My Chinatown Festival

Chinatown Complex holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the Chinese community in Singapore. Step into our festival village at Chinatown Complex and immerse yourself in a community map, guided tours, and exclusive weekend workshops—an opportunity to explore all that this charming neighbourhood offers.

Located in Singapore’s historic Chinatown, this unassuming HDB block holds significant historical value and is intertwined with the surrounding heritage. Inside, you’ll discover a lively wet market, bustling shops, and the renowned hawker centre—the first in Singapore to earn a Michelin star.

Chinatown Complex is home to over 600 market, sundry and food stalls. Established in 1981 at the heart of the street hawker precinct, Smith, Banda, Trengganu and Pagoda streets, the colossal complex served as an imperative part of the authorities’ efforts to resettle illegal street hawkers from Chinatown.

The structure of the mammoth complex was designed to harmonise with the surrounding heritage shophouses and integrate with the vibrant Chinatown streetscape. The architects took inspiration from the traditional architectural elements found in Chinatown including ornate motifs, columns, pavilions and arches. These elements were tastefully incorporated into the building design, paying homage to the rich heritage of the neighbourhood.

The market and food complex has spacious thoroughfares on the ground level, accommodating large crowds during festive periods. The food centre is situated on the second level, while the wet market is housed in the basement and the sundry shops occupy the ground level.

Our festival aims to connect residents, visitors, hawkers, and shop owners, fostering friendship and a sense of community. In our busy lives, we often miss the chance to know our neighbours. This festival provides a platform to bridge that gap and build meaningful relationships.

Step into our festival village in the heart of Chinatown Complex and immerse yourself in a community map, guided tours, and exclusive weekend workshops—an opportunity to explore all that this charming neighbourhood offers.

The festival square features captivating performances and talks, creating a lively atmosphere. Connect with fellow attendees, engage in genuine conversations, and soak in Chinatown Complex’s warm and welcoming ambience.

Join us at Chinatown Complex to discover the essence of this remarkable community, appreciate its cultural heritage, and forge lasting connections with the incredible people who call Chinatown Complex home.

View of Smith Street Along South Bridge Road, 1985
(Urban Redevelopment Authority Collection, courtesy of National Archives of Singapore) 19980005512 – 0032

Select a self-guided trail!

Kreta Ayer Shops

The Kreta Ayer Shops Trail showcases the businesses that have been around for generations before they were relocated to Chinatown Complex in 1983. With businesses that have stood the test of time, the trail highlights the longstanding traditions that have been preserved for generations. This trail truly encapsulates the rich cultural heritage of Kreta Ayer!

This trail highlights shops such as Xin Lian Fa, first established along the street that is now occupied by Yue Hwa. You will also find Yung Lai Departmental Store, a textiles business spanning three generations that first found its roots along Sago Street. At Sun Panda Pyjamas, meet the friendly Ho couple, which has been running the traditional pyjamas business for more than 65 years. Dive into the world of traditional Chinese weddings with Yuan Xi, a shop first established along Trengganu Street that sold household necessities in its earliest days!

Traditional Items

The Traditional Items Trail is an immersive exploration into shops selling invaluable traditional items that have stood the test of time. Indulge yourself in the nostalgia as you uncover these invaluable treasures that provide a vivid connection to bygone eras and a rich cultural heritage.

Visit House of Lanterns, where you will find a spectacular range of lanterns suitable for various festivals and special occasions. Head down to Tongkat Ali to dive into the world of the Royal Plant of Malaysia, which has been traditionally known as a natural aphrodisiac. Embrace the essence of tradition in style at Matsuzaki, where a splendid array of cheongsams await you!

Antiques & Collectables

The Antiques & Collectables Trail showcases a treasure trove of shops brimming with remarkable finds that will captivate collectors and ignite newfound interests. Prepare to uncover hidden gems and possibly even stumble upon that perfect addition to your own collection!

At Spring Fortune Goh, step into the enchanting realm of figurines and pottery where each unique piece tells its own story. Discover music through the decades at Vintage Music Shop, where you will find an extensive collection of music spanning across different generations. Visit Ho Art Antiques Bronzewares and find an extensive selection of antiques awaiting you -- from intricate figurines to exquisite furniture, their wide-ranging collection offers something for everyone! 

Kreta Ayer Hawkers

The Kreta Ayer Hawker Trail showcases the businesses that have been around for generations before they were relocated to Chinatown Complex in 1983. With businesses that have stood the test of time, the trail highlights the longstanding traditions and flavours preserved for generations. This trail truly encapsulates the rich culinary heritage of Kreta Ayer!

