Chef Chik: Restaurant standard zi char dishes served at Haig Road Food Centre

Chef Chik is a hawker stall serving up zi char dishes at Haig Road Market and Food Centre. Before I visited them, I did a Google search to find out more about their menu. I’ll be honest with you, I was slightly intimidated when I saw that most of the items on their menu had the words ‘seasonal price’ next to them. How much was I going to end up spending here?

chef chik - stall front

I found out that Chef Chik used to be an executive chef for Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant, which is an award-winning Cantonese restaurant located within Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel.

Upon arriving at the stall at 11.30am, there was already a short queue formed in front. Besides a curated list of zi char dishes, they also offer a variety of double-boiled soups. While waiting for my turn to get my order taken, I noticed that they had signs stating that they close every Sunday to Tuesday, and open for only four hours a day. “Wow, they must be doing well to have such short operating hours,” I thought to myself.

What I tried at Chef Chik

chef chik - steamed fish

I kick-started my mini eating voyage with Steamed Threadfin Belly (Seasonal Price), which ended up costing me S$22— pretty steep for a hawker centre in my opinion. It came with 12 slices of fish belly served with a dark sauce.

My dining partner (and ex-colleague), Adam, is an Asian cuisine chef. He told me that the gravy is made up of a concoction involving light soya sauce and rock sugar flavoured with coriander, thereafter adding fish sauce and Maggi seasoning with a finishing touch of sesame oil.

chef chik - steamed fish closeup

There were red chilli bits, finely minced garlic, coriander leaves and spring onions garnished on top of the fish dish. I took my very first mouthful of the Steamed Threadfin Belly and everything around me grew silent for a split second. I was amazed at how tender the fish belly was, and the way it melted in my mouth just enhanced the whole eating experience.

The garnish provided an additional dimension to the overall taste of this dish. That spicy kick from the small bits of chilli, the earthiness and heat coming from the minced garlic, and the refreshing tastes of the spring onions and cilantro, all came together in perfect harmony. The amazing sauce at the bottom only enhanced things even further— I was starting to think that the overall taste justified the steep price.

chef chik - vegetables

chef chik - vegetables closeup

The Oyster Sauce Veg (S$4 for small, S$8 for large) was, however, a little underwhelming compared to the phenomenal dish before it. It felt like the baby kailan was just blanched or steamed, with the oyster sauce poured over it. Although the baby kailan was cooked perfectly, it would have been better if the vegetables were sauteed together with the oyster sauce, resulting in a more fragrant dish— perhaps some wok hei even?

chef chik - prawn chee cheong fun

The dish to end the voyage was Chef Chik’s Garlic Chee Cheong Fun With Prawn (Seasonal Price), which turned out to cost S$24. Lying on top the bed of white pillowy Chee Cheong Fun were six huge halved prawns with their shells still intact. The sauce below was the same sauce that was served earlier on with the fish belly.

chef chik - closeup of prawn

The halved prawns were almost as big as my palms (I have small hands by the way, so this is not an exaggeration). The meat was firm and fresh, and paired really well with the minced garlic and chilli garnish atop.

chef chik - closeup of prawn head

I’d usually skip sucking the prawn heads but for Chef Chik’s prawns, the heads were still bright red and looked tempting enough to have a go. Alas, I succumbed to temptation, and was rewarded with a rich umami treat that was so delicious.

chef chik - closeup of chee cheong fun

The silky soft pillows of chee cheong fun had already absorbed the flavourful stock quite a bit as I was attacking the prawns first. They slided super smoothly into my mouth, and the robustness of the gravy permeated my taste buds. It was honestly one of the best chee cheong funs I’ve had, in terms of texture. The whole combination of this dish really worked for me.

Final thoughts

chef chik - overview of dishes

The prices at Chef Chik may be on the higher side of the spectrum if you’re talking about hawker centre standards, but the quality and taste of its main dishes are of restaurant quality.

If you’d transported a huge air cooler in front of me, and provided me with noise cancelling headphones playing soothing classical music, I could just close my eyes for a moment and imagine that I’m at a fine dining Chinese restaurant having a good meal.

Head down to Haig Road Market and Food Centre to experience this for yourself.

Expected damage: S$11 – S$26 per pax

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Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

Chef Chik

13 Haig Road, Haig Road Market, #01-36, Singapore 430014

Our Rating 4.5/5

Chef Chik

13 Haig Road, Haig Road Market, #01-36, Singapore 430014

Telephone: +65 9011 8979
Operating Hours: 11am - 3.30pm (Wed to Sat), Closed on Sun to Tue
Telephone: +65 9011 8979

Operating Hours: 11am - 3.30pm (Wed to Sat), Closed on Sun to Tue