Kok Sen reopens with famous zi char
Kok Sen has been around for five decades now, and they’ve been a Chinatown zi char institution throughout their lifetime. They used to be an open-air restaurant housed at 30-32 Keong Saik, but recently, they shuttered to move locations and revamp their premises, just down the street. After a brief hiatus, Kok Sen is open and back in full swing, starring renewed, slightly more atas restaurant-style interiors with the same beloved dishes.
Image credit: @mikechiang
Now situated at 2-4 Keong Saik Road, the Cantonese restaurant is outfitted with air conditioning, cosy wood panelling and furnishings. There’s also a collection counter by the shopfront for takeaway orders.
While we do miss the old-school charm of OG Kok Sen, this offers a whole new dining experience that marks the eatery’s next evolution.
If you’ve yet to try Kok Sen’s famed zi char dishes, then it’s high time to discover why the eatery has made it on the Michelin Bib Gourmand list.
The wok hei that imprints on all the dishes here is really what makes the eatery a cut above; that, and their signature dishes, which hit the sweet spot between cosy, familiar, and novel.
The Big Prawns Hor Fun (from $22) is their signature—the reason why people visit, and keep coming back to Kok Sen. Each plate of zhup-laden hor fun noodles star huge prawns lightly charred, egg, and kailan. The gravy is the real magic here. Silken, slurpable, and slightly smoky from the wok hei, it’s a match made in heaven with the thin sheets of hor fun.
The Claypot Yong Tau Foo (from $17) is another must-have. Enjoy ampang yong tau foo pieces cooked in a claypot filled with shiok, meaty gravy, served still-bubbling. The ingredients are also stuffed with a house-made prawn paste, inside of the usual fish paste.
Image credit: @bongster88
On the subject of prawn paste, get their Crispy Roasted Chicken (from $18), a weekend special where a whole roast chicken is stuffed with prawn paste, flattened, and then roasted till the skin is extra-crispy. This takes har cheong gai to another level.
Read our Kok Sen review.
For more eateries in the area, check out our Chinatown food guide.
Address: 2-4 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089112
Opening hours: Mon 9am to 5pm, Tue-Sun 12pm to 2:15pm, 5pm to 9pm
Tel: 6223 2005
Kok Sen is not a halal-certified eatery.
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Featured image adapted from @mikechiang
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