With such a posh-sounding English address, it’s a shock to experience Chomp Chomp’s bright lights, bustling vibe and high noise level (from countless clashing woks)
First published on . Updated on 8 Apr 2013.
WHAT'S IT LIKE? Serangoon Gardens Food Centre (colloquially known as Chomp Chomp) was built in 1972 to congregate street hawkers that used to sell their creations across the street on Kensington Park Road in the 1960s. By 2012, after a few rounds of upgrading, the centre won the public’s vote as Singapore’s favourite hawker centre in the City Hawker Food Hunt for two consecutive years, as well as the affection of regulars young and old who come for dinner or late-evening suppers in the lowkey enclave.
WHAT TO EAT? Size-wise, Chomp Chomp packs a modest 36 stalls serving a mix of hawker staples. But it still makes more authentic Singaporean fare than what you might find at Makansutra Gluttons Bay or Newton Food Centre. You can’t go wrong with any of the offerings here, but for maximum pleasure, try crowd favourites like family-owned Ah Hock Fried Hokkien Noodle (#01-27, $3/$4/$5). The quality at this 50-something year-old stall suffered a decline a few years ago as the eponymous Uncle Ah Hock was said to have been ill. Now that he's back, waiting time is at least 20 minutes, if you’re lucky. He never fails to deliver on flavour, with a different take from the other hokkien mees you elsewhere in Singapore – Uncle Ah Hock makes his a little drier, and with thin bee hoon to add variation to the bite.
The orh luah (oyster omelette) at Ang Sa Lee Fried Oyster (#01-33, $4/$5/$8) makes a great complement to Uncle Ah Hock's fried hokkien noodle, while the carrot cake from the nameless Stall 36 (#01-36, $3/$4/$5) wins our vote for its crispy egg and strident prawn flavours.
No shared group meal here is complete without barbecued seafood like sambal stingray. Hai Wei Seafood BBQ (#01-01, $10/$12/$15) and Lucy BBQ Seafood (#01-05/06, $8/$10/$12) – both are strong contenders for the best version, with their differences lying in the spiciness of the sambal sauce.
For something more snackish, try the sweet chicken wings from Good Luck Chicken Wings & Satay (#01-29, $1.20 per wing), and wash all that down with a giant mug of sugarcane juice or lime juice from any of the stalls serving drinks. Natasha Hong