Tasty char siew you don’t need to travel for
Even though loads of people are willing to travel to Hong Kong just to eat at Yat Lok, it’s not practical to splurge on an air ticket every time you’re craving for good meat. While char siew in Singapore is generally leaner than thick-cut fatty char siew you’ll get in HK, it can be equally tasty. Here are 10 places with excellent char siew you can chow down on without flying across countries.
1. Tiong Bahru Lee Hong Kee Cantonese Roasted
Lee Hong Kee has a long history that stretches back to the 1960s. This stall at Tiong Bahru Market still attracts long queues for char siew rice ($3). They use pork shoulder, which is a leaner cut, for their char siew. The caramelised layer on the meat is less sweet compared to others on this list, but the dark braised sauce slathered all over makes up for it.
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, #02-60, Tiong Bahru Market, Singapore 168898
Opening hours: Fri-Wed 9am to 8pm
2. Fu Shi (Traditional) Roasted Wanton Mee
Fu Shi is relatively young with nine years of history, but has an equal share of regular customers. They offer three types of cut: a leaner pork shoulder, fatty pork belly and a tender underarm cut. Char siew itself costs $30 per kilogram, but you can get the usual char siew rice at $3. They open early in the morning and often sell out by early afternoon, so head there early for your meat!
Address: 320 Shunfu Road, #02-25, Shunfu Mart Food Centre, Singapore 570320
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 8:30am to 1:30pm
Tel: 9237 8157
3. Lau Phua Chay Authentic Roasted Delicacies
Lau Phua Chay’s char siew rice ($3) is generously doused with a dark and fragrant gravy that comes with soy bean paste, shallots and garlic. Some might find it overpowering, while die-hard fans will describe it as addictive. It’s best to go with lean shoulder-cut char siew here.
Address: 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-20, Alexandra Village Food Centre, Singapore 150120
Opening hours: Sun-Fri 11am to 7pm
Tel: 9663 6862
4. Fatty Cheong
Fatty Cheong uses underarm cut that’s tender with a good balance of fat to keep it juicy, while the outer layer is charred just enough. They usually prep enough to last the entire day, so you don’t have to rush here to get your char siew rice ($3). That being said, lunch queues can get really long. For those who live at Toa Payoh, Fatty Cheong has a second outlet at Toa Payoh Central that is run by his son.
Address: 6 Jalan Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-120, ABC Brickworks Food Centre, Singapore 150006
Opening hours: Fri-Wed 11am to 8:30pm
Tel: 9882 4949
5. Foong Kee Coffee Shop
Foong Kee is well known for cheap and good wanton mee ($2). Char siew is not just served as a topping, but a main star on its own. It’s perfectly charred on the surface with juicy tender meat beneath. With the burgeoning of hipster cafes and restaurants along Keong Saik, Foong Kee offers familiar fare worth patrionising.
Address: 6 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089114
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11am to 8pm
Tel: 9181 1451
6. Roast Paradise
Roast Paradise is run by two young hawkerpreneurs who learned their recipe from Kuala Lumpur. They serve KL style roast with Hakka noodles ($3.50) that’s lightly tossed in pork lard and garlic oil. Char siew here is made with pork jowl and belly cut, smoked and caramelised to give it a deep colour and intense flavour.
Address:, 51 Old Airport Road, #01-121, Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11am to 4pm
Tel: 9786 7396
7. Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint
Kay Lee adopts Zhujiang style roast that originates from Guangzhou, China. Char siew ($50 per kg, $5 with rice) here is juicy and flavourful; its outer layer glistens with a deep dark caramelised colour. After all, this is a recipe that’s been sold for $4 million and has expanded to four other branches since they started their Upper Paya Lebar outlet in the 70s.
8. Kim Heng HK Roasted Meat
Kim Heng serves char siew rice ($3.30) with the oily but fragrant rice you’d get with chicken rice. The seasoning of the rice and char siew glaze both come with a hint of ginger and go well together. We also love how the portion comes with generous and thick chunks of char siew rather than thinly sliced pieces.
Address: 214 Serangoon Avenue 4, #01-88, Singapore 550214
Opening hours: Daily 8:30am to 7pm
Tel: 6283 3695
9. Hong Kong 88 Roast Meat Specialist
Hong Kong 88 Roast Meat is a hidden gem that moved numerous times in the past few years. From Tampines to Bukit Batok and then its latest spot on Foch Road, this kopitiam stall has thankfully retained their tasty recipe throughout all locations. Their char siew ($50 per kg, $3 with rice) has equal layers of meat and fat, and is juicy, smoky while not being overly sweet.
Address: 30 Foch Road, Singapore 209276
Opening hours: Daily 10:30am to 9:45pm
10. New Rong Liang Ge Cantonese Roast Duck
Tucked in a narrow alleyway along Queen Street, New Rong Liang Ge is relatively hidden on its own but noticeable because of a consistently long queue. Char siew here is lean and tender, served with rice and doused in dark, sweet and gooey gravy for $3.
Address: 269B Queen Street, #01-235, Singapore 182269
Opening hours: Daily 7:30am to 8pm
Tel: 9451 9669
Jumping on the char siew train
Each of these stalls has their own way of preparing char siew, from choosing the right cut to blending different types of spices for its marinade and roasting techniques that gives the meat different hues. Stalls selling roasted meat are everywhere, so don’t stop in your search for the best char siew in Singapore. Let us know your go-to for char siew rice in the comments!