No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow has famous char kway teow at Great World
No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow is no stranger to hawker enthusiasts. Having been around since 2000, the stall has amassed a long list of accolades over the years, including newspaper features, culinary awards, and mentions on the Michelin Bib Gourmand. It’s no surprise, then, that it made our list of best char kway teow stalls in Singapore earlier this year.
Perhaps the most astonishing achievement of all, though, is the fact that the stall counts Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong among its regular patrons. The stall owner, Mr Ho, was even invited to witness PM Lee’s swearing-in at the Istana back in 2004.
Upon seeing the Istana invitation, newspaper clippings, and certificates that were displayed all over the store, my colleague and I were more than eager to try their famous char kway teow.
Food at No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow
The char kway teow is available in $5, $6 and $8 sizes. If you’d like more ingredients, you can top up $0.50 for more egg, $1 for extra fish cake or sausage, and $2 for additional cockles.
Mr Ho cooks each plate of char kway teow individually, so it was steaming hot when we received ours.
The first thing that stood out to us was the kway teow’s wok hei. While everything was properly infused with that distinct smoky flavour, it was the fried pork lard that boasted the strongest wok hei, along with a crispy texture that provided a satisfying crunch.
Each ingredient was also nicely cooked and well-seasoned. The yellow noodles and kway teow, for one, were evenly coated with dark soy sauce and had a good bite. The fishcakes had a nice QQ texture, and the cockles were juicy and sweet, without any hint of fishiness.
As someone who’s not too fond of bean sprouts, I surprisingly enjoyed them here. With their heads removed, the bean sprouts added a light, crispy texture that complemented the rest of the ingredients.
What impressed me the most was the well-cooked chinese sausage. Unlike most char kway teow stalls I’ve visited, where the sausage tends to be tough and hard to chew, No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow managed to cook them to the right tenderness.
Ambience at No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow
Zion Riverside Food Centre isn’t a big hawker centre, but it’s lined with famous stalls that garner substantial crowds during meal times. Neighbouring No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow are the illustrious Zion Road Big Prawn Noodle, Boon Tong Kee Kway Chap Braised Duck and Lau Goh Teochew Chye Thow Kway, among others. It was unsurprising, then, that seats filled up quickly when lunchtime rolled around.
While the stall’s opening time is listed as 12pm, the stall opened a little later that day, at around 12:30pm. We got to the food centre early, but found a long line forming in front of the stall almost instantaneously as the stall owner pulled up the shutters.
With about six to eight people in front of us, we waited for an hour before we finally got our food. When we left the queue, there was still a considerable number of people waiting in line. If you’re thinking of paying them a visit, be prepared to stand for quite some time.
Perhaps it’s because I’m not the biggest char kway teow fan, but I’m not sure if I’d queue an hour for it again. Nevertheless, it was a stellar plate of char kway teow, one that I would return for if I had a lot of time to kill, or if the queue was unusually short that day.
As its numerous awards and commendations suggest, No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow has become somewhat of a cultural icon in Singapore’s hawker scene. For that, I’d definitely recommend this stall to any foodie who loves hawker food. I’d also suggest it to char kway teow lovers looking for a satisfying plate of CKT.
Address: 70 Zion Road, #01-17, Zion Riverside Food Centre, Singapore 247792
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 12pm to 9pm
Tel: 9868 5507
No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow is not a halal-certified eatery.
Photos taken by Melvin Mak
This was an independent review by Eatbook.