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Food

13 Best Sambal Stingray in Singapore To Spice Up Your Life

Last Updated: July 21, 2017

Written by Xinhui Ong

Steady for Sambal Stingray?

Long ago in Singapore, stingrays were deemed as inferior seafood, only as substitutes for more expensive seafood like scallops. But I’m sitting here thinking how is that possible? Stingrays taste better than scallops IMO perhaps because I have a peasant-like palate. The search for Singapore’s best sambal stingray begins.

Thank goodness for whoever found out stingray wings were in fact, fleshy and delicious. Majority of people in the world, especially non-South East Asians, are unaware of stingrays’ edibility and often treat them as unwanted catches. Kudos to whoever first attempted to eat this flat slimy fish.

Before you proceed, here is a stingray term glossary:

Chinchalok: A pink murky sauce with fermented shrimps, onions and lime juice given as a dip for your stingray. It differs in taste as many chefs make their own rendition

Sambal: Do I have to define this? But really, sambal sauce is typically made from a mix of chili peppers and other ingredients such as shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, sugar, lime juice/ vinegar.

This is in no way a complete guide to Singapore’s BEST Sambal stingrays, just my humble guide on my favorite stingrays.

—Bedok 85, Fengshan Market and Food Centre—

Bedok 85 is food haven. From Ba Chor Mee to Fish Soup, it’s no surprise Singapore’s best stingrays could be found there too

1. CHAN BBQ

best sambal sting ray singapore chan bbq

The stingray wings were thick and large. Pulling it apart, rows of ray meat came out in fleshy slices. CHAN BBQ’s ray meat was thick, and extremely juicy and tender. But let me warn you, the sambal was intensely spicy. Just the way many locals like it.

A few spoonfuls of it and you’re sure to break out in sweat, with your mouth crying out for mercy. You’ll see little dried chunks of residue in the fiery red sambal and those are ‘he bi’ or dried shrimps. CHAN BBQ makes use of a lot of ‘he bi, hence there’s notable aftertaste of it if your tongue has yet to be numbed by the spiciness.

stingray-bedok (2 of 4)

What I loved about their sambal is how fabulously the lime juice complemented it. Despite it being just a normal looking lime, it made a lot of difference to the sauce. With the citrus tartness bringing the sweet, savoury and slightly fishy sambal altogether.

Their sambal is not of the stinging pungent kind, it is a very subtle light version however it might be because it was spicy that my tongue just ceased being able to taste anything else in it. With the lime pulling it altogether, their sambal still felt kinda incomplete. Their side sauce was not of Chinchalok but a kind of chilli that was light and sour, nothing notable. Stiff after it cooled.

Smallest portion: $10

Chan BBQ:  #01-24, Fengshang Market and Food Centre, 85 Bedok North Street 4, Singapore 460085

2. Chomp Chomp BBQ 忠忠烧烤

stingray-bedok (4 of 4) best sambal sting ray singapore chomp chomp

Hailing from Chomp Chomp, the stingray here is wetter and has more distinct smokiness and sambal flavour than CHAN’s. They take pride in the way they marinade their stingrays before grilling them unlike many other stalls that only apply the chili after grilling.

This way their meat is significantly tastier, having had more time to soak in the sambal goodness. Generous serving.

stingray-bedok (1 of 4)

Fantastic Chinchalok sauce – lime green chili red chilli and all sorts of magic. Super tasty sambal different from CHAN’s sweeter more flavourful in a way that it tasted more complete. Really liked it.

Even tasted great after it cooled. The chef that formulated the Chinchalok jokingly challenged me to figure out what was inside the sauce after I asked him what were the ingredients to such a fantastic Chinchalok. The stall owners/helpers were really jovial folks to talk to! That’s always a plus point.

Smallest portion: $10

Chomp Chomp BBQ: #01-44 Fengshang Market and Food Centre, 85 Bedok North Street 4, Singapore 460085

 

—Lau Pa Sat Festival Market—

After renovation, Lau Pa Sat is brighter and bigger attracting mostly tourists so expect higher prices.

3. Ming Yen Seafood 铭雁烧烤海鲜

StingrayLauPaSat (3 of 5) StingrayLauPaSat (5 of 5)

Stingray was drier than Boon Tat’s (another stall from Lau Pat Sat) but Ming Yen’s meat was much tastier, probably because their marinate settled longer.

They have an interesting sambal sauce that was slightly spicy and tomato-ish which might sound odd but worked really well actually. Definitely different from the usual sambal sauces and the spiciness level might have been reduced for tourists.