This trail highlights hawker stalls such as Ming Fa Fishball, established in 1946, selling handmade fishball noodles along the alleyways of Clarke Quay. You'll also discover Xing Long Food Stall, which traces its roots back to Joo Heng coffee shop along South Bridge Road. Indulge in the sweet delights of Er Gu Tang Shui, which started from a humble pushcart along Sago Street. Take the chance to savour the zhi char dishes from Sun Seng, which have been delighting diners since the 1940s.

Traditional Foods

The Traditional Food Trail is a culinary adventure that embraces the rich tapestry of ethnic groups and dialects by showcasing their traditional dishes. Through this trail, visitors can indulge in a wide array of flavours, each representing a unique cultural heritage. From the tantalising spices of Indian cuisine to the delicate flavours of Chinese dialect-specific dishes, the trail explores diverse culinary traditions.

For example, try Chai Wee Cuttlefish ear traditional biscuits and cuttlefish. At Mrs Vadei, Vijayaletchimi serves a delicious fried snack called vadei.

Always Long Queue!

The Always Long Queue Trail showcases a selection of renowned food stalls that consistently attract long queues. These stalls have gained a reputation for their delectable and highly sought-after dishes, making them a must-visit for any food enthusiast. Despite the inevitable queues, the opportunity to sample these culinary delights makes it a worthwhile experience for visitors.

One such stall is Chef Leung's Authentic Hand-Milled Rice Noodle, where customers should be aware that the food sells out as early as 10 am. Another must-try stall is Hong Kong Mongkok Tim Sum, known for its freshly made dim sum, but be prepared to queue up early. Jia Ji is a family-owned business that starts its day very early, at around 3 am, to prepare its dishes.


House of Lanterns 灯笼之家

Mr Zhang is a lantern enthusiast who has been selling lanterns for 23 years. He started his career as a trader, but in 2000, he decided to follow his passion and moved into Chinatown complex to open his shop selling lanterns.


Shin Electronics

If you have a broken turntable, phone, laptop or any other electronic device, you should visit Shin Electronics, the secondhand electronics repair shop run by Ah Seng, 60. He has been in this business since the 1990s, when he switched from being an electrician to selling and repairing electronic items.


Spring Fortune Goh 春秋阁

An avid collector of antique figurines, 70 year old Goh Choon Hock decided to share his hobby with the patrons of Chinatown Complex by opening up a shop. Before retirement, Mr Goh worked at Changi Airport.


Edd's Edornments 雁荣串珠

Eddie Ng, 63, is driven by a strong appreciation for the arts cherished by Buddhists that are associated with Chinese culture and customs found in Buddhist temples. His fascination with prayer beads also played a significant role in his decision to establish his own shop. Recognising the scarcity of specialised items in the market, he felt motivated to fill this gap.


Vintage Music Shop

Step into the world of nostalgia at Mr Peter Ho's Vintage Music Shop, one of the few remaining places in Singapore where you can find and purchase vintage music records. Since 2004, Mr Ho has been offering a treasure trove of CDs, cassette tapes, and vinyl records at his store located in Sungei Road before its shift to Chinatown Complex.


Tongkat Ali 东革阿里

Yilin Wang is a seller of Tongkat Ali, a plant that has amazing health benefits. Tongkat Ali, dubbed the Royal Plant of Malaysia, has been used as an aphrodisiac for the longest time to boost the manhood of the Sultans and royal family.


Best Classic Corner

Mr Syed Abdul Kader, 50 has been running this family business since 1983, after inheriting it from his late father, who opened it in 1969 along Trengganu Street. The shop has a rich history and a variety of products, from cosmetics and toys to cigarettes and local trinkets. of the Sultans and royal family.


Yuan Xi 缘喜

One of the oldest stalls in Chinatown Complex, Yuan Xi, was founded by Mr Tan’s mother. It first started as a pushcart stall selling household necessities along Trengganu Street before making its transition to traditional Chinese wedding items.


Zhen Bao Jade 珍宝

Zhen Bao Jade had its humble beginnings along Keong Saik Road, established by Ms Loh's mother-in-law, who sold jade and household essentials. With a deep commitment to the shop, Ms Loh has dedicated over four decades of her life to its operation.


Sun Panda Pyjamas 日熊睡衣

Welcome to Sun Panda Pyjamas, a store with a remarkable history spanning over 65 years. This family-run business is managed by Mr and Mrs Lim, affectionately known as Uncle Lim and Auntie Lim, who first established their store along Smith Street.


Still Can Use

At Still Can Use, you'll find a unique store run by Roger Mak, who has an interesting history in the business. Initially, Mr Mak focused on repairing old furniture. However, about 10 years ago, he discovered a passion for collecting and selling old entertainment collectibles.


