Chomp Chomp Food Centre, Singapore

At Chomp Chomp Food Centre, it is incredibly smoky inside, where many of the stalls are. I was relieved that we managed to fight off the competition and grab the only free table outside where it was crowded, but much less eye-watering. Looking around, I could see tables were not cleared as quickly as they needed to be; we stacked and pushed aside dirty dishes to make space for our food, and we weren’t the only ones doing so. In this hot and messy environment, BYO tissues and wet wipes are essential for the table as well as your face and hands.

The dinner crowd here is a swarming, ravenous monster; as soon as it loses one head, it grows another. Mandy, Jac and I took turns going to our chosen stalls to order food, one person always remaining at the table to chope our spot. As we ate, people hovered desperately, boldly waiting to pounce at the slightest sign that we were leaving. This is not a place where you’ll feel comfortable to linger after eating.

The dishes soon began to arrive, and we’d ordered ourselves a feast: kuih pie tee, popiah, rojak, carrot cake (light), satay (chicken, pork and mutton) complete with red onion, cucumber and ketupat, and a magnificent BBQ sambal stingray from MacPherson Seafood BBQ.

Sugarcane juice Jac had a Tiger beer (of course) while Mandy and I enjoyed tall glasses of fresh sugarcane juice – believe it or not, this is the small size!

Kuih pie tee Kuih pie tee, a nyonya dish – fried pastry cups filled with yam bean (jicama), carrot and dried shrimps. My mum and grandma used to make pie tee when we lived in Malaysia, minus the garnish of chopped hard-boiled egg.

Popiah Popiah – fresh spring roll, also principally filled with yam bean/jicama. I’ve blogged about my family’s popiah, which is somewhat fancier – hawker stall popiah is usually vegetarian; we load ours up with yam bean and other vegetables, BBQ pork, prawns and Chinese sausage!

Rojak Rojak – crunchy fruit and raw vegetables tossed in a dark, pungent, sour-sweet dressing made with shrimp paste, chilli, palm sugar and tamarind, topped with ground roasted peanuts.

Carrot cake (light)I’ve blogged about ‘chai tow kway’ before. Singaporeans call it ‘carrot cake’ – it’s fried radish cake – there’s no carrot! This was the ‘light’ (or ‘white’) version, which I ordered for a change, fried to order in a hot wok with egg, prawns with a handful of chopped fresh spring onion. The ‘dark’ (or ‘black’) carrot cake is fried with dark sweet soy sauce.

Sambal stingray BBQ sambal stingray – fiery and tangy, even better with a squeeze of the fresh kalamansi lime. We ordered a small one (SG$12). The stingray flesh is ribbony and delicate.

Satay - chicken, mutton, pork Satay – chicken, mutton, pork – the ketupat (steamed rice cake) wasn’t the best I’ve had, but the satay was good. The chicken was my pick of the bunch.

Jac's kuih pie tee, rojak and popiah stall Jac’s kuih pie tee and popiah stall. She didn’t order the oyster cake, which is the other speciality of this particular stall, but I have since been told it’s very good.

We bought the sambal stingray from this stall MacPherson Seafood BBQ, where we got the BBQ sambal stingray – a superb choice for lovers of seafood and spice.

DSCF5529Making the carrot cake cubes.

DSCF5531

DSCF5532There are multiple BBQ seafood stalls at Chomp Chomp. Every local will have his or her favourite, I’m sure.

DSCF5533

DSCF5535

Dinner crowd at Chomp Chomp Chomp Chomp dinner crowd.

Chomp Chomp Food Centre Chomp Chomp Food Centre.

Chomp Chomp was almost unbearably busy, but one of my favourite food centres of our trip. Durian lovers, save room for sweets at Dessert Bowl a short walk away – that post is still to come in this series.

Chomp Chomp Food Centre
20 Kensington Park Rd (Serangoon Gardens)
Singapore 557269
Open 5pm to midnight daily, though individual stalls’ operating hours may vary
Parking can be a challenge. You can get to Chomp Chomp by public transport (which is what we did):

  1. Take MRT North East (Purple) Line or MRT Circle (Orange) Line to Serangoon Station (see MRT network map).
  2. From Serangoon Bus Interchange (short walk from MRT), take Bus 315 (approx 25 minutes) – get off at Serangoon Garden Way bus stop, near the roundabout next to Chomp Chomp. Bus 317 will get you there too, but may take a little longer (see SBS Transit for bus info).

In Singapore, train and bus fares are paid by cash or smartcard. A Singapore Tourist Pass is also available.

Singapore series

Jac and I were in Singapore for 8 nights in July 2014. We paid for this trip ourselves and our friend Mandy was our local guide and makan kaki (eating buddy).

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  • I love fried radish cake! Had it just the other day. The Malaysian style fried radish cake always used to weird me out, because it’s so different from the HK style radish cake that I grew up with, but I love it now with the beanshoots and extra ingredients.

  • Helen (grabyourfork)

    omg all my favourites! You have me craving rojak, stingray and popiah now! Love the bokeh in your drinks shot too :)

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