When planning to travel to Singapore I would bet that discovering its scrumptious food is high on your bucket list. And there’s hardly a better place to start navigating this food-crazed city’s yummiest dishes than at the Chinatown Complex Food Centre.
This eclectic food court is not just one of the biggest, but one of the best hawker centres in Singapore. Eating your way through this foodie heaven will put many of Singapore’s best dishes in front of your tastebuds, making it an absolute must while visiting the Lion City.
What to expect at Chinatown Complex Food Centre
As you’d imagine from its location in the heart of Singapore’s Chinatown, the Chinatown Complex Food Centre is chock-loaded with Chinese-inspired cuisine at every turn. Whether you’re craving wonton noodles, char kway teow, or bak kut teh, you’ll find it here in spades—along with other Singaporean favourites like laksa, sambal stingray, chili crab, and satay.
This hawker centre is home to over 260 food stalls, placing it among the most extensive food courts in the city. With all its nooks and crannies, the Chinatown Complex can be a little difficult to navigate on your first couple runs. Surely, this isn’t a negative, but all part of the fun that comes with digging into Singapore’s bustling food scene!
Besides the sheer number of food stalls here, the centre’s most notable advantage is its value. Unlike restaurants—which, let’s be honest, can be a tad overpriced in Singapore—meals at the Chinatown Complex Food Centre, like most other hawker centres, are insanely affordable.
Oh—and did I mention?—extremely tasty and filling.
Even if you’re not on a tight travel budget, the quality of food you’ll get at some of the stalls is soooooo good that you can’t help but ditch the city’s more formal restaurants in exchange for some delicious hawker fare.
Where & what to eat
As I’ve often mentioned, it’s hard to go wrong at most of the hawker stalls around these parts. Perhaps a palate more well-attuned to the subtleties of Singaporean flavours would disagree. But as a roving Canadian—whose country’s most-prized national dish is nothing more than greasy pub food—nothing I tried at Chinatown Complex Food Centre was a complete bust.
Not sure where to let your tastebuds start exploring? Here are a few recommended stalls & their signatures dishes:
- Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu (#02-88): Yong tau fu
- Terry Katong Laksa (#02-04): Katong-style laksa
- Lao Ren Jia Roasted (#02-03): Char siu wonton noodles
- Heng Ji Chicken Rice (#02-131): Chicken rice
- Jia Ji Mei Shi (#02-166): Yam cake, chee cheong fun
- Shi Xiang Satay (#02-79): Satay
- Zhao Ji Clay Pot Rice (#02-53): Claypot rice
For most travellers, the MRT is the easiest way to navigate to Chinatown Complex Food Centre. Take the North East Line to Chinatown MRT Station. Leave the station through Exit B. The hawker centre is just a 1-minute walk from here.
Where to stay near Chinatown Complex Food Centre
As Chinatown is one of the most recommended areas when figuring out where to stay in Singapore, there are plenty of great accommodations nearby to lay down as you tackle your most serious Singaporean food cravings. Here are a few of the best hotels in Chinatown…
- Bliss Hotel: One of the top hotel picks in Chinatown for travellers on a budget, this property offers large rooms with modern decor and Oriental touches. Extras like a rooftop bar and free smartphone rentals add to the value.
- The Scarlet Singapore: Occupying a heritage building on a side-street, this boutique hotel features contemporarily decorated rooms along with some great amenities including a rooftop bar and outdoor hot tub for your chillin’ pleasure.
- Ann Siang House: Set in an old Chinese merchant house between Chinatown and Telok Ayer, this boutique hotel charms guests with spacious rooms and well-equipped modern studio apartments.