Saturday, September 10, 2011

Yum Yum Chomp Chomp

Singapore Day 1
Chomp Chomp Food Centre
10:25 p.m.

A food trip in Singapore isn't complete without visiting a hawker center. Hawker centers are open air complexes housing different food stalls that showcase authentic Singaporean cuisine at affordable price points. 

We couldn't let our first day in Singapore pass without stepping foot on a hawker center so we headed to Chomp Chomp Food Centre for some late night food debauchery.

Chomp Chomp Food Centre was voted third best hawker center in Singapore so we knew we were in good hands.

At 10 in the evening, Chomp Chomp was still full of hungry diners and we had to wait for an available table given the compact size of the food center. Good thing turnover was fast and we made use of the idle time to scout the stalls. 

I have to admit that Chomp Chomp Food Centre will not win any awards in the hygiene department but all was forgotten as soon as our orders arrived. By the way, I included photos of the stalls where we ordered our food for reference.

Lychee Juice
More water than lychee. At least it was ice cold, perfect for the humid weather.

Our Carrot Cake Stall of Choice

Chai Tow Kueh or Carrot Cake
For those who are confused, carrot cake doesn't contain the orange vegetable rabbits love to eat. It's actually made of white radish mixed with rice flour fried with fish sauce, eggs, garlic, and spring onions. There were a lot of stalls offering carrot cake but I had no regrets with the stall we chose as this is one dish that haunts me still.  The addicting flavors have had me craving for carrot cake ever since I got back, making me want to book a return ticket to Singapore a.s.a.p. The carrot cake had a clean mild taste with bursts of pepper, chili, and crunchy egg taking turns in delighting my taste buds.

Char Kway Teow
Sadly, I failed to take a picture of the stall where we ordered our char kway teow which is flat rice noodles stir fried with lard. Yes, LARD! Lard is used to highlight and bring out the flavors of the noodles which also have Chinese sausage,  chili, bean sprouts, and chives in the mix. The salty/sweet/oily combination was to die for that it took a lot of restraint on my part not to finish the entire plate knowing how unhealthy it was. This proves the point that delicious food is usually not good for us. 

 Beware of this Stall

Spicy Clams

We ordered the spicy clams from Boon Tat, a stall famous for its stingray. The clams were not so fresh but what I remember about this dish is that we got more empty shells than clams with actual meat. Such a ripoff!

BBQ Stingray
I liked the salty and spicy flavors of the Boon Tat stingray but did not appreciate the rubbery consistency of the fish. I'm glad to have tried stingray but I'm not a fan.

Wing Factory

Chicken Wings
The wings took a long time to arrive on our table but it was worth the wait.  Perfectly cooked which made the wings so tender and juicy. The wings actually tasted plain on its own but became something else once dipped in the red spicy sauce provided. A healthy alternative to bonchon chicken.

Porridge Land

I wasn't able to take note of the kind of congee we ordered but I remember this as having a very thick and creamy consistency. One can never go wrong with congee as this is comfort food.

Convenient Rojak Stall

Since a rojak stall was conveniently located opposite our table, we ordered a plate not knowing what rojak was. The prawn paste sauce was interesting with a tangy, sweet blend but I gave up on rojak as soon as I bit into a cucumber. I later learned that rojak does have an odd pairing of ingredients with fruits, vegetables, dried tofu, dough fritters, and cured cuttlefish making the cut. Hmmm....

In hindsight, this meal was one of my favorite memories of our trip because we not only ate simple, delicious food, but we also had an authentic Singapore experience by mixing and eating with the locals at Chomp Chomp.

I wish I could say that Chomp Chomp was our last stop during our first day in Singapore but we actually went to Helipad in Clarke Quay for a nightcap. Helipad offered good views of Clarke Quay but it was too dark there so I didn't bother taking pictures.

Next post will be the start of Day 2.


Chomp Chomp Food Centre is located at 20 Kensington Park Road, Serangoon Garden Estate, Singapore. It is open from 6 p.m. until 12 midnight.

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