Best Zi Char in Singapore

Best Zi Char in Singapore

From a Halal spot in Esplanade to authentic Penang dishes in Geylang and a delicious lunch-time CBD option, here are 10 places to gather your favourite people and feast! Make reservations to avoid disappointment!
Burpple Guides
Burpple Guides

Hidden in Esplanade Mall, this modern and spacious restaurant is ideal for both group gatherings or casual dinners in air-conditioned comfort. Come for their aromatic Curry Fish Head ($20 for 2 pax) that is served over a flame, keeping it piping hot. Complete the spread with the quintessential Sambal Kangkong (from $8) and the fluffy Egg Fu Yong (from $8). To cut through the heaviness, have a peppery bowl of La La in Superior Broth ($12).
Photo by Burppler SG MUNCHIES


Suited for small groups, grab your friends for a no-frills contemporary zi char meal at this Jalan Besar diner. Get Chef J’s exquisitely grilled BBQ Pork ($14.80) that is amazing when dipped into their tangy-sweet Thai-style sauce. Go all out with the Singapore Style Chilli Prawns ($17.80) that pairs best with their Mini Mantous ($2 for 4) to mop up all that glorious sauce. If you're lucky, get your hands on the collagen-rich Signature Brandy White Fish Soup ($9.80) with slices of white fish, cabbage and Shimeji mushrooms — only 20 portions are available daily.
Photo by Burppler Cecil Dulam


Most people come for their signature Butter Pork Ribs ($10), where fried pork ribs are coated in a sweet and savoury milk powder-like seasoning. However, they also make an excellent Sliced Fish Beehoon Soup (from $8) that is especially good when eaten with their housemade sambal balachan. Alternatively, their Pig’s Trotter Beehoon (from $8) will also satisfy. Balance the meal with their extra eggy Trio Egg Spinach ($10).
Photo by Burppler Veronica Phua


Keep this Balestier restaurant in mind for dad's next birthday. Order the melt-in-your-mouth Crispy Pork Jowl ($14 for 125g) with a sweet and savoury miso gula melaka dip. Choose between their Ubin Fried Mee Sua ($28) or the soupy Hokkien Mee (from $15) that's made extra good with pork lard! Treat dad to their juicy Rib Eye Steak ($90 for 600g) that is sure to impress! Pro tip: if you're in the area at breakfast, try their decadent Foie Gras Egg Special ($10.50) where the average soft-boiled eggs are elevated by pan-seared foie gras and truffle salt. Yum!
Photo by Burppler Gladys Tan


Swing by this coffeeshop for a lunch hour feast. Order their Big Prawn Hor Fun (from $18) for thick, eggy and mildly spicy gravy over a bed of hor fun and big, juicy prawns. Also great is the signature Claypot Yong Tau Foo ($23) — delicious homemade fish-paste stuffed beancurd, brinjals, and chillis in a flavourful sauce. Pro tip: If you're coming for dinner, be sure to call to reserve in advance, and dress comfortably because you are sure to work up a sweat!
Photo by Burppler Lee Pei Yi

Why cross the border when you can go to this bustling seafood restaurant in Geylang for some dang good JB-style zi char? Bring your mates and feast on their famous charred JB San Lou Meehoon (from $7) — think super addictive wok hei and sambal-infused crispy fried beehoon. Be sure to order the White Pepper Crab ($64), as well as their Garlic and Chilli La La (from $16) that sees wonderfully plump clams coated in a spicy sauce. Wash it all down with some beer for ultimate satisfaction!
Photo by Burppler Joe Yang

Avoid the queue and come during off-peak hours with foodie friends for a seat at this wildly popular restaurant. Order their La La Hokkien Mee (from $8.00) that sees silky noodles soaked in a flavourful, wok hei-infused broth. Also good is the Penang Fried Kueh Teow ($5) with cockles, deep fried lard, prawns and sausage — one portion is enough for two! Not to be missed is their comforting Pumpkin Beancurd ($18), where silky smooth tofu and prawns are bathed in a sweet and creamy pumpkin sauce, balanced by a savoury mixture of ikan bilis and hae bi.
Photo by Burppler Dex Neo

Book a table in advance at this popular Bukit Merah zi char spot that is great for celebrations with friends. Get their signature Moonlight Hor Fun (from $7) that sees flat rice noodles fried with squid and lap cheong, and topped with a fresh raw egg yolk begging to be mixed in. Also good is their Salted Egg Crab ($60) with delicious gravy that you'll want to mop up with their Steamed Man Tou ($6 for 6 pieces). Complete your meal with the Mingzhu Roll ($2 per roll) and the Coffee Pork Ribs ($8). Since it's a celebration, bring your own wine (corkage at $5 per bottle!) to pair with the food!
Photo by Burppler Dave Tan

Easties, drop by Joo Chiat Road for some no-frills, hearty zi char with the fam. Order their addictively tangy Assam Fish Head ($18) with loads of vegetables and pineapples. Crack open the crisp, flaky Yam Ring ($18) to uncover a smooth and fragrant yam filling. Otherwise, the tasty Indonesian Prawns in Claypot (from $16) is a foolproof option, where buttered prawns sit in a spicy, milky broth. Save some space for the delectable Fried Pork Belly ($10) — best paired with sambal belacan!
Photo by Burppler Veronica Phua


Worth a journey to the west is this zi char stall tucked in a humble coffeeshop. Enjoy the freshest catch either in the Curry Fish Head or the stellar Steamed Fish with a delightful soy-based sauce. Complete the meal with the complex Bitter gourd With Egg and Salted Egg and tangy Golden Needle! Take note that they are closed on Wednesdays.
Photo by Burppler Dionis Tang

The top picks, popular finds and newly opened places in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines, curated by Burpple editors!

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