Chinatown Special – Fried Rice Paradise In Chinatown!
Located at Chinatown Complex, Chinatown Special is run by Mr Sow. He shares that he has been selling fried rice in Chinatown since 1986 (which is stated on his signboard), and actually learnt how to cook fried rice by himself.
On why he only sells fried rice, Mr Sow shares that it’s something he does well, and it is much simpler to have only one item on the menu of Chinatown Special.
Every order of fried rice is cooked ala minute, which ensures that diners get freshly fried rice every time. His version of fried rice was reminiscent of the home cooked type that mum usually whips up in the kitchen, instead of the lavish versions you get at restaurants or zi char stalls.
He fries his rice together with a generous amount of basic ingredients, such as char siew, egg and prawn. Although seemingly simple, these ingredients lend a tasty flavour to the fried rice, and add different textures to the toothsome dish. The prawns are bought fresh from the market, and do not have that overly springy texture that you’d get when eating frozen prawns.
For those who prefer their fried rice with lots of wok hei however, you may be disappointed here as there is no wok hei in this plate fried by Mr Sow! Despite this, the queue at Chinatown Special can stretch for quite a bit! This is probably attributed to how flavourful the fried rice is.
Diners can also ‘customise’ their fried rice by adding extra ingredients, such as fried luncheon meat ($1), sunny side up egg ($0.50) and hei bi floss ($0.50), which lend a delectable sweetness when mixed in the fried rice. If you’re looking for a little heat, the accompanying chilli sauce is very spicy and slightly tart, though we would have preferred it to be fried together with the rice.
Mr Sow, who is in his seventies, shared with us that because of his age, he doesn’t operate his stall for very long hours. In fact, his operating hours are as lean as his menu: the stall is only opened for 2 to 3 hours on weekdays! His affable character and nimbleness when stir-frying rice helps to mask his age well. We all thought he wasn’t a day over 50!
Mr Sow shares that his customers are usually regulars, and they order large quantities of fried rice at a single go. In fact, he cooks over a 100 portions in a day, within that short time frame that he operates. Therefore, it’s best to go early, and get a plate of home-cooked fried rice before it gets sold out!
Address: #02-12 Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, 335 Smith Street, Singapore 050335
Opening Hours: Weekdays: 10.30am to 12.30pm, or until sold out. Closed on Weekends and Public Holidays.
MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.