Shi Xiang Satay – Oldie but Goodie Chicken and Pork Satay

Megan Yap
Megan Yap
October 31, 2019

Opened in 1955, Shi Xiang Satay has seen generations of customers come and go. Now, it is run by Young, the original owner’s son. He learnt how to make satay from his mother, who learnt the craft from her husband.


Shi Xiang Satay first started out by on the streets. No matter how things changed, the stall always stayed in chinatown. They didn’t have a name back then, so their customers helped them come up with one.

It took us a while to find the stall as it was quite hidden on the second level. Once you go up the escalator, walk straight towards the stalls and turn right. You’ll see a sign on the wall that says “More stalls here”. Follow the sign and you should be able to find Shi Xiang Satay. You should be able to catch a whiff of the satay once you are near enough.

barbequeing satay 2let cool satay

Every satay is marinated for at least 24 hours to ensure that they’re tasty. Usually, a new batch is made every one and a half days. We got 5 sticks of chicken and 5 sticks of pork ($0.60 per stick, 10 sticks minimum). You can also get rice cubes for ($0.60) to make it a more complete meal, but we were quite full that day so we didn’t buy any.

pork satay close up
pork satay stick

The plate of satay comes with chunks of cucumber and a small bowl of peanut sauce. Usually there are sliced red onions as well, but I think maybe the owner forgot to give us some.

To distinguish between the pork and chicken satay, all you have to do is see which stick has a piece of fat in the middle, and that would be the pork satay. The layer of fat helped to moisten the nicely grilled meat and added a soft crunch. There were some charred bits that give it a sweet smokiness. I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet and savoury morsel.

chicken satay closeup
chicken satay stick

The chicken was leaner than the pork, so if you want something that’s not too fatty, opt for the chicken satay. It’s still as delicious, but just a tad tougher.

Young told us that the pork satay is the preferred choice for Chinese, while the chicken satay is favoured by tourists.

peanut pineapple saucedip satay in sauce 2

The key difference between other types of satay and Hainanese satay is the sauce. The peanut sauce usually comes with a small dollop of pineapple puree which adds a slight acidity and sweetness to the peanut sauce.

young at storefrontsatay at signboard

Because of some medical issues, Young will be running Shi Xiang Satay for another 5 years at most. He isn’t planning on passing the business down to his children, so it might come to an end once he retires.

Come try this famous satay while you still can! I heard it pairs really well with a pint of cold beer.

Shi Xiang Satay

Address: Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, #02-79, 335 Smith Street, Singapore 050335

Opening Hours: 12.30pm to 8.30pm daily. Closed on Mondays. made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.

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