Ho Art Antiques Bronze Wares 何藝古董铜器

Previously, Mr Ho worked as a karang guni, collecting and reselling discarded items. Over time, he started selling antiques from a shop on King George Avenue, a venture that spanned 30 years. During this time, he had memorable encounters with artists who sold their art pieces to him. When those artists passed away, the value of their artworks skyrocketed.


Mr Koh Ah Koon 专买卖各种旧货

Mr Koh Ah Koon, 76, is the President of the Association for the Recycling of Second Hand Goods and leader of the former Sungei Road traders. Sungei Road, Singapore's largest flea market, closed on July 10, 2017, making way for future residential development.


Tip Top Products 亮亮钱币收藏

Step into the world of history and currency at Tip Top Products, where Ann Ng curates and sells a fascinating collection of coins to passionate collectors. As time progresses and economies change, currencies evolve, and Ms Ng is dedicated to preserving these pieces of historical significance.


Da Cai Yun Department Co. 大财运百货公司

Steven Yeo's shop holds a special significance as it was passed down to him by his father, who used to sell clothing and towels along Sago Street. Even as a nine-year-old, Mr Yeo would assist his father by laying out the merchandise on a mat and engaging in sales.


Xin Lian Fa 新联发百货商店

Despite its modern clothing offerings, Xin Lian Fa is one of the oldest shops in Chinatown Complex, harbouring a rich history. Now under the management of second-generation owner, Mr Simon Yong, the shop was originally established by his father, who used to sell cassette tapes along the streets that are now occupied by Yue Hwa.


Matsuzaki 松崎

Run by a husband and wife duo, Matsuzaki is manned by Ms Ang and Mr Loh who have over 20 years of expertise in the cheongsam trade. The pair pride themselves in making their own cheongsam designs where they would frequently travel to Hong Kong to select and buy the best cloth to make their cheongsams.


Yung Lai Departmental Store 永来百货商店

The story of Yung Lai Departmental Store began with Mr Wang's grandfather, who used to sell rolls of vibrant cloth from a pushcart along the streets. His business flourished, and he even shipped his textiles to buyers overseas. Passing down the trade from father to son, the stall's legacy now rests in the hands of Mr Wang.


Tai Weng Hainanese Chicken Rice 大荣海南鸡饭

Lee Leong Chee, 64, comes from a family with a long history of selling food. His father started as a street hawker on Smith Street in the 1960s. When Mr Lee was eight years old, he began assisting his father.


Ming Fa Fishball 明發魚圓

Ming Fa, renowned for its handmade fishball noodles, was established in 1946 by Lim Chye Kang. In 1975, Lim Gee Meng assumed control of the business. The relocation to Chinatown Complex took place in 1984. Presently, the enterprise is led by 37-year-old Jerome Lim.


Mrs Vadei

Auntie Letchimi, 63, comes from a family that is famous for making a delicious fried snack called vadi. Her sister runs a shop called Original Vadei and her brothers run Mr Vadei, Vadei Master, and Vader King.


Chai Wee Cuttlefish 才伟鱿鱼

Tan Nor Chai, 66, is a second-generation family business owner specialising in making Ear Biscuits and Crispy Cuttlefish. He began learning the trade from his father when he was 15, in the 1970s when they lived in Lorong Tai Seng.


Sun Seng 生成

Sun Seng, a famous zhi char stall in Chinatown Complex, has a history that dates to the 1940s. It's now run by Arthur Wong, the second-gen owner, with his wife and two sisters.


Heng Wah Traditional Coffee Stall 庆华傅统咖啡茶

Uncle Tang's stall is a popular spot for nostalgia-seekers and was inherited from his grandfather. He worked as a coffee boy before opening his own stall.


Pan Ji Cooked Food 潘記剎騎馬

Founded in the 1950s by Poon Sun Hay's father at the intersection of Sago Street and South Bridge Road, this stall is a culinary gem. Uncle Poon, now 68 years old, has dedicated his life to the stall since his childhood. His speciality lies in handmade snacks, notably the delectable sachima.


Claypot & Cooked Food Kitchen 砂煲小厨

Hong Kor and his wife, who are in their 80s, specialize in serving delectable claypot dishes. Their menu features a variety of mouthwatering options like Sweet and Sour Pork, Sea Cucumber with pork belly, and Steamed Garoupa Fish, all of which come in generous portions packed with meat.


Fragrant Sauce Chicken & Noodles 色香味

Randy Tse is a hawker who specialises in cooking Cantonese-style pork and chicken dishes marinated with a red fermented bean curd called "nam yu". He has been in the hawker business for over 40 years and has a loyal following who appreciate his traditional Cantonese flavours.


Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu 秀记江鱼仔酿豆腐

Xiu Ji Yong Tau Fu has been a beloved food stall since its humble beginnings as a roadside stall at Sago Street in the 1960s. Today, Lee Siew Khim, 51, with occasional support from her mother, Tang Chui Har, carries on the stall's legacy. In 2009, Lee Siew Khim and her husband took over the stall, ensuring the preservation of its long-established traditions.


Shi Xiang Satay 适香沙嗲

Shi Xiang Satay, famous for its Hainanese-style pork satay, has a history dating to 1955 when Auntie Soh, now 80 and her husband sold it from a pushcart in Sago Street. Mark Young, 55, now runs the stall with recipe modifications.


Chef Leung's Authentic Hand-Milled Rice Noodle Rolls 梁师傅肠粉

Leung Tsz Cham, 66, a highly experienced dim sum chef, spent 18 years at Raffles Hotel before opening his own stall at Chinatown Complex Food Centre in 2021. His specialty is chee cheong fun, a sought-after rice roll that draws long queues, especially during lunch hour.


Hong Kong Mongkok Tim Sum 香港旺角點心

Chi Shu Kei, 66, opened his hawker stall in 2003, known for high-quality handmade dim sum made fresh every morning. Previously worked at East Ocean Teochew Restaurant.


Yuet Loy Cooked Food 悦来

Yuet Loy serves simple and home-style Cantonese dishes. Fong Peng Cheong learned to cook from his mother. His wife, Brenda, and daughter, Mei Teng, assist him at the front. The stall was previously located on Cook Street in Tanjong Pagar.


Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck 金記潮州滷鴨和粿汁

Jin Ji is renowned for its Teochew-style braised duck and kway chap. Originally a fruit stall along Smith Street it transitioned to serving braised duck when it moved to Chinatown Complex in 1983. Melvin Chew, 44, now runs the stall with his 65-year-old mother, who co-founded it with his father. Melvin has been involved since his youth.


Mum Daughter Kitchen

Mum Daughter Kitchen is a Muslim-owned hawker known for its delicious and mouthwatering home-cooked nasi padang dishes. The stall was founded by Nurjahan Lim, 38 and her husband, Clarence Lim, 43, who has over 20 years of experience in the food industry.


Xing Long Food Stall 兴隆菜社

In the 1970s, Ngo Meng Nguen gained valuable experience working at his mother's Joo Heng coffee shop along South Bridge Road. Inspired by this, he aspired to establish his own eatery. In 1983, he won the final stall in the newly-built Chinatown Food Complex and used his mother's $2000 startup capital to establish Xing Long Food Stall.


Jia Ji Mei Shi 佳記美食

Jia Ji is a family-owned business that has been running for 80 years. They started as street hawkers on Sago Street in Chinatown and are currently run by the second generation of three sisters.


Jiu Ji Cantonese Porridge 九记粥品

Jiu Ji Cantonese Porridge specialises in silky Cantonese porridge with a recipe inherited from Uncle Lim's father, who once operated a stall on Trengganu Street.


Ma Li Ya Virgin Chicken 瑪莉亞處女雞

Maria Siew learned soya sauce chicken from her father, a partner at the famous New Nam Thong Tea House since 1926. She started at age 9.


Seng Kee 119 成记119

Seng Kee 119, owned by Tan Chin Yan, serves the popular Cantonese dish, Song fish head. Uncle Tan, also known as Chicken Boy, inherited the business from his father's chicken rice stall on Temple Street.


Lian He Ben Ji 联合本记煲饭

Lian He Ben Ji is a well-known claypot rice stall that was founded by Mdm Lim's father-in-law on Sago Street and Keong Siak Road. She began helping at 16 and now runs the business with her sisters and cousins.


Tew Chew Street Tew Chew Porridge 潮州街潮州粥

Run by husband and wife duo Tan Huat Seng and Ng Tjip Moi, has served the dish for over 80 years. Uncle Tan's father started the business pre-World War II, naming it after Teochew Street, where it was originally located.


115 Tang Shui 一一五糖水

In 1966, Mdm Wong Len Chen founded 115 Tang Shui, a dessert stall serving traditional Cantonese hot desserts. Originally located on Temple Street today, Toh Hoi Yip, 66, and his wife and son, Fabian, manage the stall.


Er Gu Tang Shui 二姑糖水

Er Gu Tang Shui is a popular dessert store that was founded in 1955 by Er Gu, the nickname of Lie Kam Fatt's mother, who started selling desserts from a pushcart along Sago Street. After Er Gu passed away, Mr Lie, 62, took over the business and continued to use his mother's recipe.

Festival Square

Festival Square