Would recommend to people who’d prefer a lighter sambal flavour.

Tried the famous Boon Tat one as well but…was a disappointment to me and wouldn’t bother with it.

The sambal was inadequate, only brushed onto after grilling. Though the meat was juicy and tender, the sambal was too insufficient and the meat had barely any flavour. Perhaps the one at Makansutra’s Gluttons by The Bay would be better since it has garnered much hype and praise.

Smallest portion: $12

Ming Yen BBQ: Stall 55-57, Lau Pa Sat Festival Market, 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582 

 

—Pasir Panjang Food Centre—

Like Chomp Chomp and Newton, Pasir Panjang Food Centre is another place with a hell lot of stalls selling BBQ seafood. You can tell/smell from a mile away because the smoke clouds obscure the area. There are about 5 stalls there so you’ll be spoilt for choices! Tried 3 and these were the 2 that were gooooood.

4. Alan Banana Leaves BBQ Seafood 香蕉叶烧烤海鲜

best sambal sting ray singapore alan bbq

A hell lot of sambal which was super shiok because it not only packed a pretty fiery punch, it also complimented well; it was sweet, slightly sour and felt balanced with a tad bit of smokiness to it.

Stingray (3 of 9)

Ray flesh was so thick I was amazed how the meat still stayed so juicy. Class grilling technique probably. Chinchalok however was nothing that special.

Smallest portion: $10

Alan Banana Leaf: #01-24, Pasir Panjang Food Centre: 121 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118543 

5. Xin Fu Ji Seafood 新福记

Stingray (6 of 9)

First glance at their signboard that is 80% filled with crabs I was like wait, they sell stingrays too? And Yes they do. In fact Xin Fu Ji was one of the best Sambal Stingrays I’ve had.

With any seafood order, Xin Fu Ji gives you a packet of tissue. Yes, a whole packet – now that’s good service at a hawker centre!

best sambal sting ray singapore xin fu ji

Oddly shaped stingray but sambal was absolutely brilliant – a  great balance of sweet, sour and spicy. The meat was infused with enough flavour and marinade but was just a little dry. Best sambal stingray chili sauce I have tried that got me super in love with it.

I kept eating the sambal on its own and even wanted to buy the sauce back home because it was that amazing. Unfortunately, their sauce isn’t for sale (I asked). Might not be spicy enough for some others though.

Their chinchalok that they concocted themselves had predominant onion and lime taste that was pleasantly sweet and sour. Thankful that their lime was juicy enough as well.

Smallest portion: $10

Xin Fu Ji: #01-17, Pasir Panjang Food Centre, 121 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118543 

 

—Alexandra Village Food Centre—

Why eat at IKEA when you have so.much.good.food here?!

6. Star Yong Kwang Seafood 荣光铁板烧鱼

Many people have raved about this Zi Char Store in Alexandra food village (yes another food haven). The sambal stingray here is usually huge, juicy and slathered in a generous amount of sambal.

People who have tried this mostly would fall in love with their sambal because it is a fantastic formula that balances spiciness, sweetness and a load of other spices, giving birth to their personal secret star sambal sauce formula.

According to gurkhason, the owner’s son has been his father’s apprentice, helping around the stall since he was 12. If the sambal sauce recipe (and perhaps the entire recipe for the entire restaurant’s menu) is that amazing, may it never be lost through the generations. Kudos to the father-son duo!

Smallest portion: $10

Star Yong Kwang Seafood: #01-04, Alexandra Village Food Centre: 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Singapore 150120

 

—Old Airport Road Food Centre—

…Hello from the other sideeeeeee of foodie heaven.

7. Mattar Road BBQ Seafood 玛达律烧烤海鲜

best sambal sting ray singapore mattar road

Credit

Known to have one of the best chili crabs in Singapore, you know Mattar Road BBQ knows how to deal with seafood. Their stingrays are not as well-known as the crabs but are pretty good too! If you’re there, might as well get the crabs too right? Just….be careful of your cholesterol levels yeah…

Do clarify what the prices are before you order as we’ve heard some chatter about inconsistent pricing here.

Mattar Road BBQ: #01-63, Old Airport Road Food Centre: Block 51 Old Airport Road, Singapore 390051

8. BJ Grill Seafood

stingray- (1 of 2)

At only $8, you can get a nice thick piece of stingray with a generous about of sambal paste slathered on it. BJ Grill’s sambal sauce is sufficiently spicy with a sweet base. They are relatively new and nothing much is known about them but they have received multiple 5 stars reviews on facebook , with an online food reviewer seeming pretty impressed by them as well.

best sambal sting ray singapore bj grill

Since it’s only $8 probably worth a try if you’re around the area.

