauce lent a delightful touch of sweetness to the noodles, completely aligning with my taste preferences.
The pieces of lup cheong and fishcake gave bursts of flavour and texture to the dish. The cockles were plump and fresh, which added a briny infusion of the ocean in every bite. My favourite part of the dish were the pieces of pork lard which were fried in-house.
105 Hougang Ave 1, Hougang Hainanese Village Centre, #02-37, Singapore 530105
Wed to Mon: 9am – 7pm
Close on Tue
Working behind the wok of Hock Huat Fried Kway Teow at Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre lies a petite elderly aunty around 70 years of age frying wok after wok of Char Kway Teow (S$3/S$3.50).
Every serving is meticulously cooked upon order and nothing sits pre-made. This commitment to freshness contributes to the perpetual queue at her stall.
Abundantly distributed amidst the flat noodles were the usual suspects: slices of red lap cheong (Chinese sausage), fish cake, glistening bean sprouts (tau geh), and sunny shreds of fried egg.
17 Upper Boon Keng Road, #01-37, Singapore 380017
Mon to Wed, Fri & Sat: 10.30am – 3.30pm
Closed on Thu & Sun
786 Char Kway Teow at Bukit Merah View Market & Hawker Centre is helmed by Anis, both owner and chef, who is a Muslim convert. He has a Muslim conversion card which makes this place Muslim friendly.
I anticipate some might question, “Aaron, can it truly be considered char kway teow without pork or lard?” This inquiry, particularly from my Chinese acquaintances, spurred my determination to challenge conventional beliefs and personally explore the experience.
There are 3 sizes available: (small for S$4.50, middle for S$5.50, large for S$6.50).
Presented on a styrofoam plate, our small portion of char kway teow featured a medley of cockles, eggs, bean sprouts, and fishcake. The dish boasted nuanced traces of wok hei, and the noodles leaned towards the spicier side, prompting us to reach for a cold beverage after just 3 to 4 bites.
For a Muslim-friendly option, I find the char kway teow here quite commendable, with a distinct resemblance to the Penang style rather than our localised version.
115 Bukit Merah View, Bukit Merah View Market & Hawker Centre, #01-28, Singapore 151115
Sat to Thu: 12pm – 8pm
Closed on Fri