Stingray (4 of 5)

They even have this interesting garlic butter flavour stingray that they’ve created. So now people with low spice tolerance can finally enjoy stingray without breaking into buckets of swear. They also have a half sambal-half garlic butter stingray option – they call their ‘Yuan Yang’ stingray. Indeed this makes me want to go down and give it a try!

Smallest portion: $8

BJ Grill Seafood: #01-101 Old Airport Road Food Centr, Block 51 Old Airport Road, Singapore 390051

 

—Ayer Rajah Food Centre—

There’s more than just Malaysia here and no, west coast doesn’t accept ringgit.

9. Tokyo東京烧

Stingray (1 of 5)

This stall, Tokyo, sells Singaporean style bbq. Yeah this unusual sounding stall in Ayer Rajah Food Centre sells Seafood bbq and oyster omelette. Sounds like an odd combination again….

But fret not as seemingly different the stall’s name and her dishes are, rest assured that Tokyo knows what her Stingray is all about. Many have been extolling praise for Tokyo’s food including Hungrygowhere that included Tokyo into its ‘Singapore’s Best Sambal Stingray’ guide.

With nicely crisp and charred sides yet maintaining that tenderness and juiciness, Tokyo does justice to the stingray meat. But would be nice if there was a bit more sambal.

Smallest portion: $10

Tokyo: #01-07, Ayer Rajah Food Centre: Blk 503 West Coast Drive, Singapore 120503

 

—Jurong West—

10. 526 Hotplate BBQ 鐵版烧鱼

best sambal sting ray singapore hot plate bbq stingray

Meat is tender but a bit overdone, thin as well but can’t complain at $8 only. Sambal sauce combination is good with the dried shrimp he-bi aftertaste. The sambal that they’ve made themselves packs a good surprise because upon savouring it, the very essence of sambal seeps into your tastebuds.

stingray-jurongwest (1 of 1)

You know that the technique the chef uses to fry the chili paste is excellent – retaining moisture and fragrance. However, it was a bit oily. This kopitiam is quite popular so expect longer waiting time.

Smallest portion: $8

526 Hotplate BBQ: Jurong West Street 52, Block 526, Singapore 640526

11. Shun Fa BBQ 順發烧烤海鲜

stingray-jurongwest (1 of 2)

Enjoyable even despite consuming it as takeaway. Juicy, thick and big it is definitely worth $10 for this stingray. The chinchalok wasn’t very fantastic, fishier than others. However, their sambal wasn’t bad; it tasted traditional yet had a saccharine aftertaste.

best sambal sting ray singapore shun fa stingray

So yes it’s traditional yet slightly unique…I know they’re all starting to sound the same but it’s hard to put a finger on how different the different sambal sauces taste (but I try).

Smallest portion: $10

Shun Fa BBQ: Jurong West Street 51, Block 496, Singapore 640496

12. B.B.Q Seafood

This sambal stingray comes in a sizzling hot plate and really sets itself apart from the rest. Having a strong intense sambal, the hotplate keeps the fish warm while you enjoy your other zhi char delights.

The highlight is really the generous slather of sambal chili atop the stingray that elevates the dish with its fragrant herbs and spices. Singapore Westies swear by this stall!

Smallest Portion: $8

B.B.Q Seafood: #03-178 , Yung Sheng Road, Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre, Singapore 618499

—Chomp Chomp Food Centre—

13. Chomp Chomp Hai Wei Yuan Seafood BBQ 忠忠海味园

The very first seafood stall at Chomp Chomp, Hai Wei Yuen has been one of the hot favorites for sambal stingray at this late night supper spot in Serangoon. There are a couple other stalls here and if the queue is too long, I’d go for Lucy BBQ Seafood instead which is located in the middle of Chomp Chomp.

The size of the stingray is sometimes a bit on the thin side but the meat is tender and succulent. There’s a subtle char to the stingray while the sambal is thick enough to pack a flavourful punch. Sitting near the stall is guaranteed to imbue your clothes with a natural smokey perfume though, so I wouldn’t sit that close.

Smallest Portion: $10

Hai Wei Yuen: #01-01, Chomp Chomp Food Centre, 20 Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557269

stingraymeme (1 of 1)

I love sambal stingray but am in no way an expert on it, so feel free to share more recommendations!

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